Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday announced that the government had approved reservation for students from Other Backward Classes in the second stage of the National Talent Search Examination, which is conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training.

The quota will come into effect from 2019 as this year’s process has already begun, the minister said.

The reservation for OBC communities will be in addition to reservation for students from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities, and disabled students.

The government is considering doubling the number of scholarships from 1,000 to 2,000. Scholarship amounts too have been hiked, with higher secondary students receiving Rs 1,250 and undergraduate and graduate students getting Rs 2,000. The amount awarded to PhD scholars will be in accordance with the norms of the University Grants Commission, Javadekar announced.

The NTSE is a national-level scholarship examination that began in 1963 with the idea of identifying talented students and offering them scholarships.