The West Bengal government has so far received over 26,000 applications for the student credit card scheme under which loans of up to Rs 10 lakh will be disbursed for higher studies, a senior official said on Tuesday. The scheme was launched by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last month to help needy students pursue higher studies.
Of the over 26,000 applications received till last week, nearly 6,059 are from students who hail from West Bengal but are studying outside the state, he said, adding around 16,800 applicants are males and 9,700 are females. "It seems that the scheme has become quite a hit among students. We hope to receive more applications in the coming days," the official said.
A student can apply for the education loan for a course for which he/she will be applying but not for one for which he/she has already paid to an institution, he said. Banerjee had on June 30 launched the scheme under which pupils from class 10 onwards can apply for loans up to Rs 10 lakh as per their requirement.
Students can apply for the loan even while pursuing professional courses like MBBS, BTech, or diploma courses to enhance their skills. They will not be required to provide any surety for the loan as the state government will be the surety. The interest rate will be 4 per cent and it may be reduced further if repayment is done within the study period. Besides pursuing higher studies, students can apply for the loan even to purchase laptops, books or to pay tuition fees and boarding charges.