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  • 21 Sep 2023
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: SHREYAS, National Overseas Scheme for SCs, Scheduled Castes (SC)

For Mains: Role of financial assistance and scholarships in bridging educational disparities in India

Source: PIB

Why in News?

The Scholarships for Higher Education for Young Achievers Scheme (SHREYAS) initiative has been a cornerstone in India's efforts to empower students from Scheduled Castes (SC) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) by providing them access to quality education.

What is SHREYAS?

  • About:
    • SHREYAS is an umbrella scheme, under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
    • SHREYAS aims for the Educational Empowerment of OBC & Economically Backward Class (EBC) students by way of awarding fellowships (financial assistance) in obtaining quality higher education and interest subsidy on educational loans for overseas studies.
  • Sub-Schemes:
    • The umbrella scheme of "SHREYAS" comprises 4 central sector sub-schemes.
  • Free Coaching Scheme for SCs and OBCs:
    • Objective:
      • Provide coaching of high quality to economically disadvantaged SCs and OBCs for competitive exams and admission to technical and professional institutions.
    • Income Ceiling: Family income under the scheme is capped at 8 lakhs per annum.
    • Slot Allocation: 3500 slots are allotted annually.
    • Gender Inclusivity: 30% of slots are reserved for females in both categories.
    • Allocation Ratio: The SC: OBC ratio is 70:30, ensuring equitable access.
    • Outcomes: From 2014-15 to 2022-23, 19,995 beneficiaries have benefited through this.
    • Top-Class Education for SCs:
      • Objective: Recognize and promote quality education among SC students, covering studies beyond the 12th class.
      • Income Ceiling: The family income limit is set at 8 lakhs per annum.
      • Coverage: 266 higher education institutes, including prestigious institutions like IIMs, IITs, and NITs.
      • Scholarship: Under the scheme, tuition fee, non-refundable charges, academic allowance and other expenses are provided.
      • Outcomes: From 2014-15 till 2022-23 21,988 beneficiaries have benefited through this.
    • National Overseas Scheme for SCs:
      • Objective: Under the National Overseas Scheme for SCs, financial assistance is provided to the selected students from SCs; De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes; landless agricultural labourers and traditional artisan categories, for pursuing masters and Ph.D. level courses abroad.
      • Eligibility: A student with a total family income including the candidate should be less than Rs. 8 lakhs per annum, who has more than 60% marks in the qualifying examination, is below 35 years of age and who secured admission in the top 500 QS ranking foreign Institutes/ Universities.
      • Scholarship: Total tuition fee, maintenance and contingency allowance, visa fee, to and fro air passage etc. are provided to the awardees.
      • Outcomes: From 2014-15 to 2022-23, 950 beneficiaries have benefited through this.
    • National Fellowship for SC Students:
      • Aim: This fellowship supports SC students pursuing M.Phil/Ph.D. degrees in Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences in Indian Universities/Institutions/Colleges recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
      • Eligibility: Candidates who have qualified for the National Eligibility Test (NET-JRF) or Junior Research Fellows for Science stream qualifying UGC-Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (UGC-CSIR) Joint Test.
      • Allocation: The scheme provides for 2000 new slots per year (500 for the science stream and 1500 for the Humanities and Social Sciences).

What are the Other Education Schemes in India?

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. Which of the following provisions of the Constitution does India have a bearing on Education? (2012)

  1. Directive Principles of State Policy
  2. Rural and Urban Local Bodies
  3. Fifth Schedule
  4. Sixth Schedule
  5. Seventh Schedule

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3, 4 and 5 only
(c) 1, 2 and 5 only
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Ans- (d)


Q1. How have digital initiatives in India contributed to the functioning of the education system in the country? Elaborate on your answer. (2020)

Q2. Discuss the main objectives of Population Education and point out the measures to achieve them in India in detail. (2021)

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