Education is not only vital for India’s competitiveness and economic growth, but also for social stability. Education is said to be excellent and efficient if it transforms an ordinary person to those capable of extraordinary performance. India now has one of the largest higher education systems in the world in terms of the number of institutions, and the second largest in terms of the number of students. Various efforts pertaining to educational development have been made at both government and Non-governmental levels to match the fast-changing scenario across the globe.

Here in India, the disparity between rich and poor is growing, and expectations on the part of young people and their parents are high. Geographical differences are vast, compounded by social divisions, and inequalities in education provision. Over the last decade, education has been on a steep growth trajectory. Quality in education has become an important issue and has received considerable attention, mainly in developed and developing nations. In recent years, like many developing nations, India too has followed her developed counterparts in adopting quality assurance systems to improve the quality of higher education, as India now needs a highly-skilled workforce to thrive in the emerging knowledge-based economy.

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Education is a constant companion and an indispensable tool for everyone to succeed in life and to get something different. It helps a lot in lessening the challenges of life. Knowledge gained throughout the education period enables each and every individual confident about his life. It opens various doors to the opportunities of achieving better prospects in life to promote career growth.

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At its most basic level, education is important because it gives people the baseline skills to survive as adults in the world. These skills include basic literacy and numeracy, as well as the ability to communicate complete tasks and work with others. Rousseau rightly remarked that Plants are shaped by cultivation and men by education. We are born weak, we need strength; we are born totally un-provided, we need aid; we are born stupid, we need judgment. Everything we do not have at our birth and which we need when we are grown is given to us by education.

According to Altaker (1951), “Education has been regarded in India as a source of illumination and power which transforms and ennobles our nature by the progressive and harmonious development of our physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual powers and faculties”.
Secondary Education Commission (1952) has stressed the manifestation of the inherent potentialities in a pupil. “The Education system must take its contributions to the development of habits, attitudes, and qualities of character which will enable the citizen to bear worthily the responsibilities of democratic citizenship.”

The 22nd session of UNESCO on November 12, 1977, through its resolution 44 (Article –10) has accepted that education is the strongest instrument of persons and societies which could be used to foster peace, justice, understanding, tolerance and equality to the benefit of both the present and future generations.

Education in India is provided by the public sector as well as the private sector, with control and funding coming from all the government levels: central, state, and local. The goal of ‘Education for All’ has been high on the agenda of the Government of India since the adoption of the Constitution of India in 1950 and the commencement of development planning since 1951. Successive development policies and five-year plans have pursued this goal during the last six decades. Substantial progress towards the Education for All goal has been made during the past few years.

Education is essential for the national, social and economic development of the country and higher education empowers youth for self-sustainability by inculcating employment skills. In the recent past, India has made progress in the field of higher education and India’s improved education system is often cited as one of the main contributors to its economic development. University Grants Commission has contributed to the growth and development of Indian higher education by designing programs and implementing various schemes through academic, administrative and financial support. In the changing landscape, the entrance of private universities is a game-changer. This has been happening because we are witnessing a paradigm shift in higher education, from ‘national’ to ‘global education’, from ‘state-controlled’ to an ‘open market economy’, from ‘general education’ to an ‘educational system driven by market forces, from ‘one-time education for a few’ to ‘lifelong education for all’, from ‘teacher-centered’ to ‘learner-centered’ education.

Colleges: Higher Educational Institutions

This is the level of education that is provided by universities, vocational universities, community colleges, liberal arts colleges, institutes of technology and other collegiate-level institutions that award academic degrees or professional certifications through the Technical, Professional and General Universities. These institutions train highly qualified specialists and scientific and pedagogical personnel for various branches of the economy, science and culture; conduct theoretical and applied scientific research, which forms the basis for training specialists; and provide refresher courses for teachers in higher and secondary specialized institutions and for specialists employed in diverse branches of the industry, agriculture and civilization.

According to IGT Global Dictionary, the Higher educational institution is that level of education that is provided by universities, vocational universities, community colleges, liberal arts colleges, institutes of technology and other collegiate-level institutions, such as vocational schools, trade schools and career colleges that award academic degrees or professional certifications.


A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further his education. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of various criteria, which usually reflect the values and purposes of the donor. Scholarship money is not required to be repaid. Scholarships that assist or cover costs of pursuing a higher education provide a number of benefits for recipients. From reducing the financial burden of the rising cost of higher education, for allowing students more time and energy to focus on their studies rather than part-time work, scholarships are one piece in the puzzle of what creates a strong foundation for supporting students in their success in pursuing a degree, and furthermore, completing that degree.

The recent phenomenon that is initiated by the worthy Government departments and various Non-Governmental Organisations in the field of education are the scholarships for making education available to all irrespective of the socio-economic status of the beneficiary. Success in higher education is commonly defined by a student’s persistence in terms of enrolment in the institution, progression, discipline and timely completion of the course. The administration of financial aid to institutions students has been shown to facilitate such student success. Scholarships for higher education consist of both need-based and merit-based aids. Therefore scholarships may play an increasingly large role in attempts to support student success in higher education.

Scholarship Schemes

Scholarship Schemes are basically funding schemes initiated by Central/State Governments and Private organizations with an aim to provide financial aid to the needy students on the basis of pre-defined criterion. The sole objective of the schemes is to award scholarships to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their drop out at various levels and encourage them to continue the further study at higher level. Scholarships and incentives have long been used as a means of promoting education in most developing countries where Governments are struggling to improve the status of education. Policymakers, planners, educators and donors often believe that scholarships and incentives can boost up enrolment, retention and learning achievement in educational institutions. Scholarships are awarded to selected students every year for their higher study. The selection of student’s award of the scholarships is made through pre defined manual developed by the Central and the State Governments.

