Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Sunday said the number of beneficiaries of the Student Credit Card (SCC) scheme in the state has gone up to 25,000. The number of beneficiaries under SCC scheme has gone up to 25,000 within three-four months of Bihar State Education Finance Corporation (BSEFC) taking up the job to disburse soft loans to students to pursue higher education, he said.
“I am happy to say that BSEFC has started functioning for past three-four months (for disbursing loans under SCC scheme). The scheme has become popular among students. I am told the number of beneficiaries under SCC scheme has gone up to 25,000 within three-four months of BSEFC starting its work,” Kumar said. The Bihar government had launched the SCC scheme on October 3, 2016. Earlier the number of beneficiaries could barely reach 9,000 in past one and half years when SSC scheme was routed through banks, he said.
The BSEFC gives soft education loans under SSC scheme to students willing to pursue higher education in the state or outside the state. The students get loan up to Rs 4 lakh at a low interest rate of four per cent while the interest rate would be merely one per cent for girls, specially able persons, transgenders. Kumar was addressing a function at Mahavir Rameshwar Inter College, Harsiddhi in East Champaran district. He was at the College premises to unveil the statues of two noted social workers- Mahavir Prasad and Rameshwar Mahto. The College has been named after the duo. The chief minister appealed to guardians to let their children pursue higher education which is very low in the state compared to the national average.
The state’s gross enrolment ratio (GER) is 13.9 per cent against the national average of 24 per cent, Kumar said while asserting that he does not only want to surpass the national average but intends to have the GER of 30 per cent in next few years. With a view to increase the GER significantly, Kumar said he started the SCC.
Kumar re-iterated that the government would waive off loans if the student does not get job after completing his course and his family is not able to return the money. The Bihar cabinet had on February 10 this year given its nod for setting up of a ‘Bihar State Education Finance Corporation’ in order to disburse loans for Student’s Credit Card (SCC) scheme in view of the banks’ reluctance in doing it.