Skip links

Government of India Scholarships for International Students

The Government of India offers scholarships and fellowships to students from Sri Lanka enabling them to pursue Undergraduate, Masters and Research in diverse range of subjects. Scholarships are also available for research work and non-formal courses (e.g., training courses in classical music and dance).

Offer of scholarships are sent to the Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka through High Commission of India (HCI), Colombo. Nominations are received from the Ministry to the HCI. The information on such scholarships and schemes is widely publicized via newspaper, radio, TV and internet in the month of December and January every year. Last date for receipt of application this year was Feb 06, 2012.

Nearly 270 scholarships and Self-Finance slots are offered each year to Sri Lankan students for higher studies in India. Some of the Scholarships are:

Nehru Memorial Scholarship Scheme

120 scholarships are offered annually under this programme for higher studies in India. Students can pursue undergraduate courses in all disciplines including Engineering, Science, Business, Economics, Commerce and Humanities. However, Medicine is not covered under this scheme.

Maulana Azad Scholarship Scheme

This new Scheme has been added from the academic year 2012-13 wherein 50 scholarships would be provided annually for Masters Degrees in the fields of Agriculture, Science and Engineering. This programme is expected to assist researchers, including scholars employed in Sri Lankan universities to pursue Masters Degrees in some of the world-class institutes in India. (go to news section for latest information on this scheme)

Rajiv Gandhi Scholarship Scheme

In order to share the benefits of India’s growth story in the field of Information Technology (IT), this new scheme has been initiated from 2012-13, to provide 25 slots every year for ‘Bachelor of Engineering’ courses in IT, in some of the top-ranked institutes in India. Meritorious students would gain not only from the experience of world-class faculty, but would also get a chance to benefit from campus placements by some of the best companies recruiting students for jobs in India and abroad.

Indo-Sri Lanka Cultural Exchange Programme:

Each year, five scholarships are offered under Indo-Sri Lanka Cultural Exchange Programme for Higher Studies at Post graduate and Research level.  Preference is given to oriental disciplines. These scholarships are different from those awarded for study of cultural disciplines like Dance, Drama and Music through the Cultural Wing of the High Commission.

SAARC and Commonwealth Scholarship/Fellowship Scheme

Under the SAARC scheme, one fellowship and two scholarships are offered every year at the doctoral and post-graduate level respectively.  A limited number of scholarships are also awarded under the Commonwealth Scholarship/Fellowship plan.

Highly Subsidized Self-Financed Slots

However, the Government of India has reserved upto 40 seats, of which 4 to 5 slots are for Medicine, for Sri Lankan students in some of the most reputed Government institutions. Courses offered under this scheme are Undergraduate courses in Medicine (MBBS), Pharmacy (B.Pharm.) and Engineering (B.E/B.Tech). Fee for Medicine and Pharmacy courses is highly subsidized by Government of India and is less than US$ 1,000 per year, while for Engineering student it ranges from US$ 3,000 to US$ 7,000 per year.

Students seeking admission against these reserved seats can apply through the High Commission of India in Colombo. Forms are available at the Education Wing of the Indian High Commission in Jan/Feb each year.Duly completed forms are submitted by March 30, 2012.

In addition to above, Indian educational institutions have been according preferential treatment to students from friendly countries such as Sri Lanka. Students are free to apply for admission to a large number of institutions on self financing basis.

Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship

Government of India offers 150 scholarships to meritorious Sri Lankan students, six from each of the 25 districts.  Students are chosen, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka, on the basis of their performance in GCE ‘O’ Level examination and on merit-cum-means criteria. Selected scholars receive financial assistance for a period of two years to complete their Advance Level studies.

Scholarship for Children of Estate Workers

350 scholarships are offered annually to children of estate workers to pursue their ‘A’ level and Undergraduate studies. Applications are invited every year from the students in the Month of April and May. Selected students are provided monthly stipend till they complete their studies.

Technical Cooperation Scheme (TCS) of the Colombo Plan

Upto 50 training opportunities are available from the Government of India’s Colombo Plan Technical cooperation Scheme for Sri Lankan nationals in diverse fields. This programme is administered by the High Commission through the Department of External Resources, Ministry of Finance, Government of Sri Lanka.

According to the scheme, scholarships are offered for under-graduate, post-graduate and research towards a Ph.D. degree. At the under-graduate level a few scholarships are also available for engineering degrees or diploma courses.

The scholarships in this scheme are of two categories,

  • Category I: This category is for training of officers coming for short or medium-term courses.
  • Category II: This is meant for students, trainees, undergraduates and postgraduates coming for short, medium or long-term courses.

The duration of courses is as follows:

  • One year or less
  • Up to two years
  • More than two years


Other Important Information

Scholarships other than India’s Colombo Plan offers are administered through the Ministry of Higher Education in Sri Lanka which places advertisements that include texts of proforma, eligibility criteria and other details in Sri Lankan newspapers. Short listed applicants are interviewed to gauge their knowledge levels in their subjects as well as their proficiency in English. Those selected after the interviews are required to fill in prescribed forms for Scholarships for Foreign Nationals available with the High Commission. They are advised to consult the Universities Handbook published by:

The Association of Indian Universities,
AIU House, 16 Kotla Marg, New Delhi-110 002,
Email :

The Handbook can be consulted at the High Commission of India or at the Indian Cultural Centre, No.16/2, Gregory’s Road, Colombo-07. The ICCR’s Information on Scholarship Schemes for International Students, available at the High Commission, at the Indian Cultural Centre, or at which also provides useful information.

Forms of selected candidates are forwarded to the ICCR, New Delhi for final selection and placement. The ICCR does not entertain direct applications from candidates for scholarships. Final selection is conditional upon a candidate being admitted to the University of choice and location.

For further information, please contact:

High Commission of India,
Education Wing, 36-38,
Galle Road, Colombo-3
Tel : +94 11 2421605 Extn: 605


Link –


Leave a comment