Top Class Education Scheme for Scheduled Caste (SC) Students 

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students – The Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students is an initiative of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. The programme aims to support meritorious students from the Scheduled Caste (SC) community, who are pursuing higher education in the notified institutions after Class 12.

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The scheme offers various benefits, including fee reimbursement, living expenses, provisions for books and stationeries, including laptops and other computer accessories. 

These measures are designed to create a level playing field for the SC students. It offers them opportunities to unlock their potential and excel.

This article explores the details on the Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students. It delves deeper into the programme’s objectives, eligibility criteria, benefits, and coverage. This is an attempt to ensure that the SC students and their parents gain access to essential information before applying under the scheme.

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students – Overview

Particulars Details
Name of the Scholarship Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students
Scholarship Provider Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India
Beneficiaries Scheduled Caste (SC) students pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate program
No. of Scholarships 4,200
Benefits Covered Scholarship covers fee reimbursement, living expenses, books and stationeries, laptop and computer accessories
Official Link

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students – Objective & Coverage

  • This initiative is aimed at fostering excellence in education among the students from SC community by offering comprehensive financial assistance. 
  • The program is designed to support academic pursuits of students from the SC community  beyond the 12th grade.
  • The scheme will be effective in all institutions designated by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment from the financial year 2021-22 to 2025-26.
  • Once the scholarship is awarded, it will remain in effect for the duration of the course being pursued by the applicant. This is subject to satisfactory academic performance.

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students – Eligibility Criteria

  • The SC students with an annual family income up to ₹8 lakh who have secured admission in a full-time prescribed course in any designated institution and meet the general selection criteria outlined by the respective institution, are eligible for scholarship under this scheme. 
  • The number of scholarships (slots) allocated to the designated institutions for a specific course will determine the extent of its eligibility.
  • If the number of eligible students admitted exceeds the institution’s allocated slots, scholarships will be granted to the top-performing students on the basis of the merit list and the admission criteria. 
    • In cases where multiple students have equal marks for the last available slot, preference will be given to the student with a lower family income. 
    • Other SC category students admitted to the institution will be eligible for the Post-Matric Scholarship (PMS) administered by the Ministry through State Governments/UT Administrations, on the basis of meeting the criteria for that scheme.
  • If the institution finds that the number of eligible candidates in the first year is less than the allocated slots, the remaining slots may be offered to eligible students in the second, third, and fourth years, prioritising those with more years left to complete their respective courses (e.g., second-year students have priority over third-year students).
  • In the allocated slots for the institution, 30% will be set aside for eligible SC female students, prioritising the basis of merit decided by the competent authority. In situations where there are insufficient female students, these slots may be allocated to eligible male students on the basis of merit list decided by the competent authority.
    • The 30% slots as mentioned above do not include female students selected on the basis of the performance in the overall merit list of SC students at the institution.
  • The benefits of the scheme will not be extended to more than two siblings within a family. To confirm eligibility, students must submit an affidavit to the institution, certifying that they are not the third sibling in the family getting scholarship benefits under the programme.
  • The scholarship will be discontinued if the student fails to progress to the next semester or class.

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students – Top Class Institutions

1. Institutions that are eligible for inclusion under this scheme are as follows:

  • All Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)
  • Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)
  • Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs)
  • All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
  • National Institutes of Technology (NITs)
  • National Institutes of Fashion Technology (NIFTs)
  • National Institutes of Design (NIDs)
  • Indian Institutes of Hotel Management
  • National Law Universities
  • Other Central Government Institutions 

2. Inclusion is subject to their formal application and recommendation by the Selection Committee.

3. Alternatively, if the Selection Committee recommends an institution for inclusion, it can be added to the list of empanelled institutions under the scheme. 

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4. Institutions not falling into any of the aforementioned categories must be included in one of the following categories: 

  • Institutions accredited as ‘A++’ and ‘A+’ by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
  • Institutions ranked among the Top 100 in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
  • Institutes designated as Institutions of National Importance, as specified by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) from time to time.

5. Institutes approved by the Director General of Civil Aviation for Commercial Pilot Training Courses and Type Rating Courses are eligible for empanelment under the scheme.

6. The list of ‘Top Class Institutions’ covered under the scheme and the number of scholarship slots allocated to each will be officially communicated by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment. 

  • Any additions or removals from this list will be notified by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, based on the recommendations from the Steering Committee established under the scheme.

