Mohali: Around 24 lakh students took loans for education with banks having an outstanding amount of Rs 52,000 crore, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Sunday, as he asked banks to lend more money for this purpose.
Chidambaram also asserted that his ministry was committed to the education loan programme of the banks.
"24 lakh students in India have borrowed loan for education and the outstanding amount with the banks is to the tune of Rs 52,000 crore," he said.
Chidambaram was speaking at a function after formally inaugurating the Indian School of Business (ISB) campus here.
The banks had Rs 27,000 crore outstanding on education loans as of March 2009, Rs 35,850 crore as of March 2010 and Rs 41,340 crore such loans as of March 2011, as per the data from the Reserve Bank.
Urging the young talent to contribute in building India, Chidambaram asked those who have spent some years abroad to return and help meet challenges faced by their own country.
"After 11, 12 months your (students) temptation is to migrate to USA or elsewhere in the world...It is a legitimate desire...Indian human resources will find opportunities all over the world...Seize these opprtunities...Spend few years...But please remember that there is no other place in the world which can challenge you (students) like India."
"Spend a few years wherever you feel whether in USA, Europe, Latin America, East Asia or Africa, but please remember it is only India and no other place that can challenge you (students)," he said.
He asked the young talent to ask themselves a few questions as to in which other country of the world does one need to add 1,00,000 MW of power, construct thousands of kms of roads, bring drinking water and sanitation to over 700 million of people.
"The greatest challenge is to build India," he said referring to the brain drain.
"At some stage or the other return back and help build India...Challenge is not only in business but elsewhere too," he said.
He also expressed concern over "limited world class institutions" in the country.
"We have one institution of world class in Science, a couple in engineering and technology, one in Mathematics and one in international studies," he said, adding that the country need to build world class institutions.