INSPIRE Scholarship: Everything You Need To Know

    Updated on: 23 May 2022


    Science is embedded in Indian society, and since ancient times, India has led the world in Mathematics and Science. Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) was the brainchild of our former President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the missile man of India. India has had this challenge of revamping its scientific base after centuries of colonial rule, and this was the step in the direction to make a concerted effort. INSPIRE Scholarship is a holistic approach that takes into account the necessity of imparting a scientific impetus right from the nascent stages. This has helped millions of students so far to realize their dreams of pursuing science and related studies without taking a toll on their finances. 
    The financial assistance through the INSPIRE Scholarship is a well-structured approach that has different scholarship schemes for students from different age brackets and levels of education. There was a need to bring forth a scheme that takes a democratic approach and encompasses a significant section of a student by curating different schemes for students from all levels of education from 6th standard to Ph.D.

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    The Inspiration Behind the INSPIRE Scholarship 

    With India lagging decades behind developed countries, the need to revamp the whole scientific studies was way too high. The government came up with the INSPIRE Scholarship under the Department of Science and Technology. Every year almost 12000 students from different scientific disciplines get the scholarship. INSPIRE is an umbrella scholarship scheme with sub-schemes designed for students from different age brackets and levels of education. Schemes like SEATS, SHE, AORC Fellowship, and AORC Faculty Scheme.

    The spectrum of sub-schemes has been crafted to bring the best talent from all the age brackets and nurture them accordingly. We will be going into the details of each sub-schemes and everything one needs to know before applying for the scholarship
    Students from the following subjects are eligible for INSPIRE Scholarship-

    1. Physics
    2. Botany
    3. Chemistry
    4. Zoology
    5. Mathematics
    6. Bio-Chemistry
    7. Biology
    8. Anthropology
    9. Statistics
    10. Microbiology
    11. Geology
    12. Geophysics
    13. Astrophysics
    14. Geochemistry
    15. Astronomy
    16. Atmospheric Sciences
    17. Electronics
    18. Oceanic Sciences

    The Selection Process for INSPIRE Scholarship Scheme

    The selection process for different scholarships is different. It is strict on the quality of students selected through the Department of Science and Technology process. Student’s selection process at various academic levels depends on their ability to understand the subject and has scientific temperament. One of the key factors that are taken into consideration is the student’s ability to take up the subject to the highest academic level. The aim behind the scheme is to make next-generation scholars. So even if a student misses out on getting the scholarship at the beginning stage, there is ample space for students to enter the scheme at their later stages of education. As stated earlier, this scheme incorporates students from the sixth standard to Ph.D. and beyond.

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    The Eligibility Criteria of INSPIRE Scholarship 

    INSPIRE has very stringent criteria for INSPIRE scholarship since there are several applicants, but the number of scholarships is very low compared with the number of applicants. Out of a pool of more than a million students, only 12,000 students are accepted for the coveted scholarship. Now we will explain the eligibility criteria for different schemes under the INSPIRE scholarship. The eligibility criteria vary within the INSPIRE scholarship scheme, and for different stage scholarships, the requirements are different. One should check the details on the stage where they are and the type of scholarship they want, which solely depends on your current academics. The criteria are less stringent for early scholarships, and more seats are available while the competition increases steeply once the academic level increases. So go through the details mentioned below to know the details on eligibility.

    Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent (SEATS)

    This scheme covers the budding talent in the science pool and gives an opportunity to school students to make way for their future pursuit of science. This scheme is for school students, and there are two ways to get into SEATS. One is through the SEATS Awards or by applying through an internship. Both methods are sought by students depending on the prevailing academic awareness in the school where they are studying. However, the SEATS Awards are for those in middle school, and the SEATS internship is for those students who have taken the 10th board examination from a recognized board in India. 

    SEATS Awards for Students in School 

    1. There is no entrance test or a qualifying examination for this set of scholarships, and the school principal nominates students based on their academic record. 
    2. This set of awards is for students from the 6th standard to the 10th standard. 
    3. Students having science-related innovative ideas that show their excellence and zeal towards the subject helps students in getting this scholarship. 
    4. Ideas approved by the teachers and applauded by the science community at the school level will alleviate the chances of a scholarship. 
    5. Science projects dealing in Basic sciences and an excellent academic record augments the chances of scholarship approval.
    6. The more places you show your project-based scientific idea, the more chances you will get a scholarship. 

