L-G approves AAP govt’s higher education loan scheme. Several students to benefit
Delhi’s Education Minister Manish Sisodia said on Thursday that Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has approved the government's higher education and Skill Development Loan Guarantee loan scheme.
Sisodia tweeted that the scheme has been cleared by the L-G and added that it will help thousands of students and parents.
I am grateful to Hon @LtGovDelhi for clearing Delhi govt's Higher Edu Loan scheme. It will help thousands of students and their parents.— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) October 5, 2017
The Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government had started the scheme two years back to provide loans to students for higher education, even if they didn't have any property or land as security. This year, the government’s scheme was extended to Delhi students pursuing courses outside Delhi in government-recognised institutions. Students will be now provided loans by banks with the government as a guarantor. Students will get education loans of up to Rs 10 lakh from banks.
Last month, the L-G wrote back to the AAP government saying the scheme had 'legal' and 'administrative' problems and therefore had asked for the scheme to be referred to the Centre. Manish Sisodia criticised the response saying that would delay disbursal of loans by two to four years.
However, according to sources, the L-G has now approved the scheme without a single change in it or without the involvement of the central government. Following Sisodia's criticism of the L-G's response last month, Baijal attacked the government and said that his advice given to the AAP government on the scheme was misconstrued as disapproval and this misinformation was spread in the media.
The L-G has now asked the government to incorporate all safeguards in the scheme in a time-bound manner while approving the scheme.
Atishi Marlena, education advisor to Manish Sisodia told Catch, “This scheme started two years ago. Last year, when the Shunglu Committee had sat on 400 files for pro fracto approval of the AAP government, the L-G has sent this scheme back with some objections, raising the question whether a government will give the collateral for a loan. We had a discussion with the L-G that it was technically not the government but a trust created by the Delhi government that was giving the loan."
The trust created by the government is called the Delhi Higher Education Guarantee Trust. The Shunglu Committee, constituted by the former LG Najeeb Jung, found that the Delhi government did not take prior approval of the LG before implementing the scheme and stopped the scheme last year. No loans were given to students with government as the guarantor this academic year. Therefore, the government had sent the file to Baijal for his approval this year with the inclusion of loans for outside Delhi government institutions as well.
Marlena further added, "Earlier, the scheme had been designed only for government institutions and private institutions with A and A+ rated institutions accredited by national accreditation institutes in Delhi. The Delhi government wanted to extend this benefit for Delhi students studying in other government institutions across the country too. The L-G had objections with that too. He has now approved the scheme and that we are glad about."
According to Marlena, thousands of Delhi students will benefit from the scheme. "The requirement is only that the student must have passed 12th standard from a Delhi government school to be eligible for a higher education loan."
The L-G office and the AAP government have been at loggerheads over a range of issues. AAP government’s Bill to regularise 15,000 guest teachers that was passed in Delhi assembly on Wednesday is pending approval by the L-G.