Higher education anywhere in the world is a matter of concern in terms of financial aspects. The Government of India acknowledges this fact not just for its ordinary citizens but also for NRIs, PIOs, and their children, realising that their education and growth are an essential part of India’s future. The Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC) launched in 2006 by the Ministry of External Affairs is precisely meant for achieving these objectives: to provide financial assistance for specific undergraduate courses in professional and non-professional courses, except medical sciences and related courses for non-resident Indian (NRI) and PIO card holder students.
The SPDC scheme will pay up to the US $4,000 per annum, contributing to 75 per cent of the education costs, including students’ tuition fee, admission fee and post admission services, thus making higher education in more India accessible. The Scheme is applicable to NRIs and PIOs in 66 countries, including the UAE. A third category of children of Indian workers in ECR countries was included under the Scheme in 2015-16. The Ministry offers 150 scholarship every year under the Scheme, out of which, 50 are reserved for PIOs, 50 for NRIs and 50 are reserved for Children of Indian Workers in ECR countries (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen). Further, out of the 50 slots reserved for Children of Indian Workers in ECR countries, 1/3 (17) slots are reserved for children of Indian workers in ECR countries studying in India.
- The students must have cleared the Senior Secondary Examination (10+2) or its equivalent from a board recognised by the Association of Indian Universities.
- A minimum of 60% aggregates in all subjects is necessary.
- The candidate must be between 17 and 21 years of age.
- Parents’ monthly income should not be more than $4,000.
- Persons born outside India whose parents are neither NRIs nor PIO s are not eligible.
- Applicants of the Direct Admission to Students Abroad (DASA) scheme can also apply for this scholarship.
The entire process of applying, processing etc. is through SPDC Portal (https://spdcindia.gov.in)