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International Scholarships

Commonwealth Scholarship Plan - India

Competition: Closed for the 2016-2017 academic year

Who Applies: Canadian students and researchers

Description: The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) offers scholarships for study in India at the undergraduate, Master's or PhD level that leads to a degree at an Indian university.


The competition is open to all disciplines including natural sciences, engineering, humanities, social sciences and the arts. Scholarships are not offered for studies in medical sciences, dentistry, nursing or fashion design. The scholarships for study in India are tenable only at universities that are on the following list of University Grants Commission (UGC) Recognized Universities (PDF, 115 KB)*.

* If you require a plug-in or a third-party software to view this file, please visit the alternative formats section of our help page.

Scholarship Value

The award includes:

  • airfare to India, for the award recipient only, by the most economical route and return airfare upon completion of the scholarship;
  • personal living allowance;
  • tuition fees;
  • accommodation expenses; and
  • other study and medical allowances.

Scholarship Duration

Scholarships are tenable for the full duration of the academic program.

For PhD scholars, the scholarship may be awarded for a maximum of five and a half years. The annual renewal of which for subsequent years is subject to:

  • the availability of funding;
  • receipt by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) of a progress report, valid Residency Permit and current transcripts;
  • good academic standing; and
  • the confirmation by the academic institution that the renewal period is necessary to complete the program of study for which the scholarship was initially awarded.



  • must be a Canadian citizen;
  • must have completed the prerequisite degrees for the proposed program of study at the time of submitting an application;
  • must be able to pass an English examination, be able to undertake courses taught in English;
  • must not be already registered at a university in India; and
  • must engage in full-time studies or research at a university on the list of UGC Recognized Universities (PDF, 115 KB)*.

In addition, applicants:

Priority will be given to candidates who have not previously studied in India.

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions are as follows:

  • scholars, as well as their spouse and dependants, when relevant, must meet all of the requirements for entry into India, including a medical examination;
  • scholars will be required to sign an undertaking to return to Canada upon completion of the scholarship;
  • scholars must submit their vacation requests for pre-approval. It is important to note that scholarship funding will be suspended during this period and that the scholar will be responsible for all vacation-related expenses;
  • scholars must be able to commence their study in India by September 2016 with limited notice of receipt of the scholarship, usually three weeks;
  • scholars will be expected to reside in India throughout the scholarship and to seek prior approval for any proposed visits abroad;
  • scholars must follow the approved course of study and abide by the rules of the host institution;
  • scholars will not be permitted to change the course plan, institution or the value of their scholarship award;
  • scholars may not undertake paid employment during their scholarship nor serve on the staff of the Canadian High Commission or Consulate in India;
  • a scholarship may be terminated at any time for reasons such as a scholar's unsatisfactory progress, conduct or a breach of the conditions of the award; and
  • scholars who terminate their studies or research during the scholarship period will not receive return airfare and will be required to repay the scholarship.

* If you require a plug-in or a third-party software to view this file, please visit the alternative formats section of our help page.


The deadline for the DFATD online application form is 11:59 p.m. EDT, December 21, 2015.

The deadline to receive the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) application form is December 21, 2015. Applications received late or incomplete by the scholarship administrator will not be considered.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all required documents sent by mail are received by the deadline. The scholarship program administrator will not accept incomplete files. Supporting documents, other than the ones requested, will not be accepted.

An acknowledgement of receipt will not be provided.


Applicants will be contacted by December 29, 2015 by the scholarship administrator regarding the status of their application.

Applicants must ensure that a permanent email address is included in their application.

Final Selection

The ICCR will notify the scholarship administrator of their final decision. Confirmation on relatively short notice from the Indian authorities is to be expected (about three weeks prior to commencement of studies in India).

Application Process

To be considered for the Commonwealth Scholarship Plan an applicant must complete the following two-step process:

  1. Applicants must first complete and submit the online application form of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) available on this site and provide the supporting documents as requested. This application will be used in the pre-selection process and can be submitted in French or in English.
  2. Applicants must complete the ICCR application form and submit the application package by mail.

Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Step One: DFATD Online Application

Applicants are encouraged to carefully read the instructions below before beginning the online form. If applicants experience difficulty filling out or submitting the form, they should send an email to


Applicants must:

  • complete the online form;
    • Individuals who do not have an account will first need to Register an account.
    • Under “For Canadians” section, applicants will need to go to the Commonwealth Scholarship Plan – India webpage and click on Apply Now.
  • enter data in the fields marked mandatory, following instructions for each item;
  • upload all required supporting documents;
  • upon completion, verify the data prior to submission;
  • print the form for their records using the print function in the browser; and
  • click SUBMIT to provide their form electronically to DFATD. The candidate will receive a confirmation message and reference number once their form is submitted.

NOTE: Applicants will have the possibility to save their application and complete it at a later time. Both saved and submitted applications will appear on the applicant’s profile homepage.

Supporting Documents

The following documents must be uploaded and attached to the online application form in one of the following formats: .pdf, .jpg, .doc, .docx, .txt or .gif. Each document must be smaller than 5 Mb in order for the application to upload successfully.

  • Certificate of admission: certificate of admission from the host institution or copy of correspondence testifying that the applicant has requested admission or will have access to the facilities needed to complete the proposed research project.
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship: copy of a birth certificate, citizenship card, or passport; a baptism certificate is not accepted as proof of Canadian citizenship.
  • Official transcripts: a transcript of the highest post-secondary studies completed (academic records including colleges and CÉGEPs) with the cumulative grade point average for each degree or certificate and a transcript of studies in progress (if applicable).
  • Copy of diploma: for the highest degree obtained.
  • Study or Research Proposal: an essay describing your study or research plan (maximum two pages).

Step Two: ICCR application

Applicants must complete the ICCR application form and certificate of physical fitness and provide the supporting documents as requested. This documentation must be submitted by mail to the following address:

Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE)
Attn: Commonwealth Scholarship Plan – India
220 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 1550
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5Z9

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that these documents are received by the scholarship administrator (CBIE) by December 21 , 2015.

It is recommended that applicants post this documentation in a sealed envelope and send it to CBIE by a method which will provide a confirmation of its delivery, such as courier service or registered mail.

If applicants are unable to collect all the required supporting documents, please ensure that referees and institution(s) issuing transcripts submit the documents directly to CBIE. The name of the scholarship program should be visible on all documentation sent to CBIE.

Supporting Documents

The following documents must be submitted to the scholarship program administrator by mail:

  • ICCR application form: six copies of the application form, each with original signatures.
  • Study plan: Applicants applying for doctoral studies must include point average (GPA) for each degree or certificate. Applicants currently enrolled in a program of study must submit the most recent transcript. Include one certified translation into English for all documents not in English, along with the originals.
  • Certified copies of degree diplomas: One copy of diplomas notarized by a Notary Public or stamped by the institution of origin with five copies. The copies should include undergraduate and graduate degrees. If the degrees are in a language other than English, they must include a translation in English by a certified translator.
  • Certificate of physical fitness: one copy and five photocopies of the form included in the ICCR application form.
  • Letters of recommendations: one copy and five photocopies of one letter of recommendation from two different people who are well acquainted with the applicant’s scholarly work. Each letter must be signed by the referee.
  • Photographs: one copy and five photocopies of a passport size photograph taken within one year from the date of the application. The applicant’s name should be written on the back of the photographs for identification purposes and attached to each application package in the space indicated.
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship: one notarized copy by a Notary Public of the applicant’s passport as well as five photocopies.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) English language test official test results (if applicable);
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) official test results (if applicable); and
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) official test results (if applicable). All decisions made by the host country are final and are not open to appeal.

Applications submitted directly to the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) will not be considered. Documents submitted to the scholarship administrator will not be returned.

These scholarships are subject to the availability of funding provided by the Government of India.



The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) was established in 1959, with the first scholars selected in 1960. The Plan was suggested in an influential speech in September 1958 by Sidney Smith, a former President of the University of Toronto and later Canadian Minister of External Affairs. The goal of the Plan is to nurture educational links among Commonwealth countries and to strengthen the ideals upon which the Commonwealth was founded. Over 27,000 Commonwealth citizens have held awards - many going on to reach the very highest levels within their profession.

The CSFP is managed in India by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Annually, India awards 54 scholarships, of which two are offered to Canadian scholars.


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