Archive for January 10th, 2004

Education loans slashed to 2% below PLR

January 10, 2004

Finance Minister seems to be in a mood to give. There were duty (customs,
excise) on PCs and Mobile phones. Today the cuts are in interest rates for
loans for those pursuing higher education.
It is a great news. Some
of us used to be upset that one can get a car loan for 8% sitting home (some
agents will come home with application forms), but for higher education,
students and their parents go from pillar to post for loans at 12% interest!
Now it will be more like 8-9%. It is the right step. I would be delghted if
Government creates an Education Bank and makes donation to the banks tax free,
so that individuals and corporates can donate to this Bank; in turn, the Bank
can loan it students at 3,4% interest (not unusual in many countries).

Knowledge Societies are built on education; so every move to make
education accessible is welcome.

Government instead of controlling inputs (fee, entrance test, size of
class, admissions to a college or University) must focus on output (quality).
As long as Governments controlled inputs (cement, steel, power prices and
sources, say SAIL for steel), auto industry in India laguished; once they
turned their attention away from input control and moved to output control
(Euro, Bharat emission norms), auto industry soured. Higher Education will
be no different
.

India can aim for $ 20 – 50 Billion earnings by teaching the world
in India
, not by controlling IIT’s and IIM’s but by enabling them to think
and act global. That and that lone will do proud to all of us and the
Nation
.