In a major student-friendly move, the board of finance (BoF), Punjab University (PU), Chandigarh, relaxed the income eligibility for the merit-cum-means loan subsidy scheme from Rs 2 lakh per annum to Rs 4.8 lakh per annum on Thursday.
The decision was taken in a meeting presided over by PU vice-chancellor (V-C) Arun Kumar Grover.
Under the scheme, a student, who takes an education loan from any nationalised bank for pursuing any partially self-financing graduate/postgraduate courses in the university, is eligible to apply for the loan subsidy subject to the fulfillment of other conditions under this scheme. The amount of loan subsidy is equal to 20% of the loan availed by the student subject to the cap of Rs25,000 in each case, said a PU spokesman.
Officers from the state government, Chandigarh administration PU senate and syndicate members also participated in the meeting. Addressing the BoF, Grover said the university required Rs 206 crore for the implementation of the subsidy scheme as against the original allocation of Rs 176 crore.
However, the University Grants Commission (UGC) expressed its inability to grant funds beyond the already approved amount of Rs 176 crore.
Therefore, the matter was referred to the ministry of human resource development (MHRD), which will review the requirement of the university.
Taking note of the demand, the BoF decided that the additional monetary income received from the proposed fee hike would be spent on specific needs of students.
Rs 5 crore for setting up bio-incubator
During the meeting, the BoF also sanctioned Rs 5 crore for setting up a bio-incubator and Rs 25 lakh for the University Innovation Cluster (UIC-B) at PU. The university will spend Rs 1 crore per year on the bio-incubator from 2014-15.
It may be recalled that PU was awarded a grant of Rs 2.34 crore by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) for the UIC-B.