7. Any institution that does not continuously apply under the scheme for three years will be excluded from the list of notified institutions.

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students – Awards & Benefits

The scholarship covers the expenses mentioned in the scheme’s guidelines for eligible SC students pursuing higher education. It is as follows:

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Funding Component Amount (Per Annum)
Tuition Fees and Non-Refundable Charges (Private Institutions) Up to ₹2 lakh
Tuition Fee and Non-Refundable Charges (Flying Clubs) Up to ₹3.72 lakh
Academic Allowance (First Year) ₹86,000
Academic Allowance (Subsequent Years) ₹41,000
Living Expenses (Subsequent Years) Included in the Academic Allowance
Books and Stationery (Subsequent Years) Included in the Academic Allowance
Computer/Laptop (with accessories like UPS and Printer) Included in the Academic Allowance


  • The scheme will receive complete funding from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Scholarships will be disbursed as soon as a student secures admission and begins attending classes.
  • Tuition fees, other non-refundable charges, and academic allowances will be directly transferred to the students by the Central Government through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode. 
  • Students are required to deposit the fee to their respective institutions promptly within a maximum period of one month from the receipt of such payment.

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students – Responsibilities of Institutions

1. To ensure that all eligible students receive the benefits under the scheme, institutions must include the program’s key features in their prospectus and prominently display the same on their official website. 

  • Additionally, institutions should actively promote awareness of the scheme among their students to maximise the use of allocated slots.

2. Students are required to submit their applications through the National Scholarship Portal (NSP). Institutions will verify these applications on NSP before forwarding them to the ministry. Institutions must adhere to the slot limits assigned to them. 

  • The last date for verification of application by the institutions on NSP is October 31st each year or as determined by the DBT Mission in consultation with stakeholder Ministries.

3. For new students entering the first year of a course, institutions will select eligible SC students based on merit, considering the reservation of 30% of slots for female students. 

  • Students must apply for the scheme on the National Scholarship Portal (NSP). They should provide the following documents to claim the scholarship.
    • Income Certificate
    • Caste Certificate
    • Bank Account Details
    • Proof of Admission Rank
    • Fee Information 
  • Institutions will verify all details before forwarding the applications to the ministry. 
  • The institution’s decision on eligibility based on caste, family income, educational qualifications, and rank will be considered final by the ministry. 
  • However, if it is later discovered that a student was ineligible, the institution will be held accountable and may be asked to reimburse any losses to the government. 
  • Both the institution and the ministry will verify the income certificate.

4. For scholarship renewal applications from students entering the second or subsequent years of their course, verification by the institution indicates that the student has been promoted to the next class and has secured his admission.

5. A lump sum payment of ₹86,000 for the first-year beneficiaries and ₹41,000 for subsequent years will be disbursed to students without requiring vouchers or undertakings.

6. Head of the respective institution will regularly monitor the academic performance of SC students covered under the scheme. 

  • Details of academic performance, actions taken to support academically weaker students, and the outcomes of these actions should be reported to the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment at the end of each academic year.

7. Any institution violating the scheme’s provisions and government instructions will be denotified.

8. In the event of denotification or removal of an institution under the scheme, existing SC students already admitted under the programme, if eligible, will continue to receive scholarships until the completion of their courses, subject to the provisions of this scheme. 

  • However, no new seats will be allocated, and no funds will be released to the denotified institutions.

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students – Important Documents

The following documents are required for the application process under the scheme:

1. Caste Certificate: A valid caste certificate that confirms the applicant’s eligibility under the Scheduled Caste (SC) category.

2. Income Certificate: An income certificate to establish the applicant’s economic status and determine their eligibility for the scholarship.

3. Bank Account Details (Student): Bank account details of the student where the scholarship amount will be disbursed.

4. Bank Account Details (Institution): Bank account details of the educational institution are needed to facilitate direct payment of tuition fees and other charges (if applicable).

5. Proof of Admission: Documentation confirming the student’s admission to an educational institution for the course they are applying for.

6. Scorecard of Entrance Exam (if applicable): If the scholarship application is based on the merit in an entrance examination, a valid score card or proof of qualification in that exam shall be required.

7. Fee Structure of the Program: Details of the tuition fees and other charges for the educational program in which the student is enrolled.

