Study in India for NRI/PIO/Foreign Nationals: Three routes for UG admissions

Education in India for Non-Resident Indian (NRI), Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Foreign Nationals is a fine balance between “Quality of Education” and “Cost of Education”. Therefore, it is a very informed decision when they or their children seek to study in India for higher studies at tertiary level (i.e. above 10+2: 12 years of continuous study). But how to go about it? What are the avenues open before them for taking admissions in Indian institutes/colleges/universities? This is the subject matter of this blog post, which would tell you in brief about the three admission routes, so that it enables you to learn more about the admission processes yourself.

This blog article would also be followed by a series of blog posts on each three of the admission routes to discuss them in detail. Also let me tell you that information provided here is for Undergraduate studies (i.e. leading to Bachelor degrees) only. If you find this information useful, I may post info on PG admission process also later.

Distinction between PIO/NRI:
Before going any further, let us first know distinctly how a PIO & NRI is defined by Govt. of India.

Definition of PIO (Persons of Indian Origin)
"Persons of Indian Origin" (PIOs) shall mean the Persons who are citizens of other countries (except Pakistan and Bangladesh) who at any time held an Indian Passport, or who or either of his/her parent or any of his/her grandparent was a citizen of India by virtue of provisions of the Constitution of India or Section 2 (B) of Citizenship Act, 1955 (Act No. 57 of 1955). 

Definition of Non-Resident Indian (NRIs)
An individual is Non-Resident Indian, when any of the following conditions is satisfied. 
(1) If he/she has not been resident in India in nine out of ten preceding years; (OR)
(2) If he/she has not been in India for a period of 730 days or more during the preceding seven years.

Although you might be knowing above already, the definitions have been given, as the college admission process makes distinction between the two, as you can see below.

The Three Admission processes:
As given in the title of this article, there are three ways in which NRI/PIO/Foreign Nationals can take admissions in Indian institutes. These are:
1.0 Through DASA (Direct Admission of Students Abroad):
2.0 Through Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC) by EdCIL.
3.0 Through NRI sponsored quota.

Let us know about them in more detail.

DASA (Direct Admission of Students Abroad)
Direct Admission of Students Abroad DASADASA is an admission process for Undergraduate programmes in Engineering,  Architecture & Planning courses in  40 odd premier technical institutions in India e.g. NIT/ IIIT/ SPA etc. Specifically meant for the 
NRI/PIO/Foreign Nationals, this is a  Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt. of India scheme.

It is coordinated every year by one of the NITs e.g. DASA 2015 is being coordinated by Malaviya National Institute of Technology, (MNIT) Jaipur. Admission process through DASA starts through submission of online application in the 1st week of April and is continued till the end of May. For instance for DASA 2015, application forms can be submitted online from 1st April to 1st June, 2015.

Eligibility required for DASA:
1.0 Age: Maximum 25 years on 1st October of admission year. For example for DASA 2015, Date of Birth should be 1st October, 1990 or later.
2.0 Must have passed Senior Secondary [10+2] with Mathematics, Physics and one of the subjects from Chemistry, Bio-technology, Computer Science or Biology.
3.0 Foreign Nationals/PIO can complete the qualifying exam in any country including India. But if you are an Indian National studying abroad, you must have completed the qualifying exam from outside India.
4.0 Minimum CGPA required is 6.50 in above qualifying exam (i.e. 10+2).
5.0 Minimum SAT Subject Test Score: 1440.  Subjects to be taken in SAT: Mathematics Level 2, Physics and Chemistry.

Cost of education through DASA:
Registration fees: USD 300.
Tuition fees: USD 8000 per annum.

Admission through SPDC Scheme of EdCIL.
SPDC Scheme of EdCILScholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC) is a Scholarship programme for 100 students (50 NRI & 50 PIO) each year to undertake undergraduate studies in Professional and Non-Professional courses (except Medical and related courses) in India. 

SPDC is meant for students from 40 select countries only. EdCIL (Educational Consultants India Limited) is the “Nodal Agency” for implementation of the SPDC.  EdCIL is a Public Sector company in India under administrative control of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India.

Eligibility required for SPDC scheme:
1.0 Age: Minimum 17, Maximum 21 years as on 1st October of year of SPDC. For example for SPDC scheme 2015, Date of Birth should be in between 1st October, 1994 and before 1st October,1998,
2.0 You must have passed the Senior Secondary (10+2) or equivalent examination from a system of education recognized by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), with requisite subjects.
3.0 You must have scored minimum of 60% aggregate marks or equivalent grades in the qualifying examination.
4.0 You must have passed the qualifying examination inclusive of 11th and 12th standard or equivalent (not beyond), from the 40 select countries only.
5.0 For NRI, the total monthly income of the family of the candidate should not exceed USD 2250. There is such income limit for the PIO candidates.

Find more about SPDC Scheme of EdCIL in my upcoming blog article titled: EdCIL SPDC Scheme 2015: Dates, Eligibility & Form.

Admission through  NRI sponsored quota
Admission process through this route is administered by each institute individually – i.e. there is no common selection process. Therefore you have to visit the websites of each institute and get to know about the admission processes.

For example, in SRM University (one of the top ranking universities in India), submission of application form starts from 1st October every year till 15th June.Approx 15% of the total seats is reserved for foreign/ NRI quota. UG Admissions is based on merit as per the grades/ marks obtained in PCM/B in the 10+2 or equivalent examination and on first come first serve basis, provided the student meets the eligibility requirement

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