Mamata launches student credit card scheme, fulfils a poll promise

Education loan up to ₹10 lakh will be made available for higher studies in India and abroad

July 01, 2021 04:38 am | Updated 04:50 am IST - Kolkata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday fulfilled a promise made during the Assembly polls and launched the “Students Credit Card” scheme where an education loan up to ₹10 lakh will be made available for higher studies in India and abroad.

“We had promised this before elections, and we keep our promises. It is a unique scheme where loans up to ₹10 lakh can be disbursed. The State government will be the guarantor. All course fee, tuition and hostel fee, expenses for books and laptops will be covered here,” Ms. Banerjee said launching the scheme at the Secretariat. The period of repayment will be 15 years and persons till the age of 40 years can avail themselves of the benefits of the scheme.

“All government and private cooperatives will give this loan. The parents no longer have to worry about their children’s education. I hope this card will help many students.” She said the scheme along with other prevailing schemes like Kanyashree, Shikhashree, mid-day meal, free uniforms and books will help the students. She said the State government has distributed about one crore bicycles.

Before the State went to the polls, the State government has disbursed ₹10,000 to about eight lakh students to purchase mobile phones and tablets to attend digital classes. Another key poll promise which the Trinamool Congress government implemented in June was doubling the incentive under the “Krishak Bandhu” scheme which provides cash incentives to farmers and agricultural workers. The scheme was relaunched on June 16, 2021 increasing the cash entitlements from ₹5,000 to ₹10,000 a year benefiting about 70 lakh farmers.

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday stayed the interview process of upper primary teachers, admitting that there was lack of transparency in the interview list. Recently, the State government has announced the appointment of thousands of schoolteachers and with the order today the recruitment process of around 14,500 primary teachers has come to a halt.

A few aspirants had approached the High Court alleging irregularities in the recruitment process. They alleged that applicants who got the call for the interview had much lower marks and the aspirants with higher marks were left out.

Reacting to the development, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said such petitions are hurting the interests of students.

“In Bengal whenever the process of teachers appointments is started, people approach courts. This is hurting those students who are to get appointments. I will not say anything on matters relating to court but will say please keep in mind the future of the students,” she said.

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