More students from Gulf region apply for Indian Scholarships

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New Delhi, Sep 26 (UNI) A record number of applications were received from overseas Indian students for government scholarships to pursue undergraduate courses in India with the Gulf region accounting for the largest share.

Overseas Indian Affairs (OIA) Ministry sources (OIA) said here today that a total of 400 applications were received for the common entrance test being held on October 26 to select 100 candidates.

Out of this, 87 applicants are from Oman, 76 from Kuwait and 60 from Saudi Arabia. Thirty one applications have come from the UAE and 27 from Bahrain.

For the first time, as many as 78 applications have been received from Sri Lanka.

The last date for receipt of applications was September nine.

The October 26 common entrance test would be held in 40 selected countries where there is a large concentration of persons of Indian origin (PIOs) and NRIs. This is a major change from the schedule followed in previous years when the entrance test used to be held in April-May.

''We have brought in such change to make it possible for the selected students to join their educational institutions from the academic year beginning July/August 2009,'' a top official of the OIA Ministry said here today.

In this context, he said the Ministry has decided to complete the whole selection process for the scholarship by November 2008.

Scholarships are offered for undergraduate courses in several disciplines including Engineering/Architecture/Technology, Humanities/Liberal Arts, Commerce, Management - BBA/BBM, Journalism, Hotel Management, Agriculture/Animal Husbandry, Sciences, Law etc.

The amount of scholarship admissible would be 75 per cent of the Institutional Economic Cost (IEC) or 3,600 dollars, whichever is less. IEC includes tuition fee, hostel fee and other institutional charges.

Fifty per cent of the scholarship would be reserved for PIOs.

However, in the event of non-availability of suitable PIO candidates, the unfilled slots could be assigned to NRI candidates.

NRI candidates would be eligible for the grant of scholarship only if their total family income per month does not exceed an amount equivalent to 2,250 dollars.

Children of NRIs should have pursued at least three years of education inclusive of 11th and 12th or equivalent (not beyond), in a foreign country during the last six years, and should have passed the qualifying examination abroad.

PIO/NRI students already studying in India on a self-financing basis or under any other arrangement will not be eligible under this scheme, which is open only for fresh admissions in the first semester/year of undergraduate courses.

The scheme seeks to make higher education in India accessible to the children of overseas Indians and promote India as an education hub.

Children from developing countries with inadequate educational facilities, lesser opportunities for higher studies and countries where there is a significant concentration of the diaspora population have been targeted.

UNI SH SR NS1837

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