New Delhi: The Centre’s latest data shows a wide disparity in the disbursal of educational loans between students of the Scheduled Castes (ST), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) – and those of the general category.
According to data the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) collected between 2016-2017 and 2018-2019, and submitted to the Lok Sabha on the Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Educational Loans (CGFSEL) – a surety scheme for students seeking loans from public sector banks – 4.7 lakh students benefitted from it. Twenty-nine banks participate in the CGFSEL scheme.
Of those, 67%, around 3.15 lakh students, belonged to the general category while 23% were from OBC. Only 7% of SC students and 3% of ST students benefited from the scheme.
The average loan amount granted to a general category student was Rs 3.54 lakh, followed by Rs 3.24 lakh for SC students, Rs. 2.17 lakh for ST students and Rs 2.91 lakh for OBC students.
In other words, of the total Rs 13,797 lakh covered as loans under the scheme, Rs. 9,730 lakh went to general category students, and a dismal 2.8% and 6.7% of the total went to ST and SC categories.
The data, which the MHRD supplied in Parliament in response to a question by Lok Sabha MP S. Venkatesan (Madurai), also indicated that 80% of the loans provided under the scheme were small in nature, i.e. Rs. 4 lakh or less.
Venkatesan told The Hindu, “These are the loans availed by those from socio-economically backward sections. If there is such a huge gap here, it clearly indicates a problem from a social justice perspective.”