The erstwhile two Central Sector Schemes namely Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship (RGNF) for ST students and Top Class Education for ST Students earlier implemented by this Ministry to provide financial assistance for pursuing higher education of ST students were merged into a single Central Sector Scheme called “National Fellowship and Scholarship for Higher Education of ST Students”.
Under this merged scheme, Fellowships are provided to ST students to take up higher studies after completing Post Graduation, such as M.Phil and PhD courses, Fellowship is awarded on the lines of UGC Fellowships for research students pursuing such courses on the regular and full-time basis. Similarly, Scholarships is provided to ST Students to encourage meritorious ST students to pursue courses at Graduate/Post Graduate level in identified Institutions of excellence, Government and Private, in professional fields such as Management, Medicine, Engineering, Information Technology, Law etc.
Fellowship component of the merged scheme came into force from the year 2014-15 and Scholarship component from the year 2015-16. However, the scholars/students already covered under the scheme prior to these years were allowed to continue to be in the existing scheme until they complete their fellowships/studies.
Fellowship: The objective of the scheme is to encourage the ST students, a section of society with the lowest literacy levels in the country, to acquire higher education in the form of fellowships to pursue M. Phil and Ph. D. Courses, with a view to create qualified professionals to hold posts of teachers /professionals and other higher stages of employment.
Scholarship: ST Students is intended to encourage meritorious ST students to pursue courses at Graduate/Post Graduate level in identified Institutions of excellence, Government and Private, in professional fields such as Management, Medicine, Engineering, Information Technology, Law etc.
Salient Features of National Fellowship and Scholarship Scheme
3.1 Fellowship: The Fellowship scheme covers all Universities /Institutions recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) under Section 2(f) of the UGC Act
3.2 The Fellowship will be on the pattern of UGC/ICAR Fellowships awarded to research students and it will cater to the requirements of the Scheduled Tribe students pursuing research studies leading to regular and full-time M.Phil, PhD course only and the equivalent research degree in Universities, Research Institutions and Scientific Institutions.
3.3 Scholarship: The Scholarship covers courses and Institutions notified by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
3.4 ST students who secure admission in these Institutes are awarded scholarships. The scholarship, once awarded, will continue until the completion of the course tenure, subject to satisfactory performance.
Eligibility Criteria – National Fellowship and Scholarship for ST Students
The Fellowship/ Scholarship will be available only to the ST candidates who fulfil the following conditions for the award:
The candidate belonging to ST should have passed the Post-Graduation examination for being eligible for the Fellowship. The candidate should get admission and registration for regular and full-time M.Phil/ PhD Courses in University / Academic Institutions recognized by UGC under Section 2 (f) of the UGC Act / ICAR by fulfilling conditions of admission of that University/Institution.
The list of University/Academic Institution as referred to in sub-para (i) above shall be identified by a ministry.
The ST students once considered eligible for the Fellowship shall not be entitled for any other scholarship of the Centre or State Government the same study.
The fellowship shall be payable once the student has secured admission and started the research work.
In order to qualify for Senior Research Fellowship, a candidate will have to fulfil the UGC/ICAR norms prescribed in this regard.
ST students who have secured admission in the notified Institutions according to the norms prescribed by the respective Institutions will be eligible for the scholarship under the scheme.
The student will be eligible to join only the list of Institution identified by Ministry. As per search engine laws results the total family income of the candidate to be eligible for this scholarship from all sources should not exceed Rs.6.0 lakh per annum.
The scholarship shall be payable once the student has secured admission and started attending the classes.
The scholarship awarded, will continue till the completion of the course, subject to satisfactory performance of the student.
Procedure for selection of Institutes
Procedure for selection of Universities for Fellowship
The scheme presently covers all Universities/Institutions recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) under Section 2(f) of the UGC Act/ICAR. The addition/deletion of institutes in the list will be done by the Ministry.
Procedures for selection of Institutes for Scholarship
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is authorized to select and notify the list of reputed premier Institutions.
Number of National Fellowship and Scholarship
Slots for Fellowship
The total number of fresh fellowships each year will be 750. In case of nonavailability of the adequate number of Scheduled Tribe candidates, the number of fellowships not availed during a year will be carried forward to the next academic session. There is no State/University wise ceiling on the number of slots.
