Hyderabad: The overseas scholarships granted by the Telangana government is giving wings to several youngsters from economically weak sections as they can go abroad and pursue higher studies.
As many as 405 candidates belonging to the SC community fulfilled their dreams by studying their favourite course in foreign universities of their choice since 2014. Interestingly, 113 of these were girls.
The scheme, Ambedkar Overseas Vidya Nidhi, is granted to SC students for pursuing higher studies in foreign universities. Out of the 405, the maximum number of students, 279, availed the scholarships for studying post-graduation courses in US universities. After the US, 68 students went to Australian universities, 32 to Canada, 21 to UK, three to Singapore and one each to Italy and Germany.
The government spent Rs 53 crore on this, since Telangana’s formation in 2014. In the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, financial assistance was given to pursue studies in five countries, while the Telangana government increased this to 10 — covering the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, France and South Korea.
As a special case, the State government also accorded financial assistance to a student who wished to study in a university in Italy. Apart from increasing the number of countries covered under the scheme, the government also enhanced the grant from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh besides airfare and charges for visa interviews. Currently, the scheme is implemented for PG and PhD programmes in foreign universities in the listed countries. To be eligible for assistance, the candidate’s family income should be within Rs 5 lakh from all sources and have minimum 60 per cent marks in the qualifying examination. They also need to minimum secure scores of 60 in TOEFL, 6.0 in IELTS, 260 in GRE and 500 in GMAT.
According to a senior SC Development Department official, most students who availed of the financial assistance went on to pursue MS in IT and computer science engineering. “The 113 girls going abroad for higher studies is a good number. If students get admission in a university, which is not in one of the listed countries, such candidates can approach the department and the government will consider the case depending on merit,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the department decided to track the students who availed of the financial assistance. “For the first time, a tracking system is introduced to ascertain what these students are doing after going abroad. It is also to ascertain if they are getting jobs after completing the course,” the official said.