National Merit Scholarship Scheme was introduced by Department of Education in 1961- 62. It was available to brilliant but poor students from class XI to Post-Graduation level. In addition, a Scheme of Scholarship at the Secondary stage for talented children from rural areas was also introduced by Department of Education in 1971-72. It was available to talented but poor students from rural areas from class VI to class XII. These two Schemes were merged and a single Scheme, namely, the ‘National Merit Scholarship Scheme’ was established by Department of Education for implementation from 2005-06. This was available to meritorious students from class IX to Post-Graduation level. However, since funds were not provided by the Planning Commission for the year 2007- 08, the Scheme has been discontinued w.e.f. 1.4.2007. School Education has come under a new Department, namely, Department of School Education & Literacy w.e.f. the year 2007-08. The Department of School Education and Literacy has introduced a new Scheme: ‘National Means-Cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme’. This Scheme will cover students from class IX to XII. The Department of Higher Education has introduced a new scheme for meritorious students from low income families going to colleges / universities for implementation during the XI Five Year Plan period with an approved outlay of Rs. 1000 crore. This is a Central sector scheme titled “Central Sector Scheme of Scholarship
for College and University Students”.
To provide financial assistance to meritorious students from low income families to meet a
part of their day-to-day expenses while pursuing higher studies.
Awards:- The scholarships will be awarded on the basis of the results of senior secondary examination. 82000 fresh scholarships per annum [41000 for boys and 41000 for girls] will be awarded for graduate / postgraduate studies in colleges and universities and for professional courses, such as Medical, Engineering etc.