New Delhi: The government has launched a scheme to provide interest subsidy on educational loans for overseas studies for students belonging to the minorities, including Muslims.
Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla also informed Lok Sabha that some scholarships provided to students of minority communities are not on par with scholarships given to SC and ST students and her ministry has approached the Finance Ministry to bring parity between the two.
Heptulla said under the `Padho Pardesh` scheme, the ministry will provide interest subsidy on educational loans for overseas studies for students belonging to the notified minority communities like Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jain and Parsis.
"The objective of the scheme is to award interest subsidy to meritorious students belonging to economically weaker sections of notified minority communities so as to provide those better opportunities for higher education abroad and enhance their employability," she said during Question Hour.
Heptulla said government`s intention is that not only the students belonging to rich families but students from poor background should also go abroad for studies.
The Minister said that to be eligible, the annual income of the family from all sources should not exceed Rs 6 lakh and the interest subsidy is linked to the existing educational loan scheme of Indian banks association and restricted students enrolled for courses at Masters, MPhil and Phd levels. Canara Bank is the implementing agency for the scheme.
Heptulla said the Minority Affairs Ministry has approached the Finance Ministry to bring parity between some of the scholarships given to minority students and SC and ST students.
"We do not want any discrimination against any community. We want to follow the policy of `sabka saath, sabka vikas` (development from all). We hope that the Finance Ministry will do the needful in the next budget to bring parity in the scholarships," she said.