National Fellowship for SC 2020 | Eligibility, Benefits, Rewards, How to Apply?

National Fellowship for SC 2020: The National Fellowship scheme for Scheduled Caste students is an initiative of the Central Sector Scheme, which was introduced during 2005-2006. The fellowship falls under the purview of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. The main agenda of the scholarship is to provide educational opportunities to underprivileged sections of society, especially the students belonging to the scheduled caste. Moreover, the primary form of assistance is the provision of financial aids for pursuing higher studies such as M.Phil, Ph.D., Humanities, Engineering and more.

The National Fellowship for SC performs an important societal role – that is to ensure all underprivileged students of society get a fair chance at quality education. Education is an important social aspect – it ensures that all individuals have adequate employment opportunities, thereby, enabling financial independence. This not only leads to a better economy but also increased GDP. Read on to explore the eligibility criteria, the application process, rewards and benefits of the National Fellowship scheme for Scheduled Caste students.

Graduate, Post Graduate Students and Research Fellows can also find more Fellowship Articles to explore various fellowships across India to know the funding opportunities.

Scope of the National Fellowship Scheme

  • The scheme provides 2000 fellowships, of which 1500 are for Junior Research Fellows for Social Sciences and Humanities while the remaining 500 fellowships are reserved for Junior Research Fellows for Science Stream.

National Fellowship for SC Eligibility Criteria

Interested candidates must ensure that they fulfill the following criteria to be deemed eligible:

  • Candidates must belong to Scheduled Caste community
  • Candidates must also be pursuing full-time regular M.Phil, Ph.D. courses from UGC recognized universities or educational institutions
  • Candidates who have already secured admission and cleared their NET exam will be given preference – these candidates must compulsorily join the fellowship within three months of being issued the award letter
  • In the case that sufficient candidates who already secured admission are not available, the candidates who have not secured admission will be selected on the basis of merit.
  • Moreover, the selected scholar is eligible to receive only one fellowship at a time. The scholar is required to declare that they shall not receive or accept any other fellowship or monetary benefits while under the duration of the NFSC.
  • After two years, if the work of the Junior Research Fellow is found to be satisfactory, then their tenure will be extended for another 3 years under the title of Senior Research Fellow.
  • Employees of colleges, universities, educational institutions, Central or State government offices will be excluded from availing fellowships under this scheme even if they are on Sabbatical.

National Fellowship for SC Application Process – How To Apply?

  • The nodal agency for the fellowship scheme is the University Grants Commission (UGC)
  • The fellowship will be awarded on the basis of merit secured in the UGC-NET-JRF or the UGC-CSIR NET-JRF examination
  • The merit for the National Fellowship for SC will be drawn through the NET examination, however, candidates who have already secured admission will be given preference
  • Candidates who have secured admission must join their respective fellowship within three months of being presented with the JRF award letter. Candidates who fail to join within the stipulated time period will have their candidature cancelled.
  • Candidates who are qualified, but not have secured admission during the time of application are instructed to secure a full-time regular admission for Ph.D. or M.Phil courses from a UGC recognized university
  • The decision made by the UGC with respect to awarding the fellowship is final
  • The results will be published on UGC’s official website. Successful candidates can download the award letters from UGC’s online portal or any other medium as instructed by the UGC.

National Fellowship for SC Duration

The duration of the fellowship is as follows

Details Admissibility of JRF and SRF
Junior Research


Senior Research


Course Name Max. Duration
M.Phil 2 years 2 years
PhD 5 years 2 years 3 years
M.Phil + PhD 5 years 2 years 3 years

Note: The maximum duration of the fellowship will not be extended under any circumstances.

National Fellowship for SC Rewards and Benefits

The fellowship will be paid from the date of being issued the JRF award letter under the National Fellowship Scheme or the date of joining the selected course – whichever is later. The rates and benefits of the fellowship for JRF and SRF are as follows:

No. Detail Rates for
1 All streams INR 31,000/- per month for first two years INR 35,000/- per month for the remaining years
2 Contingency for Social Sciences and Humanities INR 10,000/- per month for first two years INR 20,500/- per month for the remaining years
3 Contingency for Science INR 12,000/- per month for first two years INR 25,000/- per month for the remaining years
4 Assistant (reader/ escort) for physically/ visually  handicapped candidates INR 2,000 per month INR 2,000 per month
5 House Rent Allowance HRA at 8%, 16% and 24% to scholars who are not provided hostel accommodation

National Fellowship for SC Important Points

  • In case the scholars are provided hostel accommodation, only hostel fees can be drawn (excluding mess, water and electricity charges)
  • In case the scholar rejects the accommodation provided to them by the host institution, the scholar will forfeit their HRA claim
  • In the case that hostel accommodation is unavailable, the host may provide a single accommodation by the host institution. The rent paid by the scholar on an actual basis will be reimbursed, subject to the prevailing HRA ceiling.
  • Similarly, if the scholar makes their own accommodation, reimbursement will be provided, subject to the HRA ceiling set by the Government of India.
  • The scholars must submit monthly confirmation certificate to the host institution if they  wish to claim HRA on a monthly basis

FAQ’s on National Fellowship for SC

Question 1.
How do I apply for a National Fellowship in SC?

Interested candidates are instructed to apply through UGC’s online applications for NET/UGC-CSIR. Candidates that clear this exam are eligible to apply for the fellowship.

Question 2.
What is the National Fellowship for SC?

The National Fellowship scheme for SC is an initiative of the Central Sector Scheme that aims to provide educational opportunities through financial support to students belonging to the scheduled caste community.

Question 3.
How do I check my JRF Fellowship status?

The candidate’s JRF Fellowship status can be checked using the UGC’s Scholarship Tracking portal.

Question 4.
What is the maximum duration of the fellowship?

The maximum duration of M.Phil is 2 years while Ph.D. is 5 years (2 years as JRF + 3 Years as SRF)

Question 5.
Can government employees apply for this fellowship?

Employees of Central or State government offices are not eligible for availing this particular fellowship.

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