“Why the enmity with the children of Delhi,” said Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia while accusing the Centre and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal of “blocking” the government’s higher education loan scheme.
The AAP government’s latest clash with the L-G is centered around the 2015 scheme that provided loans to students of up to Rs 10 lakh from banks, with the government acting as the guarantor. The scheme was stopped after the Shunglu Committee, constituted by former L-G Najeeb Jung, found that the state government did not take prior approval of the L-G before implementing the scheme.
Thereafter, the government had sent the file to Baijal for his approval with “some changes”, said Sisodia, wherein students of Delhi would be able to study outside the capital, while availing the scheme. Sisodia alleged that the L-G had sent the file to the Centre and maintained that the advice of the “Union Ministry of Human Resource Development should be sought”, “effectively leading to a delay of two-three years”.
“This was so that no child has to leave their higher education for the lack of funds… (But) the L-G has stopped it asking that the Centre be asked… Asking the Centre for its opinion means that these children will not get the money this year,” said Sisodia.
He alleged that the “political rivalry” between the Centre and the state was now impinging on the “future of lakhs of children”. CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “LG Sir, it’s our duty to ensure best quality education to poor kids also… Education Loan wud ensure that (sic).” Sisodia said he would appeal to the L-G to approve the scheme.