Yesterday GoI came up with a foolhardy 4000 CR (1 billion USD) scheme of subsidizing the interest on the study loans for all Indian students.
GoI has been recently collecting educational cess on all the taxes and financial transactions. This was a welcome move, because in a country where half a billion souls have never attended schools/colleges now the Human Resources Ministry has almost infinite funds to educate the masses. Or this is what I had thought.
All the tolls collected via cess went directly to the center. While Primary education was funded by state government and panchayat/local administration (Madhya Pradesh) So in reality, although a huge war-chest was build, the spending on education hardly increased over the past 3 years.
Another problem faced by the HRD ministry was that budget was to be presented in a few months. Traditionally, any department that does not spend the funds it had been sanctioned in the previous budget is penalized in three ways:
1)It has to answer why it had not been able to plan and execute efficiently
2)The funds are taken away from it
3)In the next year, the department will get lesser funds.
I have a feeling that this scheme is nothing more than a plot to squander away our taxes.
If government wants to do something for an “All Inclusive Growth”, then open a thousand primary schools, open vocational and technical schools. The higher education is already very subsidized (a engineering graduate’s first year salary would be more than adequate to cover for his entire educational expenses).
Also if you look at the fine print, it covers only the undergraduate/post graduate study loan taken from Nationalized Banks. Now if Government wants to help the poor but deserving students, then isn’t providing a scholarship/full tuition waiver a better way to help them. After all its general knowledge that students work harder and perform better when they get study grants, for these students need to display good academic achievements for continuance of the grants.
In short there is nothing new or significant in the scheme.