The HRD ministry has formulated a scheme to ensure prospective IIT students are able to get interest-free loan to offset the fee hike done recently, the ministry said on Wednesday. HT had highlighted the plight of students who were facing difficulty in paying the fee after the hike on Wednesday.
“The existing scheme for providing interest-free loans has a limitation on the annual household income Rs 4.5 lakh. In view of this, a separate scheme is formulated for providing the interest subvention which is under scrutiny of the finance,” said a ministry statement.
The ministry, which was then under Smriti Irani, had approved a proposal for increasing the IIT fees from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh.
Later, it issued a statement saying tuition fees will be waived for all students belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and differently-abled categories, besides those from families with an annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh.
Apart from this, it said students from families with an annual income of less than Rs 5 lakh would benefit from a waiver of two-thirds of the tuition fee amount, and everybody — regardless of caste or class — would have access to interest-free loans under the ‘Vidya Lakshmi Scheme’ for the total amount.
However, when students seeking admission to the IITs enquired about the interest-free loans, they were told that the offer was not available to those with a family income of over Rs 5 lakh per annum. A number of students from middle-class families were affected by the move.