India, home to some of the greatest and unique empires to ever go down in history, is a force to be reckoned with. A place that has kept its traditions alive for millennia and continues to do so in the modern world, India is a country rich and proud of its diverse culture as seen in its promotional and protective efforts with its heritage.
Inventions and discoveries as old as time were created within its vast borders, many of which we continue to draw new ideas from and even get to enjoy today. From the greatly preserved Vedic texts and the number zero itself to chess and multiple medical breakthroughs, it is no surprise India is a place beloved by many.
A fascinating abroad study destination indeed, for this article we will be enumerating some of the best scholarships in India that you can choose from.
Living Costs in India for International students
India is one of the least expensive countries to live in. As a matter of fact, it is considered one of the most viable countries for international students on a budget. The benchmark for living costs in India is ₹27,265/month including rent and a transport pass costs only ₹1000/month.
A one-bedroom apartment on the housing market generally goes for around ₹18,200/month while utility roughly costs ₹5,100/month. ‘Halls of residences’ (or dorms) are also available in bigger Indian schools. These usually go between ₹51,300 to ₹146,600 per school year and are inclusive of utility and/or internet fees. Average costs of other notable items include ₹300 for a meal at a middling restaurant, ₹25 for a bottle of 1.5L water, ₹140 for a cup of coffee, and ₹35 for a loaf of bread.
Can international students work in India?
All International students besides Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) are not allowed to work in India. International students may engage with internships and training as part of their respective programs but are not allowed to seek employment under any other circumstances. This makes finding the right scholarships and securing enough funds crucial when planning to study in India.
Top Universities in India:
India’s higher education system is among the world’s largest systems, rivaling the likes of the United States and China in terms of capacity. Despite its relatively low cost, Indian universities offer globally competitive courses and are known for their emphasis on science & technology, with many of its larger-scale universities charting well on world university rankings and acclaimed for their learning standards.
Most of India’s top educational institutions are big public universities that possess many different campuses across the country, the most notable being the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). IITs operate in 23 locations–seven of which regularly see themselves within the upper 1000s in different university ranking systems. Following the IITs are the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the University of Madras, and the University of New Delhi (DU); all lauded for their engineering programs and research outputs.
Another noteworthy Indian university is the University of Calcutta, which has produced many fellows of the Royal Society and five Nobel laureates aside from also being a member of the United Nations Academic Impact.
Best Scholarships in India
1. General Scholarship Scheme (GSS)
Every year, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) offers in-bound scholarships to promote Indian culture and international ties between India and its neighboring countries. These scholarships in India are processed through the Indian embassies instated in each eligible country.
International students must be at least 18 and no older than 30 years old by their admission to the Indian universities they have applied to. Successful applicants will receive airfare, stipends ranging between ₹18,000 to ₹25,000 per month, rent allowance, and medical insurance benefits. Grants for contingency and thesis/dissertation expenses are also available to scholars who need them. The amount of available slots per year varies; 100 scholars were open for the 2024-2025 round, for reference.
2. Study in India (SII)
Study in India is the Indian government’s flagship international scholarship program, open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Getting this Indian scholarship ensures scholars of tuition waivers across more than 125 institutions in the country, available in 100%, 50%, or 25% intervals, and will also cover accommodation, food, and admission fees.
Each scholarship is valued at a maximum of ₹250,000 per year and will be transferred to the scholars’ universities directly, from which the fund is released. This scholarship is subject to annual review and requires a minimum attendance rate of 80% for renewal.
3. Doctoral Fellowship in India for ASEAN
To strengthen and commemorate 25 years of ASEAN-India relations, the Prime Minister of India announced the launch of the Doctoral Fellowship in India for ASEAN at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in 2018. This new India scholarship invites 1000 ASEAN international students to pursue an integrated Ph.D. program at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology of their choice.
In this fellowship, scholars will receive a study grant of ₹170,000 to subsidize research and contingency expenses. These scholars will also be given a monthly stipend amounting to ₹31,000 for the first two years, then ₹35,000 for the remainder of their scholarship terms. This support extends up to a maximum of 5 years.
4. Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation/Special Commonwealth African Assistance Programme Scholarship (ITEC/SCAAP)
The ITEC program was first established as a bilateral program of assistance set by the Indian Cabinet in 1964 to strengthen global relations and promote international cooperation. This program has grown over the years, being conjoined with sister programs such as the SCAAP to enable its primary components. Among these is the ITEC/SCAAP Scholarship.
Under this scholarship in India, students from all over the world will be given full ride scholarships to the Indian academic institutions of their choice and receive a daily living allowance worth ₹1,200. This scholarship covers airfare, visa fees, accommodation, course fees, study tours, books, and immediate medical treatment.
5. KIIT International Scholarship Program (KUISP)
The KIIT offers a wide variety of scholarships to its students and prospects each year. For international students, perhaps the program that stands out the most is the KIUSP. This scholarship is awarded to around 100 students each year, covering half of their overall expected expenses during their stay. Meaning, aside from a 50% tuition waiver, this bursary accounts for half the health insurance, books, accommodation, food, library & internet access, laptops, registration fees, and examination fees its recipients will incur. This scholarship is available to graduate, postgraduate, and Ph.D. students.
6. IGIDR Scholarship
The Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) is an advanced research public institution established to carry out research on development issues. The IGIDR offers multiple scholarship programs in part with its pursuit for knowledge, to diversify perspectives and encourage unconventional thought from within.
These India scholarships are available to a limited number of graduate and postgraduate students, who will have all their necessities covered by the IGIDR. This includes instructional materials, seminars/conference expenses, lodging, medical fees, travel, a research grant, and a monthly stipend.
7. SIU International Scholarship
The Symbiosis International University (SIU) awards five scholarships (two for undergraduates and three for postgraduates) to some of its most outstanding international students every year. These Indian scholarships come in the form of tuition waivers in 25%, 50%, and 100% intervals.
Under this scholarship scheme is the ‘Educate Africa’ program established by the university with the aims of strengthening India and Africa’s international ties, offering a 30% concession on academic fees for all African students who wish to pursue a course in any SIU campus they choose.