The Union Home Minister, P.Chidambaram said on Monday that several foreign countries thrive on human resources originated from Indian soil.

Inaugurating an ‘education loan mela’ organised by the District Consultative Committee of Bankers, Kancheepuram District, on the Collectorate campus on August 31, the Union Minister observed that several students who have completed their higher studies in India have migrated to other countries for taking up advance studies. After completing their advanced courses, they were serving for the betterment of those countries.

“It has been realised that the human resources that was once viewed as a burden, is the biggest asset of the country. All out efforts are being made to make best use of this valuable resource to make the country as a knowledgeable society,” he added.

Stating that only 5 out of the 100 students, who steps in for school education at the primary level, were able to pursue higher education, Mr. Chidambaram regretted that access to higher education still remain rare to many. Though the United Progressive Alliance government, headed by the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh introduced education loan scheme in 2004, several families have refrained from availing education loan for their wards fearing that their economic status would not permit them make prompt payment of interest during the course period.

“Thus, the Central Government has conceived a new education loan scheme wherein the payment of interest during the course period plus 6 months after completion of the course will be taken care of by the Union Government. The Cabinet has approved the scheme at its recent meeting.”

Students pursuing higher education at a recognised institution and hailing from a family having total annual income of less than Rs.4.50 lakh per annum were eligible to avail education loan under the new scheme, he added.

A total of 16 lakh students from all over the country have availed Rs.24000 crore as education loan till March 31, 2009. The Union Government expects disbursement of education loan amount to cross Rs.50000 in about another 5 to 6 years.

Urging the bank mangers not to impose self-restrictions in the number of education loans to be disbursed through their branches in a year, Mr. Chidambaram called upon the students, who were eligible to avail education loan, to make best use of the facility.

Speaking on the occasion, the Labour Welfare Minister, T.M. Anbarasan said that Kancheepuram district, known for the highest number of lakes and other water bodies it had encompassed in its domain, has now transformed into a district of having more number of higher education institutions and as well as the most preferred district for industrial investment.

Sustained efforts of the DMK Government have helped the district achieve the status of industry-friendly destination and a provider of more employment opportunities to deserving candidates.

The Kancheepuram MP, P.Viswanathan, Collector Santosh K.Misra, Chairman and Managing Director Indian Bank M.S.Sundara Rajan, Executive Director Indian Overseas Bank G.Narayanan and others participated.

Later talking to reporters, the Union Home Minister said that stringent efforts would be initiated to curb naxalite activities.