Education loan defaults: Govt proposes 'credit guarantee fund'

The government has proposed to set up a 'credit guarantee fund' to address cases of education loan defaults, in a move which could enhance the flow of assistance to students.

While a scheme of interest subsidy on education loans to students of weaker sections is already in place, the new fund "will address cases of education loans defaults which add to the burgeoning non-performing assets of the bank", the UPA government's Report to the People 2012-13, released on Wednesday, said.

It said the focus of the government during the 12th Five Year Plan for higher education is expansion, equity and excellence with greater thrust on improving quality in this sector.

It said under national mission on education through ICT, connectivity to 400 universities and 20,117 colleges have been provided up to April 31.

Besides, 89 virtual laboratories have been launched to provide access to these facilities in various disciplines of science and engineering through Internet.

With teacher training programme holding significance in raising standards, the report mentioned establishment of block institutes of teacher education in 196 identified SC, ST and minority-concentrated districts.

Touching on the issue of Right to Education which has "far reaching implication" of elementary education in the years to come, the report said Rs 23,836 crore has been released under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan programme.

It said more than 10 crore students continued to get hot cooked meals under mid day meal programme across 12.12 lakh elementary schools during 2012-13.

Underlining on universalising access to secondary education, the report also said that 6000 model schools will be set up in each block of the country, of which 338 schools have already been sanctioned.
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