RGNF – Know All About Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship

RGNF, as in Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship, is a government fellowship awarded to deserving candidates of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST). Recently, the fellowship has been divided into two parts, namely, National Fellowship for SC Students and National Fellowship for Higher Education of ST Students. While the National Fellowship for SC students is formulated and funded by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, the later one for ST students is implemented and funded by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Under both these fellowships, previously known as RGNF or Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship, the SC and ST students are provided financial support to pursue higher studies such as M.Phil. and a Ph.D. degree in the fields of Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences and Engineering & Technology. Every year 2,000 SC and 750 ST candidates get the opportunity to avail the former Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship at the rate of up to INR 35,000 per month along with other benefits.

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In this article, we have covered both the fellowships under RGNF. You can find all the details such as rewards, eligibility for application procedure and many other details of these fellowships. Find below the table with a brief overview of Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship which is now separated into two fellowships as mentioned above.

Overview of RGNF

S.No. Particulars Details
1. Fellowships
2. Awards Fellowship amount of up to INR 28,000 per month along with contingency grant, HRA and escorts/reader allowance for physically handicapped and blind candidates
3. Eligibility
  • The candidates must belong to SC and ST category and have passed postgraduation.
  • The candidates must be registered in full-time M.Phil./Ph.D. courses as regular students.
4. Application process For SC Fellowship – Through the official website of UGC

For ST Fellowship – Through National Tribal Fellowship Portal

Now that you have gone through the highlights of RGNF, read below the complete description of both the national fellowships offered to the SC and ST candidates.

RGNF – Key Dates

Before heading on to know every significant detail related to both the fellowships, the students must keep track of their important dates. The table given below acquaints you with every important date related to both the RGNF fellowships.

S.No. Particulars Key Dates*
1. Application Deadline for National Fellowship for ST Students 20th December 2020
2. Application Deadline for National Fellowship for SC Students 31st July 2020

*The dates mentioned above are applicable for the current academic year. They are subject to change based on the decision of the provider.

RGNF – Award

National Fellowship for SC Students and National Fellowship for Higher Education of ST Students, formerly known as RGNF, aims to encourage SC and ST students to pursue higher studies in order to improve the low literacy levels of these categories. Under these fellowships, the selected students get monetary help from the government to pursue M.Phil./Ph.D. degree courses. The payment of the fellowships is made directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries through DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) platform. Find below the rate of fellowship in the table given below.

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Award Details of RGNF

S.No. Particulars Details
1. Fellowship amount
  • The candidates registered as JRF (Junior Research Fellow) receive a fellowship amount of INR 25,000 per month (for ST students) and INR 31,000 per month (for SC students) for the initial two years.
  • For the remaining three years, the candidates promoted as SRF (Senior Research Fellow) receive a fellowship amount of INR 28,000 per month (for ST students) and INR 35,000 per month (for SC students).
2. Contingency grant for Humanities and Social Sciences
  • An annual amount of INR 10,000 for initial two years
  • An annual amount of INR 20,500 for remaining tenure
3. Contingency grant for Science, Engineering & Technology
  • INR 12,000 per annum for the initial two years
  • INR 25,000 per annum for the remaining three years
4. Escorts/Reader assistance to physically & visually challenged candidates INR 2,000 per month
5. HRA (House Rent Allowance) As per rules of the


RGNF – Eligibility Criteria

The National Fellowship for SC Students and National Fellowship for Higher Education of ST Students, formerly known as Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship or RGNF, are meant for SC and ST category students. The previously known Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship is for those SC/ST candidates who wish to pursue full-time research without NET JRF. Find below further conditions that a candidate must fulfil in order to be eligible for RGNF.

  • The candidates wishing to avail these fellowships must belong to SC and ST categories.
  • The applicants must have obtained a postgraduate degree for being eligible for both the fellowships.
  • The applicants must be registered for full-time M.Phil./Ph.D. courses as regular students in university/institute/colleges recognised by UGC under Section 2 (f) of the UGC Act/ICAR.
  • The candidates belonging to the transgender category are also eligible for the fellowships formerly disbursed under the name of Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship.

RGNF – Application Procedure

In order to make the application process easy for the applicants, UGC allows candidates to apply online for both the fellowships through the official website of UGC. As we have already mentioned in the article, the formerly known Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship has been divided into two separate fellowships for SC and ST candidates, so the applicants need to apply for that fellowship for which they are eligible. Also, the students must follow a separate step-by-step process to apply for each fellowship.

RGNF – Application Process for National Fellowship for SC Students

Step 1: Visit the official notification of the fellowship.

Step 2: Download the application form.

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Step 3: Fill in all required details and attach all supporting documents.

Step 4: Submit the application to the respective institution.

RGNF – Application Process for National Fellowship for ST Students

Step 1: Visit the official website of the National Tribal Fellowship Portal.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Students Registration’ button under the New Registration tab.

Step 3: Fill in all required details and register.

Step 4: Once registered, make login using the registered email id and password.

Step 5: Proceed further to fill the fellowship application form.

Step 6: Upload all supporting documents.

Step 7: Submit the application.

Note: To be eligible to avail the fellowship benefits, the candidates must be registered with a university/institute/college for regular and full-time M.Phil./Ph.D. degree and fulfil other eligibility conditions.

RGNF – Key Documents

While applying for the National Fellowships, previously called Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship, the applicants must keep the scanned copies of a few important documents with them. The list of the necessary documents for RGNF is highlighted below.

  • Applicant’s caste certificate issued by the competent authority (Only PDF, JPG, GIF format)
  • Specific handicapped certificate, if required
  • Postgraduation mark sheet in PDF/JPG/GIF format
  • Certificate from the Head of the Department/Institution stating that the necessary facilities will be provided by the College/University/Institution in case the candidates get selected for this fellowship

RGNF – Contact Detail

In case of any query regarding the previously named Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship, the applicants can contact on the below given contact details.

For National Fellowship for SC Students

University Grants Commission (UGC)
Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
ITO Metro Gate Number 3
Road, New Delhi, Delhi 110002
Phone: 0120-6895200

For National Fellowship for ST Students – 

Ministry of Tribal Affairs
Government of India

If you wish to know more about scholarships especially for SC/ST category students, then read ‘SC Scholarship – All You Need to Know’ and ‘ST Scholarship – All You Need to Know’.

Also read, ‘SC ST OBC Scholarship – All You Need to Know’.


  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.

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