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students – Monitoring of Implementation

1. The Steering Committee will oversee the progress and implementation of the scheme. It will consist of the following members:

  • Chairperson: Secretary (SJ&E)
  • Member: Joint Secretary & Financial Adviser (SJ&E)
  • Member: Joint Secretary, SC Division, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
  • Member: Joint Secretary (TA), Ministry of Tribal Affairs
  • Member: Joint Secretary, Department of Higher Education
  • Member: Joint Secretary, Department of Medical Education, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
  • Member: Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation
  • Member: Joint Secretary, Department for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
  • Member: A representative of the University Grants Commission (UGC)
  • Member: A representative of the NITI Aayog
  • Convener: Director/Dy. Secretary, SCD Division, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

2. The Steering Committee has the authority to invite an expert as a special invitee whenever it deems necessary.

3. The Steering Committee can recommend to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment the addition or removal of institutions from the scheme based on their performance. In doing so, the Committee may consider the recommendations of organisations responsible for conducting entrance examinations for admission to relevant courses or those having administrative control over such institutions.

4. The Steering Committee will distribute the available slots under the scheme among the notified institutions in an equitable manner.

5. The Steering Committee will also conduct periodic review of the performance  of selected institutions, taking academic results into account, and will recommend necessary modifications to the scheme whenever deemed necessary.

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students – How to Apply?

Steps for filling out the application form of the Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students 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.

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students - How to Apply

  • Candidates are required to provide all the necessary information in the registration form and then click on ‘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.

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students - Logging in to NSP

  • An OTP (One-Time Password) will be sent to the registered mobile number in order 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 the Applicant’s Dashboard page, applicants should click on ‘Application Form’ to begin the 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 that all the required supporting documents, such as those verifying their identity and academic eligibility, are uploaded as part of the application.

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 will allow the applicants 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 to submit the fully filled and reviewed application form.

  • To apply for the Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students through the Buddy4study portal, please click here.
  • For more details about the Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students, kindly refer to this official notification.

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students – FAQs

What is the Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students?

Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students is an initiative of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. This is a scholarship programme that aims to support meritorious students from Scheduled Caste (SC) community who are pursuing their higher education in notified institutions after having passed Class 12.

How can an applicant apply for the Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students?

Interested applicants can apply for this scholarship scheme through the National Scholarship Portal (NSP). They can also apply on the website of Buddy4Study with the web address

How many scholarships are available under the Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students?

The total number of available slots under the scheme ‘Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students’ is 4,200.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students?

The SC students with the annual family income up to ₹8 lakh are eligible under this scholarship scheme after having secured their admission in a full-time prescribed course at designated institutions. The number of available scholarships depends on the allocated slots of the institution.

How is the scholarship awarded if applicants are more in number than the slots allocated to a particular institution?

When the number of applicants exceeds the allocated slots to an institution, the scholarship is granted  on the basis of an inter-se merit list, that is the merit list prepared by the deciding authority   considering other parameters including lower family income.

Is there a provision for reservation meant for the SC girl students under the Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students?

Yes, 30% of the slots in the institution is reserved for eligible girl students from SC community based on their inter-se merit.

Can more than two siblings from the same family seek benefit under the Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students?

The benefits under the scheme are not extended to more than two siblings within a family.

Which premier institutions are covered under the ‘Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students’?

Premier institutions covered under the scheme are as follows:

  • IIMs
  • IITs
  • IIITs
  • AIIMSs
  • NITs
  • NIFTs
  • NIDs

 It also includes those institutions meeting specific accreditation and ranking criteria.

What are the benefits provided under the Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students?

The students from SC community who secure their admission in the designated institutions will be granted a scholarship. It covers the following expenditures:

  • Full tuition fees and non-refundable charges, with a maximum limit of ₹2.00 lakh per annum per student for the private sector institutions and ₹3.72 lakh per annum per student for flying clubs under the private sector offering Commercial Pilot Training and Type Rating Courses.
  • An academic allowance of ₹86,000 in the first year of study and ₹41,000 in each subsequent year. This allowance is intended to cover living expenditures, purchasing books and stationeries, including acquiring laptop and computer accessories such as UPS and a printer.

How is the Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students monitored and implemented?

The Steering Committee oversees the scheme’s implementation and recommends additions or removals of institutions based on performance. Regular reviews are conducted to ensure its effectiveness.

Which documents are required in order to apply under the Top Class Education Scheme for SC Students?

The applicants must submit the following documents:

  • A Valid Caste Certificate
  • Income Certificate
  • Bank Account Details
  • Proof of Admission
  • Scorecard of an Entrance Exam if applicable
  • Fee Structure Details


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