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JN Tata Endowment for Higher Education

In 1892, Jamsetji Tata realised that India needed a technologically proficient generation of people to make progress. For this, he established the JN Tata Endowment scheme – a loan scholarship for meritorious Indians who wish to pursue a masters or doctorate education programme abroad. His quote below distinguishes his approach and best captures his philosophy of constructive philanthropy:

There is one kind of charity common enough among us, it is that patchwork philanthropy which clothes the ragged, feeds the poor, and heals the sick. I am far from decrying the noble spirit which seeks to help a poor or suffering fellow being. However, what advances a nation or a community is not so much to prop up its weakest and most helpless members, but to lift up the best and the most gifted, so as to make them of the greatest service to the country.”

The JN Tata Endowment scheme is the very quintessence of the Tata Trusts’ guiding principle of striving to lift the brightest and most talented, making them capable of contributing towards the advancement of the nation. Till date, there are nearly 5,500 such scholars worldwide. Being referred to as a JN Tata scholar has been a matter of pride for them, and several of them have grown to become distinguished members of society, doing their country proud. Beneficiaries of this path-breaking loan scholarship have included, over the years, former President of India KR Narayanan, scientists Raja Ramanna and Jayant Narlikar, Mehli Mehta — the famous violinist (and father of Zubin Mehta ), JJ Irani — erstwhile Managing Director of the Tata Iron and Steel Company Ltd., Dr Ramesh Natarajan — Programme Director, Tissue Injury and Repair, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA, Harshawardhan Deshpande — a VTCRI Medical Scholars Fellowship awardee, Xerxes S Desai – the guiding force behind the setting-up of Titan Industries, and Ashok Benjamin Basil — credited with working on the miniaturisation of a US Navy ship model for manufacture on a 3D printer.

Awareness about the scholarship is brought about through communication published in local print and digital media, and through the platform ‘buddy4study.com’. Over the years, the selection process has evolved, become more rigorous, and uses contemporary digital technologies.

The application process is now online, and the first round of selection is through an online test, followed by personal interviews. The Endowment has been expanding its list of panellists by roping-in former JN Tata scholars, such as those teaching at the National Law University, Delhi, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the University of Massachusetts and those working at the United Nations.

The scholarship currently extends to around 100 students each year. Please visit http://www.jntataendowment.org/ for more details.

Means grant

Based on needs, this scheme offers partial assistance to college and school-going students towards their fees. Applicants must submit proof that the fees have been paid.

Eligibility criteria

  • Students should apply for the current academic year ie, for the AY 2019-2020
  • Students studying in colleges / schools located within Mumbai / Mumbai suburban areas are eligible to apply (for school studies STD VIII till graduation, except engineering)
  • Student should have secured at least a pass class in their previous examination (ATKT students are not eligible to apply)
  • A maximum of two children from the same family can apply

Grant for Certificate Course in Holistic inclusion of Learners with Diversities (CHILD)

Tata Trusts in association with Aatman Academy for Research and Training (AART) invites applications for a Certificate Course in Holistic inclusion of Learners with Diversities (CHILD) — A course on inclusive education specially designed for in-service educators (teachers) and individuals of the community supporting children’s educational needs. This course has been implemented by Aatman Academy for Research and Training (AART) under the guidance of Institute on Community Integration from the University of Minnesota. The programme stands closed for the year 2019-2020.

Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Trust scholarship

This is a merit-based, overseas masters scholarship programme for women graduates engaged in social work, social science, public health, and welfare of women and children. Established in 1933, the scholarship has been following a rigorous selection procedure, with the trustees taking keen interest in the selection process. Each year, up to 10 women benefit from this scholarship.   The programme stands closed for the year 2019-2020.

Lady Tata Memorial Trust

Established in 1932 by Sir Dorabji Tata, in memory of his wife, Lady Meherbai, this Trust spends four-fifth of its income for research in leukemic diseases, and the balance one-fifth for research on alleviation of human sufferings from diseases in India and internationally. This Trust also supports institutional scientific research, offers a ‘Young Researcher Award’ to budding scientists, and conducts a Teachers’ Training Programme.

Individual Grants Programme

Means-Based Grant

Students who lack the means, especially from economically underprivileged background and those with special needs, who have passed the previous academic year and are studying in class VIII or above are eligible to apply, the eligibility depending on annual family income. This is a needs-based grant that supports underprivileged children in their education from grade VIII up to the graduation level.

The Trusts invite applications between April and December, and applications and supporting documents are accepted online. Support for children through duly chosen NGOs covers not just fees but also uniforms, books, travel expenses, etc.  For children with special needs, the Trusts provide for their education and therapy as well. The main cities being covered along with partner NGOs are Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nasik, Dhule and Aurangabad – all in Maharashtra. Over 600 students benefit from this grant each year.

Using technology, the Trusts plan on introducing a mentoring and counselling programme for students to help them stay motivated to complete their studies.

  • Medical and health care —The Trusts offer scholarships in 28 streams in medical and health care education.
  • Masters in Neuroscience — This is a scholarship exclusively for women.
  • Masters in Speech Therapy — This includes the Master in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology (MASLP) programme, and programmes covering speech and hearing, audiology and speech therapy.
  • B.Ed. & D.Ed. — This is currently being offered only to students in Jammu and Kashmir and north-east India.
  • Aircraft maintenance engineering — This has been launched in the academic year 2019-20. Please click here for details.
  • Academic scholarship — Applications for the scholarships in the field of M.Sc. in Neuroscience, Masters in Speech Therapy and D.Ed. & B.Ed. have closed for this year.

More than 3,000 students have benefited from these scholarships.

Professional Enhancement Grant

This is a grant for professionals who wish to enhance their professional skills through observership programmes (pertinent to the medical fraternity), training sessions or workshops — both domestic and overseas. The scheme covers expenses related to airfare, visa, registration charges and, in rare cases, accommodation. Eligible candidates are interviewed personally and around 50 of them benefit from this grant each year. Click here to fill the application form.

Research fellowship

Having begun with the support of research into autism, dyslexia, public health and pancreatic cancer, the Trust are now keen to focus on research into dyslexia and the teaching of mathematics at the primary school level. The Trusts will collaborate with the Maharashtra Dyslexia Association, and are looking for a suitable partner to anchor the research in the teaching of mathematics.

Spectrum Grants

Grants that don’t fall in any of the specific schemes are classified as Spectrum Grants, since they cover different activities such as those ranging from music, identified sports, theatre and uncommon research. The Trusts have been encouraging students of music to learn under the tutelage of a master, especially when it involves a rare or less popular instrument such as the harp or the Rudra Veena, or a genre such as Dhrupad. Students who qualify for this grant need to have profound interest in their chosen activity, and the ability to learn and complete their training. The Trusts have begun to support research into the making of the Rudra Veena under the guidance of Ustad Bahauddin Dagar.

As a new initiative and key focus area, the Trusts have launched a pilot programme to help teachers and mothers cope with children with learning disability. Click here to fill the application form

Civil Aviation

This is a grant for candidates who are keen on pursuing the Commercial Pilots License course or for those who would like to pursue type rating after obtaining their license to fly a certain type of aircraft. This grant is offered to students pursuing the course in India or overseas, and subject to their performance during the interview.

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