Education has long been recognized in India as a pathway to progress, both for individuals and society at large. Unfortunately, gender disparities have historically prevailed in the educational system, with many female students unable to access quality schooling due to socioeconomic disadvantages and cultural norms.
However, there is now a growing realization across the country that empowering women through education is key to driving equitable development and unlocking India’s true economic potential. More girls than ever are enrolling in schools and universities with the aim of achieving independent success through academic qualifications and careers.
To further encourage girl child education at all levels, both the central and state governments of India have implemented a wide range of impactful scholarships exclusively for meritorious female students over the years. Prestigious programs like the Kendriya Vidyalaya Concession, Ladli scheme, PM Girls Child Unique Identity Scheme and more provide financial assistance to cover educational expenses from secondary school through postgraduate degrees.
In this detailed guide, we highlight some of the best merit-cum-means scholarships currently available for girls pursuing higher secondary, undergraduate or master’s level studies across different fields in India. By outlining eligibility criteria, covered costs and application procedures, we aim to equip aspirational young women with the information needed to avail of this pivotal governmental support towards an empowered future.
AICTE Pragati Scholarship for Girls
The AICTE Pragati Scholarship for Girls is a remarkable initiative aimed at empowering young women to pursue technical education. Launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and implemented by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), this scholarship program has been making a significant impact since its inception in the academic year 2014-15.
Number of Scholarships: 4000 per annum
Amount of Scholarship: The scholarship covers the tuition fee of up to Rs. 30,000 or the actual tuition fee, whichever is less. Additionally, recipients receive Rs. 2000 per month for 10 months each year as incidentals.
Eligibility: To be eligible for this scholarship, candidates must have secured admission to the 1st year of a degree or diploma program in any AICTE-approved institute through the centralized admission process of the state or central government.
Application Time: September to October
The AICTE Pragati Scholarship for Girls aims to empower women through technical education, providing them with the necessary support and encouragement to succeed in their chosen fields.
Fair & Lovely Scholarship
The Fair and Lovely Career Foundation Scholarship is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative by Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL). This program is designed to promote and encourage education among girl students in India, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds. The scholarship program seeks to reduce the dropout rate among female students pursuing higher education and help them establish their identities in society.
Scholarship Amount: INR 25,000 to INR 50,000 (fixed, one-time award)
Eligibility: Female candidates aged 15 to 30 who wish to pursue undergraduate or postgraduate courses are eligible to apply. Applicants should have passed the 12th standard with a minimum of 60% in 10th and 12th standard board exams.
Application Time: October to December
The Fair & Lovely Scholarship is a step towards bridging educational inequalities and empowering young women to fulfill their academic aspirations.
Tata Housing Scholarships for Meritorious Girl Students
The Tata Housing Scholarships for Meritorious Girl Students is a unique initiative aimed at supporting young women pursuing their 2nd year of B.Tech/B.E (Civil Engineering) or B.Arch degree courses. This scholarship program’s primary objective is to encourage, recognize, and provide financial assistance to meritorious girl students from economically weaker sections.
Amount: Selected students can receive up to INR 60,000.
Eligibility: Applicants should have scored more than 50% in all qualifying exams and must be in their 2nd year of BE/B.Tech (Civil Engineering) or B.Arch degree. Additionally, the applicant’s family income should be less than INR 300,000 per annum from all sources.
Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship
The Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship, previously known as the Maulana Azad National Scholarship for Meritorious Girls belonging to Minorities, is a government initiative launched by the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. This scholarship aims to provide financial support to meritorious girl students from minority communities.
Amount of Scholarship: Rs. 5,000 each for Class IX and X, and Rs. 6,000 each for Class XI and XII.
Eligibility: This scholarship is open to girl students from minority communities studying in Class 9 to 12.
Application Time: September to October
The Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship serves as a testament to the government’s commitment to promoting education among minority communities and ensuring equal opportunities for all.
