NTSE 2021 Eligibility Criteria - Age Limit

Exam Date

Dec 12, 2020

Result Date

Jun 18, 2021

Apr 7, 2021


NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) offers academic scholarships for students who clear the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE). Students who have cleared NTSE 2021 must satisfy all the criteria specified for NTSE 2021. Scholarships can be availed at the Higher Secondary level, First Degree level, Second Degree level and also up to Ph. D level. 

NTSE Eligibility Criteria

Some general information about the NTSE 2021 eligibility criteria are given below:

  • NTSE Scholarship is offered to Indian Nationals and is awarded to students studying in India.
  • Scholarships will be reviewed regularly by the National Council of Educational Research and Training. 
  • The council reserves the right to introduce new scholarships or to cease the award of scholarships at any time.
  • The eligibility criteria for each scholarship and agreement on the number of scholarships to be awarded annually are approved by NCERT.
  • The NCERT council also approves the selection and renewal process.
  • Scholarship within each category will be awarded based on merit (subject to the number of scholarships available in each category for that year) and will not by any means be tested or otherwise influenced by any other award/grant etc. held by the scholarship applicant.

Note: The scholarship is not transferable.

A candidate will be eligible provided if the candidate:

  • Is studying in approved courses.
  • Maintains good conduct as certified by the Head of college/Institution.
  • Continues studying as a regular student.
  • Attends regularly and only takes leave with permission.
  • Is not taking or will take up any job with salary/remuneration/stipend.

If the candidate is getting a scholarship from other sources regularly. In such cases,

  • The candidate can choose only one of the scholarships.
  • If the candidate fails to choose one of the scholarships NTSE scholarship will be discontinued for the period in which the candidate is accepting other scholarships.
  • Fee waiver/one-time grant/ subsidy in fee and residential accommodation received by the student will not make him/her ineligible for the scholarship.

If a candidate leaves the course within one month of registration/admission, NTSE scholarship will not be paid for the candidate. And if a student is not able to appear at the examination due to serious illness, the candidate should send the medical certificate to the board through Head of Institution. The candidate will have 90 days from the day he fell ill to do this.

S.No. Stage Eligibility
1. Stage -1 (State/UT Level) The students who are currently studying in class 10th at a recognised school including Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kendriya Vidyalaya and Sainik School can apply for state-level examination from the state where their school is located.
Students studying under ODL (Open and Distance Learning) can also apply for the scholarship provided they are below 18 years of age, unemployed and are appearing for the class 10th examination first time.
Note: The state may levy their eligibility conditions like qualifying percentage etc. for Stage-1 examination.
2. Stage – 2 (National Level) The national level examination is open to students having Indian nationality only. The students must be studying in class 10th either in India or Abroad.
For students in India: The candidates shortlisted in Stage -1 (state level examination) will be qualified to appear for the national level examination.
For students studying abroad: The students, who are Indian nationals but studying abroad in class 10thcan directly apply for the national level examination, only if –He/she has obtained at least 60% marks in aggregate in the previous examination. He/she takes up the examination at a centre in India and bears the cost by himself. He/she requests through the HOI (Head of the Institution) where he/she is studying.
Note: The scholarship will be paid to students from abroad only if they pursue further studies in India.

NTSE Eligibility Criteria 2021 - Important Details

Higher Secondary level:

  • Award of scholarship to the selected candidates shall commence after their clear promotion to class 11th.
  • The proof of successful promotion to class XI from the corresponding school must be submitted to avail the scholarship at Higher Secondary level.
  • The scholarship is payable for a maximum period of 2 years for students studying in India who are studying at the higher secondary stage or equivalent classes 11th and 12th.
  • The scholarship will also be given to the students who are pursuing diploma or certificate courses only if they are not employed.
  • The candidate must have scored minimum 60% aggregate in the preceding academic year. In case of a score that is less than 60%, forfeiture of scholarship for one year is applicable. In case of a score that is less than 60% for two continuous or non-continuous years, the scholarship is forfeited permanently.
  • In case the institution awards scores in a grades system, equivalent aggregate is taken into consideration.

First Degree Level:

  • To be eligible for a scholarship at First Degree level in the areas of Basic Sciences, Social Sciences, professional courses in Management, Law, Medicine or Engineering, the candidate must have scored 60% aggregate at the +2 level or equivalent examination.
  • The scholarship awardee must have scored a minimum of 60% aggregate in the preceding academic year. In case of a score that is less than 60%, forfeiture of scholarship for one year is applicable. In case of a score that is less than 60% for two consecutive or non-consecutive years, the scholarship is forfeited permanently.
  • In case the institution awards scores in a grades system (for example, NITs, IITs, IISc etc.) equivalent aggregate is calculated and taken into consideration.

Second Degree Level:

  • To be eligible for scholarship at Second Degree level, the student must secure a minimum score of 60% marks in every year or semester of the course depending on the institution in which they are studying. If the obtained score is less than 60% aggregate in any year, the scholarship will be withheld for that particular year. In case of a score that is less than 60% for two consecutive or non-consecutive years, the scholarship can be cancelled permanently.
  • In addition to the above mentioned, all the rules specified for eligibility under the First Degree level are applicable here as well.

M.Phil and PhD level:

  • The candidate availing scholarship under the M.Phil or PhD level must have a degree in M.A./M.Sc./M.Com./M.Phil and the continuance of scholarship is subject to the successful completion of the course. The course has to be cleared in the first attempt by securing a minimum of 60% aggregate.
  • An assessment is conducted after 2 years by the conducting authority to check the quality of research work. Continuance of scholarship payment is subject to the results of this assessment.
  • The awardee will be entitled to the scholarship for a total duration of 4 years. 


  • If any candidate drops studies or discontinues his/her education within one of admission, then no scholarship will be awarded to him/her.
  • The candidates should pass in all subjects of their course in first attempt only and if they fail in any of the core subject his/her scholarship will be cancelled.

NTSE Scholarship Reservation Details

The candidates who qualify the NTSE stage 2 examinations will be getting reservation benefits. The general category candidates must secure 40% marks in each of the NTSE exam paper. The reserved category students need to secure 32% marks in each of the exams.

The NTSE reservation scheme is as follows:

Category Percentage Reservation Eligibility Criteria
Other Backward Classes (OBC) 27% No. of Scholarships 270
Mandatory Requirements 35% marks in the qualifying exam.
Scheduled Caste (SC) 15% No. of Scholarships 40
Mandatory Requirements 32% marks in the qualifying exam.
Scheduled Tribe (ST) 7.5% No. of Scholarships 150
Mandatory Requirements 32% marks in the qualifying exam.
Physically Handicapped (PH) 3% No. of Scholarships 75
Mandatory Requirements 32% marks in the qualifying exam.

Check out the NTSE Syllabus and NTSE Exam Pattern for more details about the structure and contents of the Exam.

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