The Government of India has launched a new website on the occasion of the 69th Independence Day of the country, aiming at helping students who are seeking education loans. The new portal vidyalakshmi.co.in already has five nationalised banks integrated their portal with it, and will help those students who are looking for education loans to pursue higher education.
The new website has been developed and will be maintained by NSDL e-governance Infrastructure limited (NSDL e-Gov). The whole initiative is under the guidance of Department of higher Education, Department of Financial services in Finance ministry, ministry of human resource development, and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). The website is part of the Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram (PMVLK) program launched by the government of India.
In his budget speech for 2015-16, finance minister Arun Jaitley had proposed educational loan schemes through the Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram (PMVLK) program, and also had hinted at setting up a fully IT based authority to administer and monitor student financial aids and scholarships. The new website is one step forward in this path. The press release for the portal launch states that it is aimed at ensuring that no student misses out on higher education for lack of funds, and that this is the first step towards achieving this objective. “Vidya Lakshmi Portal is the first of its kind portal providing single window for students to access information and make applications for educational loans provided by banks as also government scholarships,” it added.
The website will give loan seeking students and parents information about education loan schemes of various banks. It will provide the students with common application form for applying for education loan, and also the facility to apply to multiple banks for education loans. The banks will be able to download the students’ loan applications from the website. The website will also provide other facilities whereby the banks can upload the processing status of the loan applications and hence students can keep track of it. It also has facility for students to email their queries and grievances relating to the education loan application. The website also has linkage to the National Scholarship Portal, which will provide information regarding government scholarships, and also apply for them.
So far 13 banks have registered themselves in the website, and about 22 different educational schemes are available in the portal for the students to choose from. To provide the loan processing status to the students, already five banks – SBI, Bank of India, Canara bank, Union Bank of India, and IDBI bank have integrated their system with the portal. The website aims to bring on board all the banks which provide educational loans. The website will provide a single window for the students and parents to access and know about the various educational loan schemes provided by different banks and also avail them. The new initiative will be of benefit for all the students throughout the country.