Anshul Kumar, a sociology student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, applied to the masters degree programme in social anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. In January, he was thrilled to receive an admission offer.
The 25-year-old from a Dalit family in Delhi knew his family did not have the resources to support education abroad. But he was counting on the National Overseas Scholarship.
Every year, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment announces 100 such scholarships: 90 for Dalit students from communities listed as Scheduled Castes, six for those from denotified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes, and four for landless agricultural labourers and traditional artisans. Similarly, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs offers 20 overseas scholarships: 17 for Adivasi students from communities listed as Scheduled Tribes and three for those from particularly vulnerable tribal groups.
Apart from covering the actual tuition…