ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Policy Paradox in Higher Education

The new NOS guidelines adversely affect the higher education aspirations of marginalised students.


The National Overseas Scholarship (NOS) scheme administered by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) marks a significant threshold with regards to the marginalised students’ aspirations to gain higher education abroad. This scheme is aimed at facilitating the master’s- and doctoral-level education of candidates belonging to (i) Scheduled Castes (SCs), (ii) denotified, nomadic, and semi-nomadic tribes, and (iii) landless agricultural labourers and traditional artisans at universities situated abroad. For 2022–23, this scheme aims to offer fully funded scholarships to 125 candidates, where 115 seats are reserved for SC candidates and 30% of the total seats are reserved for female candidates. This scheme is applicable to researchers in the fields of humanities and social sciences, medicine, and engineering. However, the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment (DSJE) has recently introduced a specific rule that excludes subjects or topics that broadly come under the umbrella of humanities and social sciences from within the purview of this scholarship.

Under the recently released guidelines of this scheme applicable for 2022–23, one of the mandatory conditions reads “[t]opics/courses concerning Indian Culture/heritage/History/Social studies on India based research topic shall not be covered under NOS.” This implies that students whose research work relates to the above-mentioned areas of study stand summarily excluded from the purview of this scholarship scheme. The same guideline further mentions that “[t]he final decision as to which Topic can be covered under such category will rest with [the] Selection-cum-Screening Committee of NOS.”

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Updated On : 5th Mar, 2022
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