Vigyan Jyoti Scheme: Features, Eligibility & Benefits

The Vigyan Jyoti Scheme, initiated by India’s Department of Science & Technology (DST), empowers women in STEM fields through targeted initiatives. These include mentoring, skill development workshops, exposure visits to research institutes, and internships at prestigious organisations.

The Vigyan Jyoti scheme (Phase II) was officially launched on February 11, 2021, coinciding with the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

This scheme specifically designed for girls from rural and remote areas, encourages their participation in STEM education and careers. With a focus on fostering a supportive ecosystem and providing financial assistance, Vigyan Jyoti aims to bridge the gender gap in STEM, empowering women to excel in scientific pursuits.

  • Program Type: STEM Initiatives for Women
  • Administrative Ministry: Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India
  • Focus Areas: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)
  • Objective: Empowerment through Skill Enhancement and Research Advancement
  • Intended Recipients: Students at various educational levels – Secondary, Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Doctoral
  • Qualification Criteria: Female students enrolled in 9th grade or higher, aspiring for careers in STEM disciplines.
  • Funding Provider: Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India
  • Financial Cycle: Yearly Allocation
  • Duration: Commencing from Secondary Schooling up to Post-doctoral Studies

What is the second phase of the Vigyan Jyoti program?

The second phase of the Vigyan Jyoti program involves expanding its coverage to an additional 100 districts across the country. This expansion aims to increase the scheme’s impact and empower more young women to pursue careers in STEM fields.

What does STEM mean in the Vigyan Jyoti Scheme?

STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, encompasses a wide range of disciplines critical to the advancement of society:

  • Science: Science involves the exploration and understanding of natural phenomena, uncovering the mysteries of the universe and driving innovation through research and discovery. 
  • Technology: Technology encompasses the practical application of scientific knowledge to create solutions and innovations that improve human lives and drive economic growth. 
  • Engineering: Engineering focuses on the design and development of systems, structures, and processes to address real-world challenges and improve efficiency and functionality.
  • Mathematics: Mathematics serves as the language of patterns, logic, and quantitative analysis, providing the foundation for problem-solving and innovation across various fields.

Together, these domains form the backbone of modern society, driving progress and innovation in every aspect of our lives.

Objectives of Vigyan Jyoti Scheme

The objectives of the Vigyan Jyoti Scheme extend beyond its key features, focusing on broader goals aimed at empowering girls and strengthening the STEM ecosystem. These objectives include:

  • Empowerment Through Education: Encourage and inspire girls to pursue higher education in STEM fields, fostering self-reliance, and independence.
  • Gender-Inclusive Environment: Create an enabling environment that promotes gender inclusivity and diversity in STEM education and careers.
  • Ecosystem Strengthening: Build a supportive ecosystem that extends from schools to colleges and from research to employment, facilitating seamless transitions and opportunities.
  • Access to Knowledge: Ensure equitable access to science and technology information, resources, and opportunities, particularly for girls from underprivileged backgrounds.
  • Skill Development and Career Readiness: Equip girls with the necessary skills, knowledge, and exposure to thrive in STEM fields, preparing them for successful careers and contributions to society.

Features of Vigyan Jyoti Scheme

The Vigyan Jyoti Scheme encompasses a multifaceted approach to promote STEM education among girls, aiming to create a robust and inclusive ecosystem from school to advanced levels. Key features include:

  • Comprehensive Scope: The scheme spans from Class IX to PhD level, ensuring continuous support and opportunities for girls interested in STEM fields.
  • Residential Programs: Specialized residential programs offer immersive experiences for Class XI students, providing hands-on learning and exposure to STEM disciplines.
  • Inspirational Role Models: Accomplished women in STEM serve as mentors, sharing their experiences and guiding participants toward diverse career pathways.
  • Educational Exploration: Enriching field trips to planetariums, labs, research centers, and historical sites foster curiosity and practical understanding of scientific concepts.
  • Knowledge Dissemination: Engaging multimedia resources, including movies and documentaries, enhance learning by showcasing the achievements of prominent female figures in STEM.

What is the eligibility for the Vigyan Jyoti Program (Phase II)?

The eligibility criteria for participating in the Vigyan Jyoti Scheme typically include:

  • Gender: The scheme primarily targets female students interested in pursuing education and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields.
  • Grade Level: Eligibility may be limited to students at specific grade levels, such as Class IX onwards, or higher education levels like undergraduate or postgraduate studies.
  • Academic Performance: Some programs under the Vigyan Jyoti Scheme may require applicants to demonstrate a certain level of academic achievement or aptitude in STEM subjects.
  • Residency: Eligibility criteria may also consider the residency status of applicants, such as being residents of specific states or regions targeted by the scheme.
  • Socio-Economic Background: Depending on the program’s objectives, eligibility may prioritize students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds or marginalized communities.

