Decrease in No. of SC/ST Students Getting Merit-Cum-Means Scholarships

New Delhi, 6 April 2022 – As per recent data shared by the Ministry of Education in a parliamentary reply, the number of National Means-cum-Merit scholarships offered to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) students has decreased. A total of 58,307 SC and 22,562 ST students were receiving the scholarship in the year 2020-21. However, only 48,116 SC and 16,460 ST students have received the scholarship in the year 2021-22. This means, the number of students receiving the scholarship has decreased by more than 17%. 

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National Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme – Overview

Name of Scholarship National Means-Cum-Merit Scholarship
Scholarship Offered By Department of School Education & Literacy under the Ministry of Human Resource Development 
Scholarship Offered To Meritorious students belonging to economically weaker sections of the society
Aim of the Scholarship To stop the dropout of students at Class 8 and encourage them to continue their education at the secondary level
Scholarship Award INR 12,000 per annum
Where to Apply? Through the official NSP portal

Decrease in Number of NMMS Scholarships Offered in the Last 3 Years

The number of SC and ST students receiving the scholarship in the previous three years is as follows:

For SC Students

Financial Year Number of Scholarships
2018-19 59,314
2019-20 60,438
2020-21 58,307
2021-22 (till 31 March 2022) 48,116

For ST Students

Financial Year Number of Scholarships
2018-19 12186
2019-20 27495
2020-21 22562
2021-22 (till 31 March 2022) 16460

From the two tables given above, we can observe that:

  • From 2019-20 to 2021-22, the number of SC students receiving the scholarship has decreased by 12,322.
  • From 2019-20 to 2021-22, the number of ST students receiving the scholarship has decreased by 11,035.

No Delay in Scholarship Disbursement, Says Government

The Ministry of Education has denied that there’s any delay in the disbursement of NMMS scholarships. It says that the NMMS scheme is fully onboarded to the National Scholarship Portal (NSP) and that students are receiving all scholarships in time. 

The ministry also noted that the scholarship amounts are transferred directly into the account of the beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in all the schemes, including the National Means-cum-Merit Scholarships (NMMS).


Where can I apply online for the NMMS scheme?

One can apply for a fresh scholarship or for the renewal of the NMMS scholarship on the National Scholarship Portal (NSP) at

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What is the eligibility criteria for the NMMS scheme?

The applicant must be a regular student of Class 9.
He/she should obtain at least 55% marks (or equivalent) in Class 8.
The candidate must be pursuing education from Government/Local Body/Government-aided schools.
The candidate’s annual family income should not be more than INR 1.5 Lakh.
The applicant must not be enrolled in NVS, KVS, Sainik schools and private schools.

How much is disbursed to each student under the scholarship?

Under the scholarship, each beneficiary receives INR 12,000 per year.


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