Centre plans corporation to aid poor students

Last Updated 25 July 2010, 19:04 IST

“The EFC will provide the necessary guarantee to the bank, which gives education loan to a student to pursue a professional course,” Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here on Sunday.

“Besides, the EFC will also make available cheap loans to the private investors willing to set up educational institutions,” he said.  Loans will be given at  8 per cent interest and are returnable in 20 years with a moratorium of five years.
Although the Supreme Court had said that education was a “charitable activity,” the banks charge commercial interest from the investors in educational sector.
The proposal to set up the EFC had been given “in principle” approval by the Planning Commission, the minister added.

Sibal said the government would enact a law for “demating” of the educational degrees. “The details of the qualifications and education loan will then be included in the UID of the student,” he said.

“In this way, the employer of the student will know about the loan and he will deduct the loan installments from his salary and return it the lender bank,” the minister said.
In a bid to ensure a minimum competency level at the secondary education, the government was also planning to make a “core curriculum. It will be in place in the science stream from the next year,” the minister said.
 While remaining evasive on whether the law graduates would have to pass an examination for starting practice, he said the government planned to start a bachelor of arts course in law.

“The idea is to ensure that the engineers and doctors also have knowledge of law,” he said. An arbitrator, who is an engineer, “will be well equipped to decide construction related disputes if he also knows law.”
The minister stressed the need for a single common entrance examination system for admission to engineering and medical courses in the country.

He said 70 per cent weightage will be given to Class XII Board results. The remaining 30 per cent will be awarded on the basis of the student’s performance in the national-level aptitude test.
Such a system will also deter private engineering and medical institutions from charging capitation fee.

He also made it clear that the government had no proposal to set up a “madrasa board” and has no intention to interfere in religious education.
Sibal said the Centre’s share in the “Sarva Shiksha Abihyan will” be increased.
DH News Service

(Published 25 July 2010, 19:04 IST)

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