Bihar students seeking education loans can take heart. Banks will run special counters for disbursal of education loans to eligible candidates for the next three months. The period happens to be the peak season for students seeking admission to institutions of technical and higher learning.
The decision was taken at the first State-Level Banker's Committee meeting. During the assessment of the current financial year, it was found that the banks had disbursed Rs 178 crore in education loans to 6426 students during 2006-07 fiscal. Holding that the disbursal was much below the absorption capacity of the State, the government has asked the banks to disburse Rs 1000 crore in educational loans for the current financial year.
After the meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said that with agriculture and development technical manpower being integral to the state's development plans the banks had been asked to take more interest in achieving the set target.
Though the disbursal to education loan seekers last fiscal had reached a record level, it was still out of proportion with the number of students of the state seeking higher education elsewhere. "Clearly, Bihar should have had a much higher share of the Rs 7000-crore education loan disbursed by the banks in the country," Modi added.
It came to fore during the meeting that the banks had been denying loans to students on one pretext or the other. To create awareness about the eligibility and prevent denial of loans, the criteria for seeking loans would be advertised. The ads would be there in the newspapers soon, he added.
He said that eligible candidates were not required to furnish any collateral for loans up to Rs 4 lakh. Besides, such loans were not linked to the economic status of the parents as the credit was advanced to the students and not their parents, he explained.