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