DRDO Scholarship Scheme for Girls
The “DRDO Scholarship Scheme for Girls” is a program launched by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) through its Aeronautics Research and Development Board (AR&DB). AR&DB’s mission is to nurture quality aeronautics human resources in India. This scholarship scheme is designed to attract talented female students from various institutes and tap into their potential in the field of aeronautics and technology.
Number of Scholarships: 30
Eligibility: Candidates should have secured admission in the 1st year of a relevant B.E./B.Tech./B.Sc Engg. course and cleared JEE (Main).
Amount of Scholarship: Rs. 15,500 per month, up to Rs. 186,000 per year, for a maximum of two years.
Application Time: August to November
The DRDO Scholarship Scheme for Girls is a testament to the organization’s commitment to fostering gender diversity in the field of technology and aeronautics.
Dr. Reddy’s Foundation Sashakt Scholarship
The Dr. Reddy’s Foundation Sashakt Scholarship is a unique initiative aimed at encouraging young women across India to pursue careers in science. This scholarship provides a level playing field to girl students, especially those from rural India and low socio-economic backgrounds, by offering financial support and mentorship throughout their undergraduate studies.
Scholarship Amount: Rs. 2,40,000 (Rs. 80,000 per year) for three years of study, covering college tuition fees, study expenses, and basic living costs.
Eligibility: Bright, young girls with a record of academic excellence, confident of securing admission in India’s top science colleges, can apply after completing their Class XII examinations. Eligible courses are in pure/natural science.
Application Time: March to August
The Sashakt Scholarship empowers young women to pursue their passion for science without financial constraints, ensuring they have access to quality education.
CBSE Merit Scholarship Scheme for Single Girl Child
The CBSE Merit Scholarship Scheme for Single Girl Child is a government initiative with the aim of recognizing and supporting meritorious single girl students pursuing their education. This scholarship is a tribute to parents’ efforts in promoting education among girls and provides encouragement to outstanding students.
Eligibility: To qualify for this scholarship, students must be single girls who have secured 60% or more marks in the CBSE Class X Examination. They should be studying in Class XI and XII in schools affiliated with CBSE, with a tuition fee not exceeding Rs. 1,500 per month.
Awards: Rs. 500 per month
Application Timeline: September to October
The CBSE Merit Scholarship Scheme for Single Girl Child is a testament to the government’s commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment through education.
Adobe India Women-in-Technology Scholarship
The Adobe India Women-in-Technology Scholarship aims to promote gender equality in science, technology, and engineering fields by encouraging women to excel in computing and technology. This scholarship program recognizes the excellence of female students and seeks to nurture future leaders and role models in the tech industry.
Eligibility: Applicants must be full-time students enrolled in a 4-year BE/B.Tech program or an Integrated ME/MS/MTech program at an Indian University or Institute. They should complete their program in the academic year 2021-22 and be pursuing majors or minors in specific streams related to technology and engineering.
Awards: Funding toward tuition fees for the remainder of the award recipient’s university education ending in academic year 2021-22, along with an opportunity for a Summer Internship at Adobe India.
Time: August to September
The Adobe India Women-in-Technology Scholarship is a significant step towards fostering gender diversity in technology-related fields and empowering women to excel in the world of computing.
Other Scholarships for Girl Students in India
Apart from the scholarships mentioned above, there are several other opportunities available for girl students in India. Some of these include:
- Post-Graduate Indira Gandhi Scholarship for Single Girl Child
- Women Scientist Scheme-B (WOS-B)
- SOF Girl Child Scholarship Scheme
- L’Oréal India For Young Women in Science Scholarship
- Rolls-Royce Unnati Scholarships for Women Engineering Students
These scholarships offer a diverse range of opportunities for girls and women to pursue their academic and professional aspirations, ensuring that they have the support they need to succeed in their chosen fields.
These scholarships for girls in India, whether offered by the government or private organizations, play a vital role in breaking down barriers and empowering young women to pursue their dreams in education. By providing financial support and recognition for academic excellence, these scholarships are not only changing individual lives but also contributing to the overall progress and development of the nation. As we continue to strive for gender equality and women’s empowerment, these scholarships serve as beacons of hope, guiding the way for countless young girls to achieve their full potential.