Entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala has launched Asia’s first and largest Online Scholarship Fund with a first closing of Rs 100 crore and a target of Rs 400 crore in the next three-four years, according to a press release. The initiative will start with an initial corpus of Rs 10 crore from Screwvala and will grant scholarships ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2 lakh. It will facilitate loans for those that do not qualify for scholarships but would repay once they get promoted post their online studies.
There will also be quotas for those in need of the fund, which will invest and partner with UpGrad, an online education platform co-founded by Screwvala. “This Fund is aimed at skilling motivated individuals in relevant areas and equip them with industry-relevant knowledge,” said Screwvala.
“We need 125 million young Indians in post-graduation studies and not more than 30 million today are engaged in higher studies as a majority of them need to start working early in their career and so online Learning/Education is the real answer for India,” he further added, explaining his reason behind starting the scholarship fund.
According to a press release, recent reports from IDFC, World Economic Forum and others have highlighted huge contradictions as almost 75% of Graduates (mostly under grad) are unemployable and on the other side 48% of Indian Employers have difficulty filling their jobs with the right people. “Look our overall Policy focus has largely been on blue collar skills and not the white collar jobs and we need the right mix of priority and we at UpGrad believe that it’s going to be all about striking the right balance between online and Offline capacity building for this 21 century challenge which is more specific to India than any other country,”Screwvala said.