Will scrap NEET, waive student loan interest: Congress

The Congress in its poll manifesto has promised to transfer school education to the State List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution while retaining the subject of higher education in the Union List if voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections. DH file photo

The Congress in its poll manifesto has promised to transfer school education to the State List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution while retaining the subject of higher education in the Union List if voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections.

It has also promised to scrap the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), conducted for admission to undergraduate medical programmes, describing the nationwide test as “discriminatory against students from certain States.”

“It interferes with the State government's right to admit students domiciled in the State to medical colleges in that State. Hence, we will take measures to dispense with the NEET examination,” the party manifesto, released by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, promised.

The NEET will substitute it with a State-level examination “of equivalent standard”, approved by the “competent authority” for admission to medical colleges in the respective State, it added.

The party's manifesto also promised “to restore the autonomy” of the colleges and universities, and establish more public universities in the country, “especially in under-served areas.”

6% of GDP for education

Allocations for education sector will be doubled to 6% of the GDP (gross domestic product) in the 5 years ending 2023-24, if voted to power, the grand old party promised in its manifesto.

“A path forward (for doubling the allocations for education) will be laid down in the regular Budget for 2019-20 and specific annual targets will be set,” the party's poll manifesto read.

Student loan interest waiver

The party also promised to make school education free and compulsory at “public schools” from classes I to XII, and to increase the number of scholarships offered to the students.

“We will revive, redesign and expand the education loan programme. No interest will be charged during the period of study and until the student finds a job or earns through self-employment. Outstanding interest dues on old education loans as on 31 March 2019 will be waived,” the party promised in its manifesto.

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Will scrap NEET, waive student loan interest: Congress

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