The finance ministry said that it has launched a portal - Vidya Lakshmi - to provide single window access for students to apply for education loans and government scholarships.
"It is expected that students throughout the country will be benefited by this initiative of the government by making available a single window for access to various educational loan schemes of all banks," the finance ministry said.
For this fiscal, the finance ministry has directed PSBs to achieve the target of 20% growth in educational loans and 15% growth in number of accounts. As of March 31, 2015 there are 25 lakh education loan accounts with an outstanding amount of Rs 61,967 crore. PSBs reported a marginal decline of 0.16% in education loans sanctioned as against March 2014.
In a statement, the finance ministry noted that that 13 Banks have registered 22 educational loan schemeson the portal and five banks -SBI, IDBI Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank &Union Bank of India - have integrated their system with the portal forproviding loan processing status to students.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in his Budget speech for 2015-16 had proposed to set-up a fully IT based Student Financial Aid Authority to administer and monitor scholarship as well as educational loan schemes, through the Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram (PMVLK) to ensure that no student misses out on higher education for lack of funds.
"The launch of the portal is a first step towards achieving this objective," the ministry noted in its statement, adding that, Vidya Lakshmi (www.vidyalakshmi.co. in)was launched on the occasion of Independence Day.
The portal will provide information about educational loan schemes of banks, common educational loan application form for students, facility to apply to multiple banks for educational loans, and facility for banks to download students' loan applications.
The portal also has facility for banks to upload loan processing status, facility for students to email grievances/queries relating to educational loans, dashboard facility for students to view status of their loan application and linkage to National Scholarship Portal for information and application for government scholarships.
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