Earlier this year the Minorities Welfare Department for the southern Indian state announced that it was allocating INR25 crore (US$3.8m) to the new Chief Minister’s Overseas Study Scheme.
“The State Government is keenly interested in the social, educational and economic development and welfare of Minorities in the Telangana State”
It will enable 500 students from low-income families to study abroad each year, with a third of the available places earmarked for women.
The CMOSS aims to boost access to “huge opportunities” in education and jobs both in India and overseas for students from minority communities, who “are often handicapped” due to “poverty and inability to access the benefit of pursuing education abroad to better their lives”, according to an abstract document outlining the initiative.
“The State Government is keenly interested in the social, educational and economic development and welfare of Minorities in the Telangana State,” it reads.
Under the scholarship, students can choose to pursue postgraduate studies, including PhD courses, in the US, UK, Australia, Canada or Singapore.
In order to apply, students must be no older than 35 and they or their guardians must have a total annual income of no more than Rs. 2 lakhs (US$3,000).
Applicants must also fulfil certain academic requirements in order to receive the scholarship. For example, students applying for support on a PhD course must have already achieved a 60% grade or equivalent on a postgraduate course, and must hold a valid TOEFL, IELTS or GMAT score.
They will each receive INR10 lakhs (US$15,000) towards the cost of studying and living overseas, as well as a one-way ticket to their country of study and the reimbursement of their visa fees.
The grant will be paid in two equal instalments: the first on production of the student’s landing permit and the second dependent once the student has received their first semester results.
Students will also be eligible for a loan of 5 lakhs (US$7,500) at the prevailing rate of interest.
The CMOSS is modeled on Ambedkar Overseas Vidya Nidhi scheme, which provides scholarships to students in Andhra Pradesh state in south India.