More than 2,700 applicants applied for the Public Service Commission (PSC) Scholarship for the 2016 cycle, a five-year high.
PSC chairman Eddie Teo said the number of applicants was a 13 per cent increase compared to last year.
A total of 73 scholarships were awarded at the award ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel yesterday (July 20).
Deputy Prime Minister Mr Teo Chee Hean, in his keynote address, said PSC officers need to have "deep knowledge and hard skills", and they have to "be prepared to roll up your sleeves, get into the details, and do the implementation work".
Said DPM Teo: "The public service must not be an organisation unto itself.
"It must be out there with Singaporeans, working with Singaporeans, to make Singapore better."
Mr Tan Jing Yu William, 20, formerly an engineering student in Singapore Polytechnic, was among those awarded the PSC Scholarship to pursue a joint degree in Engineering and Business Management in the Singapore University of Technology and Design and the Singapore Management University.
Mr Tan said the driving force behind him excelling academically was his late grandfather, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2013. When alive, his grandfather's mood used to fluctuate. However, his grandfather's mood "would be quite good for a few days if he found out that I did well", added Mr Tan.
"So I thought that since there's nothing much I can do for him, maybe just do whatever little bit I can, so that started my trying to do well in school."
A total of 63 PSC Scholarships were awarded this year, including those from the foreign, legal and teaching services.
In addition, seven scholarships from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and three from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) were also awarded yesterday.