Schemes for Educational Development of Students from Economically Weaker Sections
Modi Government Continues its Agenda of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’
Opposition and haters may say anything about the government, but one thing is becoming more and more evident with each passing day: This government wants development of everyone. During first year it focused on bringing foreign investment to help the business sector of country. Then this year it devised a budget focused on development of farmers and rural areas. And now to set another good example of its “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” theme it has announced several schemes aimed at providing affordable higher education to students who can’t afford to pay for it.
The first scheme that government has launched is an ‘Interest subsidy’ scheme that aims to provide access to cheaper educational loans to students from economically weaker sections. Under the scheme students who belong to families with annual income less than Rs.4.5 lakhs shall be provided educational loans by some scheduled banks (Canara Bank has been chosen for this year) on reduced interest rates during the period of moratorium. The period of moratorium shall be equal to the duration of course, plus one year after completion of course.
Another scheme named in the release is Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Education Loans, aka CGFSEL. Under this scheme educational loans up to Rs. 7.5 lakh shall be provided without any guarantor or surety. The Central government will itself become the guarantor for such loans. The interest rate for loans taken under this shall also not be more than 2% of base rate.
Aside from credit schemes government is also rolling out scholarships for students who deserve them. A Central Sector Scheme of Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship has been announced to help college students cover their day-to-day expenses during their education. And if you’re a student studying in Jammu & Kashmir then you’ll be even happier to hear that a scholarship especially tailored to your needs has also been announced by the government. Furthermore, besides government UGC has also announced its own Ishan Uday Scholarship for students studying in North-East region.
The income criteria for first two scholarships is same: your family’s annual income should be less than Rs. 6 lakh to apply for them. However, criteria for Ishan Uday scholarship is slightly more stringent – it requires family’s income to be less than Rs. 4.5 lakh per annum.
Another format of schemes being implemented by UGC is that of community colleges. It plans to open several community colleges across various states in the country that’ll offer affordable skill development courses for many different domains. The programs offered by such colleges will include diplomas, certificate courses and advanced diplomas. The main aim of UGC with these colleges is providing access to high quality education on affordable costs.
Funds Utilized and Allocated
Without any further delays government has also allocated funds to these schemes, and the funds have also been utilized to a large extent. The current picture is as follows:
|Scheme||Funds Utilized (during FY 2015 – 2016)||Funds Allocated (during FY 2015 – 2016)|
|Interest Subsidy Scheme||Rs. 15.87 billion||Rs. 19.6 billion|
|Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme||Rs. 3.6 billion|
|Merit-cum-Means Based Scholarship||Rs. 100.6 million||Rs. 2 billion|
|J&K scholarship scheme||Rs. 747.7 million|
|Community Colleges||Rs. 296 million||Rs. 1.6 billion|
|Ishan Uday Scholarship||Rs. 636.1 million||Rs. 715.4 million|
These schemes together with PM’s ambitious Skill India program may make it easier to attain higher education for the youth of country, thus producing quality human resources that can drive the growth of our country. Whether you want to get a diploma or a degree, government is now offering at least a few financial schemes to help you out. You as students or parents should definitely take their advantage if you deserve them.