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Government provide Bank Loans for Higher Education
Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh said on Saturday that the government was considering a proposal to provide counter-guarantee for students who apply for bank loans for higher education.
“We are actively considering the proposal,” forwarded by leading industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Singh said.
He was talking to reporters at the inaugural function of the fourth ASSOCHAM International Educational Fair here. The proposal envisages the government standing guarantee for students availing themselves of educational loans from banks.
It would ensure that the loan process becomes easier and the burden does not fall on the family.
This proposal was one of the principal recommendations contained in a 20-point charter of suggestions the Assocham submitted to the Ministry for reforms in higher education.
Earlier, Mr. Singh cautioned against initiating reforms in the education system just because “talk of reforms was fashionable. It’s not that nothing good has come out of our education system.” Citing the recent achievement of the Indian space scientists, he said:
“We are not foreclosing opportunities for cooperation with the outside world or the private sector but we should not be dependent on borrowed ideas.”
“We cannot leave it to the market forces to control higher education,” the Minister said in the context of another suggestion of the body to open up the sector and allow higher education institutes to freely fix fees after keeping 25 per cent seats for the underprivileged at a nominal fee.
“Education cannot be bought and sold over the counter. Higher education will be meaningless if it is not accessible to all,” Mr. Singh said, while maintaining that infrastructure in universities would have to be strengthened and the “culture of research and inquiry” brought back.
He said there was no “misconception”of the OBC quota in higher educational institutions after Friday’s Supreme Court order.
Minister of State of HRD, D. Purandeswari, said shortage of faculty in higher education was a “pressing problem” and admitted that resolving it would prove to be a “Herculean task” in view of implementation of the OBC quota. “The private sector is luring young people with good salary and most of them are not interested in taking up teaching,” she said.
The Ministry, she said, identified educationally backward areas to overcome social and regional imbalances in education.
She said private investment in the sector was being encouraged but there had to be a regulatory framework to check commercialisation and racketeering. Coming to FDI in education, she said that tie-ups with foreign institutions were being allowed subject to these being in conformity with “some norms and regulations.”
Over 100 exhibitors are taking part in the two-day Fair which will also see a number of educational seminars being held.
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