    SEATS Internship for Students in School

    1. This set of scholarships is for students who have passed the 10th Board examination and are currently in the 11th standard. 
    2. Students are selected from the pool of exceptional students, and only those who make it to the top 1% of the 10th board are considered for this scholarship.
    3. The internships are offered in the form of summer and winter camps being organized by educational institutions. 
    4. Students selected are taken to the universities and research centers, wherein they are exposed to world-class laboratories and given the opportunity to learn from researchers working there. 
    5. Further, the selection process is done from the top one percent by those organizing the camps and varying criteria. 
    6. Students get the opportunity to interact with research scholars. Research scholars explore the ideas, and they assist students in advancing their science projects.
    7. Students are also given lectures by teachers and scholars, which in turn help them in getting insights into more profound concepts. They also help you in re-shaping your ideas and design of the projects.
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    INSPIRE (SHE) Scholarship Scheme

    If you couldn’t get a scholarship at the initial stage, INSPIRE scholarship is available for students at all stages of their education. Those students pursuing a career in science and are currently pursuing courses in Natural and Basic Sciences at the BSc, BS, and integrated MSc/ MS levels can get a chance to put their hands on the SHE Scholarship. 

    SHE Scholarship Scheme

    The selection process for the SHE scholarship scheme is very stringent, and only the best minds get through the secretion process. The age bracket eligible for the scholarship is 17-22 years old, and most certainly, all the eligible students are necessarily from this age bracket.

    1. To be eligible for the scholarship, one must be in the top 1% scorer in the 12th board examination. 
    2. Another way to get through the SHE scholarship is to have a rank in the top 10,000 and chosen Natural and Basic sciences subjects for graduation. 
    3. Another set of eligible students for the scholarship are those who are pursuing courses in Basic and Natural sciences from certain institutes of repute. Students studying at institutes like the Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Basic Sciences (DAE-CBS) at the University of Mumbai, Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER), and the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) located at several locations across India. 
    4. Students who have earlier proved their credentials in the field of sciences by qualifying exams like International Olympiads, KVPY (Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojna), Jagadish Bose National Science Talent Search (JBNSTS), National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) and continued their studies in the field of sciences are also eligible for the scholarship. 
    5. There is a total of 10,000 scholarships every year for students from the courses mentioned above. 
    6. The winners of the scholarship get an annual amount of Rs 80,000. The students can use it for educational and other expenses. 
    7. The scholarship amount is disbursed at the monthly amount of Rs 5000 per month and a Rs 20,000 contingency fund for research projects, purchasing stationery, and other related expenses.
    8. The contingency fund of Rs 20,000 can also be accumulated over the duration of the course and can be used at once for attending conferences outside India.

    Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC) Fellowships

    1. Once you are done with your graduation and have a brilliant academic record, then the chances of getting the Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC) Fellowships
    2. The SHE scholarship holders are already eligible for the AORC fellowship. Apart from them, those who have secured the first rank in the post-graduation.
    3. Those with the first rank in their respective PG examination and existing SHE scholarship holders are eligible for the AORC fellowship. 
    4. Since the scholarship is meant for those going for a Ph.D., the research proposal for the Ph.D., the choice of supervisor under whom the student seeks to do the research, and the institute where he is selected to do his Ph.D. All the factors are considered for making the final selection. 
    5. If you compare the AORC fellowship with the NET Ph.D. fellowship, they are mostly the same. The stipend amount is also the same, and other aspects aren’t much different. The INSPIRE scheme gives the students the ability to take a short research stipend for eighteen months. In the duration of the eighteen months, the small research works related stipend can be taken across the span of the 5year duration of the Ph.D. 
    6. One of the best things about the INSPIRE fellowships is that they ward off the need to appear for a Ph.D. entrance test or the NET examination to commence their scientific research. Research projects can be taken after the grant of scholarship that helps students in advancing their ideas without having the need to clear an entrance test.

