HRD ministry launches 'Study in India' programme to attract students for higher education in India

To attract foreign students to higher education in India, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched a programme called ‘Study in India’.

Union Minister for Human Resource Development Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Thursday said that the programme is under implementation.

The 'Study in India' programme was proposed in the recent budget speech by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament, where she said that there was not a single Indian institution in the top 200 in the world university rankings five years back, but due to concerted efforts by Indian institutions to boost their standards and also project their credentials better, India has three institutions now – two IITs and IISc Bangalore – in the top 200 bracket.

The HRD minister on Thursday announced, “The programme focuses on attracting international students from select 30 plus countries across South-East Asia, Middle East and Africa. The programme envisages participation of select reputed Indian institutes and universities by way of offering seats for international students at affordable rates, along with fee waivers to meritorious foreign students ranging from 100 to 25 percent.”

 HRD ministry launches Study in India programme to attract students for higher education in India

Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

Significantly, a centralised admission web portal has been launched to work as a single window for admission of foreign students. The website identifies five steps for the foreign students to study in India, which also includes adequate research about the course they wish to study. The candidates have to choose among more than 160 private and public institutes that provide 1,500 courses  in undergraduate, post-graduate and PhD level.

In some of the institutes, the candidate has to appear for an interview. Students can register themselves for the courses of their choice and institutes in the website itself. The procedure of registration this year started in March. Results for PhD and post-graduate level admissions were announced on 15 June and those for under-graduate courses on 5 July. The candidates can check their results online on the portal itself. There are also facilities of fee waivers and concessions for overseas students and Indian diaspora students apart from scholarships provided for by individual institutes.

The General Scholarship Scheme

The General Scholarship Scheme (GSS) is one of the most important and popular schemes of the ICCR to attract foreign students. Scholarships are awarded under this scheme annually to international students belonging to certain Asian, African and Latin American countries for the undergraduate, postgraduate degrees and for pursuing research at Indian universities. However, scholarships for medical studies for MBBS, BDS or for medical research leading to a PhD degree are not offered under the GSS scheme.

The list of countries covered under the GSS is given below:

Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Cambodia, Fiji, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Oman, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saint Denis Reunion Island, Saudi Arabia, Siberia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen.

Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children

Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC) has been offered since 2006-07 to make higher education in Indian universities/institutes in different fields (except medical and related courses) in India accessible to the children of persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and non-resident Indian students (NRIs) and promote India as a centre for higher studies.

Under the scheme, PIO/NRI students are awarded scholarship of up to $4,000 per annum for payment of tuition fee, admission fee and post-admission services for under graduate courses in engineering, technology, humanities, liberal arts, commerce, management, journalism, hotel management, agriculture, animal husbandry and some other courses.

A revamped SPDC was launched from academic year 2016-17 with extension from 40 to 66 countries (including 17 Emigration Check Required countries); enhancing number of scholarships from 100 to 150 with 50 earmarked for Children of Indian Workers in ECR counties. Of these 50 scholarships, 1/3rd are reserved for children of Indian workers in ECR countries studying in India. The entire process of applying, processing etc is now through a portal.

Scholarship is offered for pursuing courses in central universities of India offering undergraduate courses, including those pertaining to Information Technology, BSc (Nursing) and BPharma in institutions accredited "A” grade by NAAC; and institutions covered under DASA Scheme, National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Schools of Planning and Architecture (SPAs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) etc. Applications are submitted and processed through the portal.

Visa rules


Indian missions/posts grant a student visa for a period of five years or for the duration of the course of study, whichever is less, to the below:

— To foreign students coming to India to pursue regular and full time academic studies in India.

— For foreign students coming for industrial training, summer project and internship.

— Provisional student visa valid for six months for the students exploring admission or taking admission tests.

— Applicant should possess the proof of admission to a full time regular academic course in a reputed/recognised educational institution in India and evidence of financial support.

— The applicant should also possess a "No Objection Certificate" from the Ministry of Health in case of admission in medical or para-medical course.

— Spouse and dependent family members accompanying the applicant must apply for an Entry Visa. Its termination date will coincide with the period of the principal visa holder.


Student visas are issued for up to five years, depending on the duration of the course. They can also be extended in India.

Entry points

Passengers having valid student visa can enter India from any desired port of immigration check post (airport, seaport).

Fee for student visa

Visa fees for student visa is different for all the countries. It ranges from $13 to $118.


The visitors are required to fill online visa application by visiting a website and visit their nearest embassy with printout of the online filled application and required travel documents.

Required documents

— Passport with six-month validity

— Passport size photographs

— Photocopy of passport

— Proof of residential address

— Copy of online filled form

— University admission letter

— University details

For more details, visit:

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Updated Date: Jul 13, 2019 17:56:06 IST