By Muslim Mirror Network
The Padho Pardesh scheme, which made students from minority groups eligible for interest-free student loans for international study, has been discontinued by the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA).
The Indian Banks’ Association informed banks last month that the programme would not be continued from 2022 to 2023. However, no justification for the modification has been given, according to media reports.
In accordance with the Padho Pardesh Interest Subsidy Scheme, students from minority groups, such as Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Parsis, who wish to pursue higher education abroad for master’s, MPhil, or PhD degrees, are qualified to receive interest subsidies on their entire loan amounts for a predetermined time period (course period, plus one year or six months after getting job, whichever is earlier).
However, from 2022 to 2023, MOMA will no longer be implementing the programme, which was being done so through Canara Bank, the designated nodal bank. All banks were informed last month by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). According to the communication, current beneficiaries as of March 31, 2022, will continue to receive the interest subsidy during the loan’s moratorium period, pending adherence to the rules in effect, the news source said. Banks, however, have not stated why the programme has been discontinued.
Earlier, the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA) decided to terminate the Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF), a grant for students from minority communities established during the UPA rule as part of implementing the Sachar Committee recommendations, from this academic year.
Union Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani had said that the decision was taken because the fellowship overlapped with other programmes.
“Since the MANF Scheme overlaps with various other fellowship Schemes for higher education being implemented by the Government and minority students are already covered under such Schemes, hence the Government has decided to discontinue the MANF Scheme from 2022-23,” Irani had said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.