Major Scholarships Offered by the Government of India

Scholarship Eligibility Awards and value
National Scholarship for Persons with

Disabilities (2008-09) Indian students with at least 40% disabilities certified as per definition under Persons with Disabilities Act 1995. Five hundred awards that range from Rs. 400 to 1,000 per month to be given annually through institutions, depending on the study undertaken. Also course fee is reimbursed to a maximum of Rs. 10,000. Facility for accommodation is also offered, subject to conditions.

National Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Schemes

Meritorious students from low-income families, securing a minimum of 80% of marks in 10+2 pattern or equivalent and not belonging to the creamy layer as defined by the Dept. of Personnel and Training applicable to all categories of students both general” and &reserved income-ceiling is Rs. 4.5 lakhs per annum. 82,000 scholarships annually (41,000 for boys and girls each) is awarded for graduate/postgraduate studies in institutions/universities for professional courses (Medical, Engineering etc) Rs. 1,000 p.m. at graduation level for first three years, Rs. 2000 per month at the Post-graduation level and those pursuing professional courses would get Rs.2,000 p.m in 4th and 5th year.
Post-matric scholarship for students belonging to Scheduled Castes for studies in India Annual income ceiling of Rs. 2,50,000 for students belonging to Scheduled Castes who are willing to pursue post-secondary courses in recognized institutions. Full maintenance allowance and full fee for all courses annual study tour charges of Rs. 1,000, thesis typing/printing charges of Rs. 1,000 etc.

Post-matric scholarship for students belonging to Minorities in India Annual income ceiling of Rs. 1,00,000 for students belonging to Minorities Castes who are willing to pursue post-secondary courses in recognised institutions. Full maintenance allowance and full fee for all courses annual study tour charges of Rs. 1,000 thesis typing/printing charges of Rs. 1,000 etc.

In recent years by government initiative, Scholarship Schemes have been launched by state governments for the welfare of students by offering them Scholarship through various portals by Government where students can fill up the form for scholarships under the schemes. The schemes make sure that no student remains uneducated because of lack of money. So, for this, schemes provide financial assistance to the students to continue their studies into some professional or non-professional educational field.

Review of Related Literature

The review of literature is one of the important steps in the research. It helps the researcher to develop a thorough understanding and insight into the previous researches and the trends that have emerged; the review can also help the researcher in reaching the specific goals. It helps in delimiting research problem and defining it better.

Indian Education Commission (1964-1966) examined all aspects of the educational sector in India, to evolve a general pattern of education and to advise guidelines and policies for the development of education in India. It emphasized on identification of talents and provision of scholarships, and on free education up to middle level and including lower secondary level of education.
National Policy on Education 1986 reviewed the whole scenario of scholarships and put forth certain recommendation by launching the following scholarship schemes:

  1. National Scholarship Schemes;
  2. Scholarship schemes for talented children from rural areas;
  3. Scholarship schemes for up-gradation of merit of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes;
  4. Scheme of Scholarship to students from Non-Hindi speaking States for post-matric studies in Hindi;
  5. Schemes of Scholarship in approved residential Secondary schools.

The objective of these schemes is to provide opportunities for talented students as also for assisting those who are not financially well off or are deprived. Backlog liabilities are taken by State Governments. Commitments on fresh scholarships are to be borne by the Central Government.

Under the chairmanship of Janardan Dwivedi, a committee was constituted in 2006 by MHRD India submitted its 172th report on higher education scene in India and recommended provision for enough scholarships, fee concession, hostels, staff quarters, provision for transportation, etc. for women needs to be provided in the institutions of higher learning and the specific provision of adequate and liberal free-ships and merit-cum-means scholarships to the students coming from the disadvantaged groups is considered imperative.

Subramanian Committee on New Education Policy (2016) clearly highlights the role of UGC. According to its recommendations, UGC needs to play the pivotal role in the disbursal of scholarships and fellowships. As enrolments have grown, so has an interest in improving access and quality.

The major Inputs in the draft of National Policy on Education 2016 published by MHRD refers mechanisms to ensure financing for study programmes, either through scholarships or loans could help meritorious students continue their studies.

Bhatia (2011) explained the critical aspects of managing and delivering the superior value of the higher education system in India. The need of value in the higher education system in India is highlighted. Higher education is a powerful tool to build a knowledge-based society for any country. With the growing size of higher education in field of management and technical courses, it has become of utmost importance to build an efficient database on higher education. Higher education has witnessed tremendous changes in the education system.

Ahmed (2013) analyzed the trends in the financing higher education during the pre-liberalization era and the post-liberalization regime.

Kaur (2014) concluded that India inherited an arrangement of higher education which was little as well as portrayed by the pervasiveness of substantial intra/inter-regional awkward nature. India needs multi-dimensional and expansive based quality education to keep up its authority in the 21st century. In this manner, India ought to show the worry over the quality in education as the education in India is not fare enough in terms of the amount and quality with different nations

Altbach (2014) analyzed the challenges of India’s higher education system in the twenty-first century. Education has become such a profitable business that quality is totally relegated to the background and the entrepreneur eyes profit only; the quota system and politicization add fuel to the fire in spoiling system; and the increasing unemployment of graduates without quick relief to mitigate their sufferings in the job market of the country is forcing them to look abroad.

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The Education System in India. (2020, Sep 09). Retrieved from

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