Need-Based Scholarships in India – A Comprehensive Guide

Need-based scholarships – Education serves as the pathway to a brighter future in a nation as diverse as India. However, attaining a quality education can be an overwhelming hurdle for numerous students, especially those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The burden of tuition fees, accommodation, and other educational expenses can cast a shadow over their dreams.

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In such circumstances, need-based scholarships emerge as a ray of hope. These scholarships are designed to bridge the financial gap, offering deserving students the chance to fulfil their academic ambitions. These opportunities come from various sources, including the government and private entities in the country.

This article explores the leading need-based scholarships in India, shedding light on their eligibility criteria, application processes, benefits, and the organisations dedicated to supporting educational aspirations.

HDFC Bank Parivartan’s ECSS Programme

The HDFC Bank Parivartan’s ECSS Programme is a CSR initiative of HDFC Bank that aims to support meritorious and needy students from underprivileged sections of society. The scholarship is being offered to the following categories:

Eligibility Criteria:

  • HDFC Bank Parivartan’s ECSS Programme for School Students (Merit-cum-Need Based): Under this category, candidates must be currently studying in Classes 1 to 12, diploma, ITI, and polytechnic courses in private, government, or government-aided institutions.
  • HDFC Bank Parivartan’s ECSS Programme for Undergraduate Courses (Merit-cum-Need Based): Under this category, candidates must be enrolled in undergraduate programs, which encompass general courses such as B.Com., B.Sc., B.A., B.C.A., etc., and professional courses like B.Tech., M.B.B.S., L.L.B., B.Arch., and Nursing, at recognised colleges or universities in India.
  • HDFC Bank Parivartan’s ECSS Programme for Postgraduate Courses (Merit-cum-Need Based): Students must be pursuing postgraduate programs, which include both general courses like M.Com., M.A., etc., and professional courses such as M.Tech., MBA, etc., at recognised colleges or universities in India.

In addition to the criteria mentioned above, applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the scholarship scheme:

  • Applicants must have passed the previous qualifying examination with at least 55% marks. 
  • Annual family income must be less than or equal to ₹2.5 lakh.

Note: Preference will be given to applicants facing personal or family crises during the past three years, due to which they cannot bear their educational costs and are at risk of dropping out.

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Category Award
For Classes 1 to 6 Students ₹15,000
For Class 7 to 12, Diploma, ITI, & Polytechnic Students ₹18,000
For General UG Courses ₹30,000
For General PG Courses ₹35,000
For Professional UG Courses ₹50,000
For Professional PG Courses ₹75,000

Application Process: Candidates can apply for the HDFC Bank Parivartan’s ECSS Programme through the official programme page. 

Latest Update: The last date to apply for the HDFC Bank Parivartan’s ECSS Programme 2023-24 is September 30, 2023.

AICTE-Saksham Scholarship Scheme

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) provides this need-based scholarship through the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The AICTE-Saksham Scholarship Scheme is dedicated to assisting students with disabilities in their pursuit of technical education, aiming to motivate and empower them in their academic endeavours.

Did you know? 

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is now officially known as the Ministry of Education. 

Eligibility Criteria:

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  • Applicants must be specially-abled students with a disability of not less than 40%.
  • Students must be admitted to the first year of a degree/diploma-level course or the second year of a degree/diploma-level course through lateral entry* in any of the AICTE-approved institutions of the respective year.
  • Candidates must have a family income of less than ₹8 lakh per annum.

*Lateral entry refers to a process where a student is allowed to join a higher level of a program or course directly, skipping some of the initial stages. For example, in the case of engineering or technical programs, a student with a diploma in a related field might be allowed to enter the second or third year of a bachelor’s degree program directly, bypassing the first year.

Award: The selected students will receive ₹50,000 for every year of study as a lump sum amount towards payment of college fees, purchase of computers, books, stationeries, software, equipment, etc.

Note – No other additional grant will be payable in lieu of hostel charges and medical charges, etc.

Application Process: Eligible candidates can apply for the scheme through the National Scholarship Portal (NSP).

NSP Post Matric Scholarships Scheme for Minorities

This scholarship is being offered by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India. The scheme aims to help economically disadvantaged and talented students from minority communities pursue professional and technical courses by offering them financial assistance of up to ₹10,000.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must be from a minority community, which includes Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Jain, and Zoroastrian/Parsi backgrounds.
  • Students must be studying in Classes 11 and 12 or pursuing graduate, postgraduate, technical, or vocational courses, or an M.Phil. or Ph.D. degree.
  • Applicants must have secured at least 50% or equivalent marks in the previous final examination.
  • Candidates must have an annual family income of less than ₹2.5 lakh from all sources.


Category Scholarship
Admission and tuition fee for Classes 11 and 12 ₹7,000 per annum, subject to actual expenses, applicable to both hostellers and day scholars
Admission and course/tuition fee for technical and vocational courses of Classes 11 and 12 level (courses of one or more years of duration) ₹10,000 per annum, subject to actual expenses, applicable to both hostellers and day scholars
Admission and tuition fee for UG & PG level ₹3,000 per annum, subject to actual expenses, applicable to both hostellers and day scholars
Maintenance Allowance for Classes 11 and 12 including technical and vocational courses* ₹380 per month for hosteller & ₹230 per month for day scholar
For Courses other than technical and professional courses at UG & PG level* ₹570 per month for hosteller & ₹300 per month for day scholar
Maintenance Allowance for M.Phil & Ph.D.* ₹1,200 per month for hosteller & ₹550 per month for day scholar

*Note – For 10 months in an academic year.

