Education Loans And Scholarship For Students

In an email interaction with BW Education, Gagan Rai, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited, explains it in detail.

Q.Tell us about Vidya Lakshmi and Vidyasaarathi portal in brief?

Vidya Lakshmi is a unique education loan portal powered by NSDL e-Governance under the guidance of the Department of Financial Services (Ministry of Finance), Department of Higher Education (Ministry of Human Resource Development) and Indian Banks Association (IBA) for students seeking education loans.The portal has collaborated with 34 banks in the country who are offering education loans to students. These 34 banks have integrated their system with Vidya Lakshmi platform to facilitate education loans for students.  Students can now apply for a loan to any three banks of their choice by filling one Common Education Loan Application Form (CELAF).

After the launch of the Vidya Lakshmi portal, NSDL e-Governance also identified that increasing institutional fees as a constraint in their further studies. To bridge this education-finance gap, NSDL e-Governance launched Vidysaarathi, an exclusive scholarship portal for students seeking a scholarship to pursue their further studies in India or overseas.    

The portal allows students to search and apply for various education-finance schemes that they are qualified/eligible for. Fund providers, industries, and corporates can promote skill development by introducing education finance schemes on Vidyasaarathi portal and manage these schemes. The solution would help manage the entire online education finance application life cycle i.e. submission and review of applications, award of scholarship, disbursement of funds, and renewal of education finance. 

Overall, Vidyasaarathi portal help the corporate sector in playing a positive role in developing education finance for the Indian society.

Q.What difference has Vidya Lakshmi and Vidyasaarathi made, in the current market of education loan and scholarship?

In line with the Digital India programme initiated by the government,NSDL e-Governance’s online education initiatives aid students from any part of the country to apply for an education loan or scholarship as per their need. However, the Vidya Lakshmi and Vidyasaarathi schemes involves lesser paper work and aims to bridge the education divide in the country. Moreover, Vidya Lakshmi also offers the applicant the option to send any grievances/ query directly to the bank in which he/she has applied for education loan online through the portal. 

Q.What have been the figures so far in the number of students who have availed the loans and total loans disbursed under the scheme?

So far, 6,30,000 students have registered on the portal since its inception. We see more application from southern states. Lesser number of applications are seen from states like Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Nagaland.

Since the inception of Vidyasaarathi more than 30,000 students have enrolled on the portal and nine companies including CARE Ratings, ACC Cements, Tata Housing, SNL Bearings Education Consultants of India (EdCil), Thomson Reuters, Bhilwara Group have sponsored students’ higher education.      

Q.What are your norms for defaulters under Vidya Lakshmi?

Vidya Lakshmi Portal (VLP) provides a platform wherein students apply for loans to their preferred bank and bank processes and disburses the loan. Each Bank has its own set of norms for dealing with defaulters.

Q. Expansion plans for both the portals?

Since the response is positive from both the portals, NSDL e-Governance aims to emerge as the India’s largest and committed scholarship and loan platform for making education affordable and accessible for all students in the country. NDSL e-Governanceislooking to tie-up with hundreds of corporates to raise the funds for Vidyasaarathi portal to promote scholarship culture in higher education sector across the country.   

Q. How much time does it take to approve and sanction the loan?

According to Indian Banking Association (IBA) norms, a loan should be processed within 15 days of the receipt of the duly completed application form with supporting documents and sanction or rejection should be communicated to the student. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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