Millennium Post

Want education loan scheme to be more robust: LG to govt

NEW DELHI: Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Wednesday dubbed as 'unfortunate' Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's accusation that the former was blocking the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government's higher education loan scheme and said his advice to help make the initiative more robust was misconstrued as disapproval.
In a letter to Sisodia, Baijal suggested incorporation of some safeguards including ensuring of responsibilities of lending institutions and linkage of loan with Aadhaar number in the education loan scheme.
After receiving the LG's letter, Sisodia took to twitter to say that all safeguards are already built-in and the file will be sent back to Baijal for his nod.
In his letter, the LG said it was unfortunate that "misinformation was spread all over the media" on the issue and underscored that in today's world, higher education is no "longer a luxury" and it is essential for national, social and economic development.
Under the scheme, students are provided loans up to Rs 10 lakh by banks, with the government as a guarantor.
Last week, the Deputy CM had accused Baijal of 'blocking' the higher education loan scheme after he advised the government to consult the Centre before the implementation of scheme.
"In the letter, the Lt Governor has stated that it is unfortunate that his advice to help make this initiative (scheme) more robust in the interest of students of Delhi was misconstrued as disapproval and this misinformation was spread all over the media," a statement by the LG's office read.
Baijal stressed that any student loan scheme should meet the twin criteria of being 'need-based' and 'generally available'.
"But at the same time, the challenges of non-availability of loans, high default rate, need for proper due diligence by the banks, non-participation of the educational institutions, equity of access, improper data collection, tracking of students also need to be addressed," the statement further read.
The LG has asked the administrative department to analyse if establishing a company as done at the national level for administering the educational guarantee would be a better alternative than a trust, in terms of statutory controls and organisational structure.
"The LG has stated in his letter that the administrative department is free to proceed if it has already taken care of these issues and incorporated them in the proposed scheme.
"However, if not, the department should be advised to incorporate some of these safeguards that are in the interest of the students of Delhi," the statement read.

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