NEW DELHI : Billed as "the largest of its kind", India has started a massive fully-funded PhD fellowship programme at IITs for students from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. Under the 300 crore project, students from 10 ASEAN countries will get funding for the entire cost of study and living expenses for up to 5 years of their PhD programme at any of the IITs. Beginning from next year, the Indian government will fund 1,000 ASEAN students in 3 batches. The application process has already begun.

5 things to know about IIT fellowships for ASEAN students:

1) IIT Delhi, designated by the HRD Ministry to co-ordinate the fellowship programme, has developed a web portal where students can apply for the Phd programme online. Students have the liberty to choose any of the 23 IITs spread all over India of their choice and apply accordingly. The entire application process is online.

2) The fully-funded fellowship is at par with that for Indian research scholars and covers the entire cost of study and living expenses for up to 5 years of the PhD programme. It provides an additional contingency fund to cover research expenses such as travel and books. PhD scholars get a stipend of 31,000 for the first two years and 35,000 for the next three years.

3) A research grant of up to 1.7 lakh is also available besides a monthly accommodation allowance depending on the city. The first batch of the ASEAN students will be admitted in January 2020.

4) Application process has already begun from today while the last date of submission of application is October 31. ASEAN students applying for the fellowships will require student visa.

5) This year 250 students will be selected, 300 the year after and 450 in the subsequent year, according to a PTI report.