Application Process: Eligible candidates can apply for the NSP Post Matric Scholarships Scheme for Minorities through the National Scholarship Portal.

Sitaram Jindal Foundation Scholarship Scheme

Sitaram Jindal Foundation Scholarship Scheme is an initiative of the Sitaram Jindal Foundation (NGO). It aims to provide financial assistance to underprivileged students of Class 11 to postgraduate level.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must be studying in Class 11 and 12 or pursuing ITI, diploma, graduation or post graduation courses
  • Students must meet the specified percentage mark eligibility requirement in their previous class.

Note: Physically challenged or handicapped students will be considered eligible with passing marks in all categories.


Category Award
Classes 11 and 12 students ₹500 per month
ITI diploma students  ₹500 per month (for government or government-aided ITIs) and ₹700 per month (for private ITIs)
UG students Up to ₹1,000 per month
PG students Up to ₹1200 per month
Diploma students ₹1,000 per month (for girls) and ₹800 per month (for boys)
Medical/engineering students Up to ₹2,000 per month

Application Process: Eligible candidates can apply for the scholarship by sending the application along with all the required documents to the below-mentioned address:

The Trustee, 

Sitaram Jindal Foundation,

Jindal Nagar, Tumkur Road, Bengaluru – 560073

Note – This scholarship is a year-round opportunity, allowing students to submit their applications at any point in the year.

National Overseas Scholarship Scheme

This need-based scholarship is an initiative of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, for students belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Denotified Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Landless Agricultural Labourers and Traditional Artisan categories. 

This initiative enables eligible individuals to pursue higher education, specifically Master’s or Ph.D. programs, at international institutions, thereby improving their economic and social status.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Candidates must not exceed 35 years of age as of the first day of April in the selection year.
  • Candidates must belong to Scheduled Castes (SC)/Denotified Nomadic Tribes, Semi-Nomadic Tribes/Landless Agricultural Labourers/Traditional Artisans categories.
  • Students must demonstrate a willingness to undertake a master’s level course or pursue a Ph.D. degree abroad.
  • Candidates must have a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent grade in the qualifying examination.
    • For Ph.D. courses, the qualifying exam would be a master’s degree.
    • For master’s degree courses, the qualifying examination would be a bachelor’s degree.
    • If a student has obtained a Bachelor of Engineering degree after completing a diploma (through lateral entry into the 2nd year), the percentage of marks achieved in the Bachelor’s degree will be considered.
  • Total family income from all sources should not exceed ₹8 lakh per annum.
    • The income of the candidate applying for the scholarship, their parents, and siblings below the age of 18 years will be considered.
    • For married women, the income of the in-laws, spouse, and children below 18 years will be considered.
  • Not more than two children of the same parents/guardians will be eligible for the scholarship.


National Overseas Scholarship Scheme

National Overseas Scholarship Scheme

The prescribed financial assistance will be provided up to completion of the course/research or the following period, whichever is earlier:

Ph.D. – Four years 

Master’s Degree – Three years

Application Process: Students can apply for the scholarship through the official website of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Read the details about the scholarship.

IDFC FIRST Bank MBA Scholarship

IDFC FIRST Bank runs this need-based scholarship program. It aims to make postgraduate studies in business management accessible to meritorious students who are unable to pursue higher studies due to financial constraints. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Students must be enrolled in the first year of a 2-year full-time MBA program or its equivalent for the class of 2023.
  • Applicants must be enrolled in any MBA colleges mentioned in the list below.
  • The gross annual family income of the students from all sources should be less than or equal to ₹6 lakh.
  • Applicants must have a valid mobile number linked to an Aadhaar card.

Award: Selected students will be awarded a scholarship of ₹2 lakh for two years of full-time MBA studies (₹1 lakh per annum subject to T&C*).

Application Process: Students can apply for the scholarship through its official website.

List of MBA Colleges for IDFC FIRST Bank MBA Scholarship

Need-based Scholarships – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are need-based scholarships?

Need-based scholarships are financial awards granted to students based on their demonstrated financial need. These scholarships are typically offered by educational institutions, government agencies, non-profit organisations, and sometimes private firms.

Who can apply for need-based scholarships?

Students who demonstrate financial need and meet the specific eligibility criteria set by the scholarship provider can apply for need-based scholarships.

How is financial need determined for need-based scholarships?

Financial need is usually determined through a comprehensive evaluation of a student’s or their family’s income, assets, family size, and the cost of attending the educational institution.

What is the last date to apply for HDFC Bank Parivartan’s ECSS Programme?

The last date to apply for this scholarship is September 30, 2023.

Can students renew a need-based scholarship?

Most need-based scholarships are renewable, necessitating candidates to reapply each year and meet eligibility criteria.

Is there a specific deadline for applying for need-based scholarships?

Yes, each scholarship has its own application deadline. It is essential for applicants to adhere to these deadlines to ensure the consideration of their applications.


  1. Source of Information: Buddy4Study app compiles details on scholarships/fellowships from government websites and private scholarship sources. Links to the official sources accompany each listing detail pages.
  2. Non-affiliation: The Buddy4Study app is not associated with any government entity in India or elsewhere. When featuring government scholarships, we rely on publicly accessible information from central and state government websites in India.

Scholarships For

Upto Class 8 Class 1 to10 (Pre-Matric) Class 9 to 10 (Pre-Matric) Post-Matric(Class 11-12) Class 11 & 12 Class 12 passed Polytechnic/Diploma/ITI ITI Diploma/Polytechnic Graduation Post-Graduation Medical Engineering Girls NSP Portal Income Based SC/ST/OBC Law

Scholarship by State

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