In case the number of candidates exceeds the number of available awards, the MoTA will select the candidates based on a criterion of marks obtained in the last passed examination. Slots will be provided to sub-categories in the following priority:
1) The person with Disability (PWD)WD 3% of total slots
2) PVTG (List at Annexure-VIII) 50 slots
3) BPL 50 slots
4) Female 30% of total slots
In case of the adequate number of application is not received for the above sub-category, then slots will be allotted to eligible ST candidates on the basis of inter-se merit based on last passed examination.
Slots for Scholarship
The total number of fresh Scholarship each year is 1000. There is no ceiling in Institution wise and the streamwise number of slots for the Top-Class Institution.
The remaining left out candidates from ST category admitted in the institute in different courses may apply for the Post-Matric Scholarship (PMS) administered by this Ministry as a Centrally sponsored scheme, provided such students are otherwise eligible for the said scheme.
Selection of National Fellowship and Scholarship
Fellowship: The Scheme of Fellowship will be advertised in the leading newspapers, Employment News. A portal is being developed at Ministry to invite online fellowship application. Candidates shall, after getting registration/admission in the notified Universities/Institutes and after assessing their eligibility and suitability as per the criteria prescribed for Fellowship
Scholarship: The Scheme for Scholarship will be advertised in the National Scholarship Portal every year in the beginning of the academic session. Candidates shall, after getting registration/admission in the notified Universities/Institutes and after assessing their eligibility and suitability as per
the criteria prescribed for Scholarship apply online through the Scholarship Portal strictly within the cutoff date and time given in the advertisement. The applications submitted after the cutoff date and time shall not be entertained/considered.
The selection process of National Fellowship and Scholarship
Fellowship: An online portal is developed by Ministry for inviting application. Candidates after taking admission for the various courses in the notified Universities/Institutes will submit the application online for fellowship. Selection list of the eligible candidates for the award of Fellowship based on the data available online will be auto-generated and displayed on the portal.
• Hard/soft copy of Thesis will be furnished to MoTA
• University will make sure that Teacher/Guide does not enrol more students than allowed as per UGC norms
• MoTA may from time to time check with guide/student regularly the progress of work. In case MoTA finds the progress unsatisfactory, it may discontinue the fellowship.
Scholarship: An end-to-end online portal www.scholarships.gov.in for application, processing, approval, disbursement and monitoring has been developed by this Ministry. Candidates after taking admission for the various courses in the notified Universities/Institutes will submit the application online for scholarships.
The provided in the application form will be verified by the respective Institute. Institute will verify authentication of the following certificate: Scheduled Tribe, Certificate issued by the competent authority.
Certificate to the effect that the total family income from all sources shall not exceed Rs 6.0 lakh per annum in the case of Scholarships.
Every year, the Institute will verify & forward Annual Income Certificate in case of Scholarship scheme. For the first year the income certificate should have been issued by competent Authority. From second year onwards students can submit a self-certified income certificate.
Amount of full Annual tuition fee and other nonrefundable dues payable by the candidate to the Institute in the case of Scholarships.
PVTG, BPL certificate issued by the competent authority (if applicable). All applications submitted within the stipulated date and time shall be processed based on the criteria mentioned.
Merit list of the eligible candidates for the award of Scholarship based on the data available online will be auto-generated and displayed on the portal.
Candidates who are included in the merit list but not selected for the award of Scholarship shall be eligible for the Post-Matric Scholarship (PMS) administered by this Ministry as a centrally sponsored scheme, provided such students are otherwise eligible for the said scheme.
Duration of National Fellowship and Scholarship
The maximum duration for which the fellowships are available is given below
A. Enrollment of M.Phil. 2 years
B PhD Exclusively 5 years
C. Enrollment of PhD after completion of M.Pil 2 years (M.Phil) and 3 years (PhD)
Tenure of Scholarship
(i) The duration of the course varies as per the course selected by the candidates. The scholarship, once awarded, will continue until the completion of the course, subject to satisfactory performance.
(ii) In case of students who cannot complete the course in due time, provision for extension of scholarships as per the norm, of course, may be made only for admissible tuition fee subject to the report in this regard being given by Principal/Dean of College/Institution.
Financial Assistance for Fellowship
Under the scheme, the ST students will be awarded a scholarship to meet the requirements for:
Fellowship: It is a Central Sector Scheme and Ministry of Tribal Affairs will provide 100% funding for the scheme. The funds will be released by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs on a quarterly basis for Fellowship
Scholarship: It is a Central Sector Scheme and Ministry of Tribal Affairs will provide 100% funding for the scheme and fund will be released in a single instalment for Scholarship immediately after the registration/admission.
