NEW DELHI: While the battle for marginalised sections seems to being fought by political leaders in the North, in states like Uttar Pradesh, it is the south that actually seems to have brought change at the ground level for marginalised communities. Southern states of India such as Kerala and Karnataka have availed the maximum benefit of government’s education loan for OBC students in the last three years.
The statistics in this regard were revealed in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar. In a written reply to Rajya Sabha on the subject of education loans given to students belonging to other backward classes (OBC), Gurjar informed 9748 students benefitted under government’s scheme for education loans to study in India while 1570 students availed government’s aid to study abroad in the last three years.
OBC students are provided education loans by National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation (NBCFDC). NBCFDC provides financial assistance to those belonging to backward classes and having an annual income of less than Rs 1.2 lakh in urban areas and Rs 98,000 in rural areas. The courses for which NBCFDC disburses funds include medical, engineering, management, humanity Courses. The educational courses for which NBCFDC gives funds to students for studying abroad include medical, engineering and management Courses.
According to government data, Kerala has the maximum number of beneficiaries—4683--who availed government’s assistance to study in India. In 2016-2017 alone, 1205 students from Kerala availed government’s assistance followed by 468 students from Kerala. Besides these two states from South India, other states which fared well were Tripura, Puducherry and Gujarat. In 2016-2017, there were some states where not a single student availed government’s assistance for education in India. These states included Chandigarh, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu.
Even for pursuing studies outside India, Kerala topped the chart with 1160 students followed by Karnataka which had 351 students from the backward classes availing the benefit of this scheme. Loaning happens through channelizing agencies which include the state backwards class corporations and banks, both public sector and regional rural banks. These channel partners disburse the loans to the ultimate beneficiaries and the rate of the loans depending on various schemes range from 4 to 6 per cent per annum.
The statistics indicate that while governments and politicians of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat often create noise for the upliftment of backward classes, it is the South of India which is quietly bringing a change in the condition of backward classes in the country.