Availing an educational loan is a great difficulty faced by students who wish to pursue their studies.
The information on loans, collateral etc is not easily available and that makes the process of availing loans a purely discretionary affair, the success of which depends up on the kind of contacts a student has.
To ensure that the information about loans is available to everyone and the process of applying for educational loans is hassle free, NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited (NSDL e-Gov) has launched the Vidya Lakshmi Portal.
The portal has been developed under the guidance of Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development and Indian Banks' Association (IBA).
The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget 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 government says that the launch of this Portal is a first step towards achieving the objective.
What is in this Portal?
The Vidya Lakshmi Portal provides a single window mechanism for Students to access information and make application for Educational Loans provided by Banks and also Government Scholarships. The Portal has the following features
- Information about Educational Loan Schemes of Banks;
- Common Educational Loan Application Form for Students;
- Facility to apply to multiple Banks for Educational Loans;
- Facility for Banks to download Students' Loan Applications;
- Facility for Banks to upload loan processing status;
- Facility for Students to email grievances/queries relating to Educational
- Dashboard facility for Students to view status of their loan application and
- Linkage to National Scholarship Portal for information and application for Government Scholarships
What is the Status of the Portal?
So far, 13 Banks have registered 22 Educational Loan Schemes on the Vidya Lakshmi Portal and 5 Banks (SBI, IDBI Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank & Union Bank of India) have integrated their system with the Portal for providing loan processing status to students.
This initiative aims to bring on board all Banks providing Educational Loans.
The Government expects all the students in need of educational loans to be benefitted by this initiative.