Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – Education is definitely a fundamental right, necessary for a person’s empowerment and the advancement of society as a whole. However, for those who face disabilities, access to quality education can often become an insurmountable obstacle.
Acknowledging these disparities, the Government of India has taken proactive measures to bridge the gap. Through a series of specialised scholarship programs designed for students with disabilities, the government aims to provide essential support for pursuing their academic journey.
Among these initiatives, the Scholarships for Top-Class Education for Students with Disabilities stand out as an important program for individuals facing physical, intellectual, or sensory challenges.
This scholarship is designed to offer financial assistance to students pursuing graduation, post graduation, and diploma programs at institutions recognised as ‘Institutes of Excellence in Education’ by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.
Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – Objectives
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPWD Act), Section 31 (1) guarantees that every child, aged six to eighteen, with a benchmark disability, has the right to receive free education either in a neighbourhood school or a special school tailored to their needs.
Moreover, Section 32(2) of the RPWD Act further reinforces this commitment. It places a compelling mandate upon the appropriate government and local authorities to ensure that each child with a benchmark disability enjoys unfettered access to free education in a suitable environment until they attain the age of eighteen.
In line with these constitutional and legal obligations, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), the Government of India, initiated six scholarship schemes for students with disabilities.
The schemes which were set in motion between April 1, 2012, and April 1, 2017, include:
- Top Class Education
- National Overseas Scholarship
- National Fellowship for PWDs
- Free Coaching for SwDs
This comprehensive guide explores the Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities, including its eligibility criteria, benefits, application process, and more.
Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – Overview
|Name||Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities|
|Provider Name||Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability, Government of India|
|Awards||Reimbursement of tuition fees, special allowance, maintenance allowance, book grant, disability allowance, reimbursement of expenses for
purchase of a computer/ laptop with
accessories, reimbursement of expenses for
purchase of aids and assistive devices
|Help Desk Phone Number||(0120)-6619540|
|Help Desk Email IDemail@example.com|
Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – Specified Disabilities
Eligibility for scholarships provided by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) is open to students with specific disabilities. It is outlined in the Schedule of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
The 2016 Act has expanded the range of specified disabilities, covering a total of 21 categories.
List of the specified disabilities incorporated in the Act is as under:
- Leprosy-Cured Person
- Hearing-Impairment (Deaf and Hard of Hearing)
- Intellectual Disability
- Mental Illness
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Cerebral Palsy
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Chronic Neurological Conditions
- Specific Learning Disabilities
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Speech and Language Disability
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Multiple Disabilities including Deaf Blindness
- Acid Attack Victim
- Parkisnson’s Disease
Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – Eligibility Criteria:
- Only Indian nationals are eligible for this scholarship.
- The scholarship is available to students with a benchmark disability, defined as 40% or more according to the ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.’
- To be eligible, students must possess a valid disability certificate issued by the authorised body specified in the relevant rules.
- A maximum of two children with disabilities from the same parents can benefit from this scheme. If the second child is part of a twin, both twins can receive the scholarship.
- Scholarships are awarded for one year only for each academic level. If a student needs to repeat a grade, they won’t receive a scholarship for that specific grade in the subsequent year.
- Scholarship recipients under this program cannot simultaneously receive any other scholarship or stipend. The disbursement of this scholarship will stop if a student accepts another scholarship or stipend.
- The annual family income of students from all sources must not exceed ₹8 lakh.
- This scholarship is exclusively available for individuals pursuing graduation, post graduation, and diploma programs at the institutions recognized as ‘Institutes of Excellence in Education’ by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD).
- Any updates or changes to the list of eligible institutions will be communicated by the DEPwD, as needed.
- This scholarship does not apply to students enrolled in distance learning, part-time, or weekend courses in any field.
- Additionally, each individual can only receive this award once, and subsequent application will not be considered.
Note:- Students can check the list of notified ‘Institutes of Excellence in Education’ by clicking on this link.
Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – Requirement of Aadhaar and Unique Disability Identity Card (UDID)
- The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) has recognised Aadhaar as the legitimate identity document, in accordance with Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016.
- As part of the scholarship application procedure, individuals applying for scholarships may need to undergo biometric authentication through Aadhaar.
- In order to avail the advantages of the scholarship scheme, it is essential for applicants to either have a Unique Disability Identity Card (UDID) or successfully complete the UDID enrollment process.
Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – Scholarship Amount
|Reimbursement of Tuition Fees and
Non-refundable Charges Paid/
Payable to the Institute
|Up to ₹2 lakh per
annum subject to actual
|Maintenance Allowance||₹3,000 per month for
hostellers, ₹1,500 per
month for day-scholars
|Special Allowances Related to Types
of Disabilities (For example Reader Allowance,
Escort Allowance, Helper Allowance
|₹2,000 per month|
|Books and Stationery||₹5,000 per annum|
|Reimbursement of Expenses on
Purchase of a Computer/Laptop with
|₹45,000 as a one-time
grant in the first year of the
(To get the benefit, the student
has to submit the requisite
documents viz. bill/receipt as
proof of purchase of the
|Reimbursement of Expenses for
Purchase of Aids and Assistive Devices
Relating to the Particular Disability of
the Selected Candidates
|₹30,000 as a one-time
grant in the first year of the
(The reimbursement is made
on the basis of requisite
documents viz. bills/vouchers
submitted by the students to
ensure the genuineness of the
Note:- The aids and assistive devices for the following categories may include:
For the Blind/Low Vision:
- Braille Typewriter
- Laptop with screen reading software
- Laptop with screen magnification software
- Talk software for mobile phone accessibility
- DAISY recorder and player
For the Hearing Impaired:
- Binaural digital programmable hearing aid with provision for button cells
- Cell phone with SMS sim card
- Laptop with WiFi (Bluetooth) facility
Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – Important Documents
- Photo of the applicant
- Certificate of previous academic marksheet
- Fee receipt for the current course year
- Certificate for age verification
- The income certificate of the family
- Bank account details
- Disability Certificate
Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – Application and Selection Process
- Applications will be invited through the National Scholarship Portal (NSP) at scholarships.gov.in.
- Applicants must submit their applications through the online system by the specified deadline.
- They are required to upload all the following necessary documents in the prescribed format on the online system:
- Proof of Age
- Disability Certificate
- Parent’s Income Certificate
- Tuition Fee Receipt
- Last Academic Qualification Certificate
- The educational institutions where the candidates are enrolled should also register on the portal and verify the details provided by the candidates.
- A nodal officer, appointed by the State, will oversee all applications and process them on behalf of the State Government.
- The State Government will digitally sign the final list in the Public Finance Management System (PFMS) to disburse scholarship funds to the beneficiaries.
- If a candidate is a permanent resident of one state but is studying in another state, their application should be recommended by the Education/Welfare Department of their state with permanent residence.
- The allocation of available slots for each scholarship across states will be determined based on online verification by the respective State Department/Nodal Officer.
- This allocation will consider the number of eligible applications received per state and the percentage of the state’s population with disabilities. Slots will be distributed proportionally to ensure that the benefits of the scheme are accessible nationwide.
- The merit criteria for selection will primarily be the percentage of disability indicated in the disability certificate. For Specific Learning Disability, where the certificate specifies a disability percentage of 40% or above, this threshold will be considered for the purpose of merit criteria.
- In the event of a tie, the candidate’s age will be taken into account, with preference given to the older applicant.
- Based on the specified merit criteria and the allocation of slots across states, the final selection process will be conducted through the National Scholarship Portal.
Scholarships for Top Class Education for students with Disabilities – Duration and Renewal of Scholarship
- The granted scholarship or award will continue until the completion of the course. This shall be contingent upon good conduct and regular attendance of the recipient.
- The scholarship will be renewed on an annual basis if the scholar progresses to the next higher class within the course’s continuous duration, regardless of whether the exams are conducted by a university or the educational institution.
- In instances where a student with benchmark disabilities enrolled in Group I courses for the Post-Matric scholarship fails for just once, the applicant may still qualify for renewal. However, for second and subsequent failure in any class, applicants will be responsible for their own cost of expenditures until they advance to the next higher class.
- If students are unable to participate in the annual examination due to illness or unforeseen events, the scholarship may be renewed for the following academic year upon submission of a medical certificate or other necessary evidence that satisfies the Head of the Institution.
- Additionally, students must provide certification demonstrating their potential to pass the examination successfully.
- University or institution regulations may allow students to progress to a higher class even if they have not technically passed the lower class. In such cases, if these students are subsequently required to retake the examination for the lower class, they can still receive the scholarship in the higher class they have been promoted to, provided they meet all other eligibility criteria for the scholarship.
Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – Other Conditions
- If a student is found to have acquired a scholarship through false statements, the scholarship will be revoked. The scholarship amount may be reclaimed at the discretion of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Government of India. Furthermore, the student will be blacklisted and made permanently ineligible.
- If a scholar switches their course being pursued or the subject in which the scholarship was initially awarded, the granted scholarship may be revoked.
- In cases where, during the academic year, a scholar discontinues the studies for which the scholarship was granted, they may be required to refund the scholarship amount, based on the decision of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Government of India.
- Maintenance allowance is disbursed from the 1st of April or the month of admission, whichever is later, up to the month of completion of the exam marking the end of the academic year.
- For scholarship renewals from previous years, the maintenance allowance will be disbursed immediately with the onset of the month for which the scholarship was paid in the previous academic year.