Interested individuals must review the specific eligibility criteria outlined in the program guidelines or announcements provided by the implementing authority or organization overseeing the Vigyan Jyoti Scheme.

How can students apply for the Vigyan Jyoti Scheme?

Students can apply for the Vigyan Jyoti Scheme by visiting the official website portal at and following the application procedures provided on the platform.

How many girls have benefited from the Vigyan Jyoti Scheme?

Vigyan Jyoti Scheme girls got benefited data chart

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A total of 30,451 girls have benefited from the Vigyan Jyoti Scheme since its inception in 2019-20, according to the facts presented by the New Indian Express. Among the states, Uttar Pradesh, under BJP rule, has seen the highest number of girls encouraged towards taking an interest in STEM, with 2,276 beneficiaries.

Other states have also participated in the program, contributing to the total number of beneficiaries. The initiative includes ongoing activities and interventions for girl students, as outlined by Minister of State Dr. Jitendra Singh in a Lok Sabha reply.

Are there any financial benefits associated with the scheme?

Yes, financial assistance may be provided to cover expenses related to workshops, internships, scholarships, or travel for exposure visits.

How much scholarship has the Vigyan Jyoti Scheme provided to Girls?

Under the Vigyan Jyoti Programme, one-year scholarships are provided to girls in Class 12. Since its inception in 2020, the program has distributed a total scholarship amount of Rs 5841.08 lakh. The disbursement amounts per year are as follows: Rs 600 lakh in 2020-21, Rs 971.52 lakh in 2021-22, Rs 2178.96 lakh in 2022-23, and Rs 2090.60 lakh in 2023-24.

Collaborations of Vigyan Jyoti Scheme

1. Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS)

As the implementation partner, NVS plays a pivotal role, leveraging its extensive network of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) across 600+ districts in India, serving as ‘Vigyan Jyoti Knowledge Centres’

2. International Business Machines (IBM)

IBM has partnered with NVS to extend its “STEM for Girls” program to create a robust STEM ecosystem, aiming to empower girls as critical thinkers, problem-solvers, and innovators. Through this partnership, IBM and its national implementation partner, American India Foundation (AIF), aim to bolster the implementation of the Vigyan Jyoti programme in 100 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, reaching 10,000 girl students.

3. American India Foundation (AIF)

AIF engages in high-impact interventions in education, health, and livelihoods, bridging communities between the United States and India. With a significant impact across 26 states in India, AIF is committed to creating lasting change.

4. Edunet Foundation (EF)

EF focuses on youth skilling, innovation, and entrepreneurship, preparing young people for industry 4.0 jobs. Collaborating with regulatory bodies and educational institutions across India, EF is committed to fostering a skilled workforce.

Disadvantages of Vigyan Jyoti Program

While the Vigyan Jyoti Program has numerous benefits, it’s essential to acknowledge potential disadvantages or challenges:

  • Gender Stereotyping: Despite its aim to promote STEM education among girls, the program might inadvertently reinforce gender stereotypes by segregating education initiatives based on gender.
  • Limited Reach: The program does not reach all eligible participants due to limited resources, infrastructure, or awareness in certain regions, thereby excluding deserving candidates.
  • Sustainability: Long-term sustainability of the program is a concern, especially if it relies heavily on government funding or lacks support from stakeholders beyond the initial implementation phase.
  • Socio-Economic Barriers: Girls from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds face additional barriers to participation, such as lack of access to resources or familial pressures, which could hinder their engagement with the program.
  • Effectiveness Evaluation: Assessing the program’s effectiveness in achieving its objectives and ensuring equitable outcomes may pose challenges without robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in place.

Addressing these potential disadvantages requires ongoing assessment, adaptation, and collaboration with stakeholders to ensure that the Vigyan Jyoti Program maximises its impact while minimising any unintended negative consequences.

Does UPSC ask questions about the Vigyan Jyoti Scheme?

Yes, UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) examinations may include questions related to various government schemes and initiatives, including the Vigyan Jyoti Scheme. However, the frequency and specific content of such questions may vary depending on the exam and the year.

With which initiative in India is the acronym ‘Vigyan Jyoti’ associated?

The acronym “Vigyan Jyoti” is associated with the initiative launched by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), India, aimed at inspiring and empowering young girls to pursue careers in STEM disciplines.


The Vigyan Jyoti Scheme empowers women scientists, engineers, and innovators, igniting hope for future generations. Through nurturing curiosity, providing role models, and fostering an inclusive ecosystem, India advances its vision for STEM.

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