Responding to Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia’s charge of “enmity with the children of Delhi”, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal said the accusation that he was “blocking” the government’s higher education loan scheme was “misconstrued”. He also said that the loans had to be “need-based”, “generally available”, and with “safeguards”.
In a letter to Sisodia on Wednesday, Baijal said higher education was “no longer a luxury” but was “essential”, and that “any student loan scheme should meet the twin criteria of being need-based and generally available”. A statement from the L-G’s office added, “The challenges of non-availability of loans, high default rate, need for proper due diligence by banks, non-participation of the educational institutions, equity of access, improper data collection, tracking of students, etc, also need to be addressed.”
The L-G has “only suggested that it might be a good idea to advise the administrative department to ensure that all the safeguards incorporated… may be considered…,” the statement added.
It further stated that the administrative department was “free to proceed”, if it had “already taken care of these issues. However, if not, the department should be advised to incorporate some of these safeguards that are in the interest of the students of Delhi”.
On the concerns raised by the L-G, Education Minister Manish Sisodia said the scheme is already built with the safeguards. “Appreciate his concern for safeguards. But all safeguards are already built into Edu-Loan Scheme. Shall be highlighting and sending file back to honourable L-G,” said Sisodia.