- Scholarships are not provided during the internship/housemanship period in the M.B.B.S. course or during practical training in other courses if the student receives remuneration or an allowance/stipend during these periods.
- The scholarship is contingent upon satisfactory progress and conduct of the scholar. If the Head of the Institution reports otherwise due to the actions or misconduct, participation in strikes, irregular attendance without permission etc., this may lead to cancellation of scholarship or withholding of further payments.
Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – Mode of Scholarship Disbursal
The scholarship scheme will be administered through the National Scholarship Portal, and the scholarship funds will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries using the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.
Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – Monitoring of the Application
- The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities will supervise the scheme’s monitoring, with the National Scholarship Portal serving as the primary tool for this purpose.
- Additionally, the state government will be responsible for maintaining a comprehensive list of the beneficiaries, organised by district and category, to facilitate efficient implementation.
Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – How to Apply?
Steps for filling out the application form on Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities are as follows:
Step 1: Registration as New Users
- First-time applicants need to register with the National Scholarship Portal (NSP).
- To begin, they should navigate to the ‘Applicant Corner’ section and select the ‘New Registration’ tab.
- Candidates are required to provide all the necessary information in the registration form and then click ‘Register’ to complete the registration process.
- Upon successful registration, a unique student application ID and password will be generated, and these details will be sent to the registered mobile number.
Step 2: Logging In to NSP
- After registration, applicants must log in to NSP using the newly generated ID and password.
- An OTP (One-Time Password) will be sent to the registered mobile number, which they must use to change the password for added security.
Step 3: Accessing the Application Form
- Once the password is updated, candidates will be directed to the ‘Applicant’s Dashboard’ page.
- On Applicant’s Dashboard page, applicants should click on the ‘Application Form’ to begin the scholarship application process.
Step 4: Providing Details
- Applicants should provide all the necessary information, including registration and academic details, basic personal information, contact details, and scheme-specific information.
Step 5: Document Upload
- They should ensure uploading of all the supporting documents on identity and academic eligibility.
Step 6: Saving as Draft
- It is recommended for applicants to save the partially filled application form as a draft at various stages of completion.
- This allows them to review every detail and ensure accuracy before final submission.
Step 7: Final Submission
- To complete the scholarship application process, candidates should carefully review all entered information.
- Once satisfied, they can click on the ‘Submit’ button after having reviewed the application form.
Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: What is the main objective of the Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities?
A1: The primary objective of the Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities is to provide financial support to students with disabilities pursuing graduation and postgraduation degree/diploma programs in recognized Institutes of Excellence in Education in India, ensuring access to quality education.
Q2: Which legislation governs the Scholarships for Top-Class Education for Students with Disabilities in India?
A2: The legislation on Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, guarantees the right to free education for children with benchmark disabilities between the ages of six and eighteen years and ensures access to suitable academic environments.
Q3: Which disabilities fall within the scope of coverage under the Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities?
A3: This scholarship opportunity covers 21 major disabilities. This majorly includes blindness, low vision, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, and many more, as clearly specified in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
Q4: Who can apply for Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities?
A4: Individuals pursuing graduation and postgraduation degree/diploma programs in recognized Institutes of Excellence in Education can apply. Distance learning, part-time, and weekend courses are not eligible, and each individual can receive this award only once.
Q5: Are there any mandatory requirements for applicants?
A5: Applicants may need to undergo Aadhaar-based biometric authentication. They need to have a Unique Disability Identity Card (UDID) or complete the UDID enrollment process.
Q6: What are the components of award for the Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities?
A6: The scholarship award includes reimbursement of tuition fees, maintenance allowance, special allowance, grant for books, disability allowance, reimbursement of expenses for a computer/laptop with accessories, and reimbursement for aids and assistive devices.
Q7: Which documents are required to apply for Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities?
A7: Required documents in order to apply include the following:
- Photo of the applicant
- Previous academic marksheet
- Fee receipt for the current academic year
- Age proof certificate
- Income certificate for the family
- Bank account details
- Disability certificate etc.
Q8: How can an individual apply for the Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities?
A8: Applicants can submit their applications through the National Scholarship Portal (NSP) (www.scholarships.gov.in) within the specified deadline, along with the necessary documents. They can also apply on Buddy4Study portal (https://www.buddy4study.com/).
Q9: How is the selection process carried out?
A9: The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) oversees the selection process. This includes recommendations from the state government department on slot allocation and merit-based selection criteria.
Q10: What are the conditions for renewal of Scholarships for Top Class Education for Students with Disabilities?
A10: Renewal is contingent upon the good conduct and regular attendance of the scholarship applicant. It is renewed annually if the students have moved to the next higher class. There are exceptions with regard to failure on the first attempt including other conditions.