    INSPIRE AORC Faculty Scheme

    The INSPIRE AORC Faculty Scheme is a holistic scheme that opens the door for those wanting to get into advanced research with their peers. The scheme helps students who have done their Ph.D., and the government aims to form a group of researchers in the country to take the research work in the basic sciences to a new high. 

    1. The INSPIRE AORC Faculty Scheme is for students in the age bracket of 27-32 years old. 
    2. There are several ways for students who have completed their doctorate to get the AORC Faculty scheme. 
    3. However, the criteria are very stringent and include a number of criteria that have to be fulfilled by the students. A prospective scholarship holder must have submitted the Ph.D. thesis, and they must have publications with an aggregate impact of the factor of 10.
    4. A student’s whole academic performance is assessed, and all their grades right from the time of schooling are considered before moving ahead with the application for the AORC scholarship.
    5. The evaluation of application begins at the stage of the university where you have done your Ph.D. The supervisor of your research work, the head of the institution do the initial stage of the evaluation. Then the application moves further to INSA (Indian National Science Academy). Then the final stage evaluation is done by a group of experts at an apex committee for Inspire scheme. 
    6. Those who are selected for the scheme get an annual research grant of Rs 7lakh/annum. And the grant is for a period of five years. 
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    The Application Process of the INSPIRE Scholarship Scheme

    1. The application process is pretty similar, and one can easily visit the portal and get themselves registered to be considered for the application. 
    2. Visit the online portal of the INSPIRE Scholarship Scheme and fill the application form. 
    3. Once the basic details are filled in and registration is completed, students will get the user ID and password on their registered email ID. 
    4. To see your profile and for other details, you need to keep the user ID and password handy for future use. 
    5. Once a candidate login to the profile, they are supposed to fill in all the details, and it must be filled with utmost precaution since all the details will be verified at later stages. 
    6. All the required documents must be scanned properly and then uploaded on the profile section while filling in the details of the form. 
    7. Once all the details are filled and crosschecked by the applicant, the final step is to submit the application for further scrutiny by the concerned authorities.

    Documents Required at the Time of Filing the Application form

    1. Passport size photo
    2. Marks sheet of relevant academic years.
    3. Caste Certificate(if any)
    4. A copy of the bank passbook
    5. Eligibility or the advisory note
    6. Endorsement Form
    7. Certificate of a certain rank in an entrance test/eligibility test.

    The Renewal of the Scholarship 

    The renewal of the scholarship is a crucial part of the overall INSPIRE scheme and it is based on the philosophy that a student must be consistent in his academics. Students are not only expected to be brilliant before taking the scholarship, rather the aim is to shape that brilliance even further. Thus the government regularly monitors the performance of the students and then moves ahead with the renewal of the scholarship. One of the best things about the INSPIRE scholarship is the assessment of student’s ability to perform with consistency.

    The scholarship renewal for successive years is pivoted around the following factors:

    1. The student must have shown a brilliant academic record while continuing the study at the institution. 
    2. The student must be recommended by the head of the institution for the renewal of the scholarship.
    3. The grades received in an academic year also play an important role in taking the final call on the renewal of the scholarship.

    The Benefits of the INSPIRE Scheme

    INSPIRE Scheme is a holistic scheme that gives decent financial support to the students. To nurture scientific temper from the nascent stage helps students in pursuing their dream and financial backing in this regard always helps students in propelling their scientific ideas. The guidance provided to students by research scholars from different educational institutions helps them in further shaping their ideas. The aim of the scholarship isn’t solely aimed towards giving financial help but also help young minds in getting proper guidance. The best part of the scheme is that it takes a complete set of students from primary to post-doctorate. So if you have the knack for research and want to explore the best research centers, the INSPIRE scholarship scheme provides the gateway. 
    For further details on the application process, the details below will help you get the exact details and amends(if any) in the selection norms. 

    Contact Details:

    • Email ID:
    • Contact Number: 0120-4619405, 0120-4619406 (Helpline no. for Inspire Scholarship)
    • Address: INSPIRE Program Department of Science and Technology, Technology Bhavan, New Mehrauli Road, New Delhi  - 110016

    First published date:

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