The Scheme will be implemented through the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the modalities of the implementation are as follows:
(i) MoTA will notify the scheme by inserting suitable advertisements in the Newspaper/ Websites /Portal.
(ii) University/Institution will be responsible for verifying the genuineness of the requisite certificates furnished by the candidates in order to eliminate the possibility of students availing the Fellowship on fake certificates shall rest with concerned. The University/Institute will not charge any fee for
(iii) Fellowship will become payable to successful ST students who are included in the selection list auto-generated by the portal only upon securing registration/admission in any of the notified
University/Institution and fulfilling the eligibility criteria prescribed for the Scheme.
(iv)The students, who are awarded the Fellowship under the scheme, shall have to pursue the study in the respective University/Institution on the full-time basis.
(v) The performance of the ST students covered under the scheme shall be monitored regularly by the Head of the Department of respective university /Institute and the same shall be reported, through a report card, to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs at the end of each academic year.
(vi)Any Institution violating the provisions of the Scheme and/or instructions issued by the Government of India will be de-notified. In the event of denotification/deletion of any Institution, the Fellowship will continue to be available to the ST students already admitted under the scheme, if
otherwise eligible, till completion of the course. However, no fresh seats will be allotted and no funds will be released to such de-notified Institution.
(vii) A decision of the MoTA in regard to awarding the Fellowship shall be final.
Modalities for payment:
12.1 Payment of the Fellowship/Scholarship amount of the scheme for STs would be made through the system of Direct Benefit Transfer through the Aadhaar Payment Bridge into the Aadhaar seeded bank a/c of the beneficiaries from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. The selected candidates should obtain the Aadhaar number on the priority basis. Pending Aadhaar seeding of the beneficiary bank a/c, a payment would be made into the bank account through NEFT.
12.2 Payment of scholarships to the selected students will be made on yearly basis and for fellowship on quarterly basis respectively, through the Direct Benefit Transfer system by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs through the accredited bank immediately after selection of the candidates. This will also help Ministry to monitor using the Public Financial Management System – PFSM (formerly CPSMS).
12.3 The selected candidates would be required to have bank accounts in banks having Core Banking Solutions.
12.4 In case the students are not having Aadhaar numbers, they are required to apply for Aadhaar Card, within a month of their registration/admission in the courses under the Fellowship/Scholarship.
12.5 No Scholarship will be considered if Aadhar number is not mentioned in the registration form.
The Project Management cost @2% of the estimated cost is provided in the scheme. This shall be optimally and judiciously utilized for the purpose of hiring the services of Consultants/MIS experts, office equipment & furniture, advertisement, awareness campaign, meetings, development and hosting charges, server charges, bank charges if any, office contingencies (internet/telephone/stationery etc.), and for the purpose of Monitoring & Evaluation.
Documents Required for National Fellowship and Scholarship
(ii) Caste Certificate
(iii) BPL card (if applicable)
(iv) Post-Graduation passing certificate
(v) Physically Handicapped certificate (if applicable) After Selection
(i) Non-Judicial bond (original to be produced at the time joining)
(ii) Certificate from Head of the Department/Institution stating that the necessary facilities will be provided by the college/University/Institution in case the candidates selected for this fellowship.
(iii) Details about the project (Topic & Methodology etc.)
(iii) Award letter
(vi) Joining report 19
(vii) Upgradation certificate (for candidates who upgraded from M.Phil to PhD)-if applicable
(viii) Proof of bank account in the name of a student.
For Disbursement of fellowship
(i) Continuation Certificate from the Institution (quarterly)
(ii) HRA (quarterly)
(iii) Progress report (yearly)
(i) Domicile Certificate
(ii) Student Photograph
(iii) Institute verification form/Bonafide certificate
(iv) Income certificate by a competent authority (Tehsildar/Executive Magistrate/District Magistrate/ Revenue Officer etc.). Please Note that for first-year self-certified income certificates (i.e not signed by a competent authority) will not be accepted.
(v) Caste certificate by a competent authority (Tehsildar/Executive Magistrate/District Magistrate/ Revenue Officer etc.)
(vi) Certificate of previous academic mark sheet attested by Institute
(vii) Fee Receipt of current course year
(viii) Proof of bank account in the name of a student.