Representative image of a convocation. Photo: Pixabay

New Delhi: Students belonging to minority communities can no longer avail of interest subsidies on education loans to study abroad. The Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA) has discontinued the Padho Pardesh scheme which enables this, reported The Hindu BusinessLine.

Last month, the Indian Banks’ Association notified banks about the discontinuation of the scheme from 2022-23. However, no reason has been specified for the change, as per the news report.

Under the Padho Pardesh Interest Subsidy Scheme, students who belong to minority communities – including Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Parsis – and want to pursue higher studies such as a master’s degree, MPhil and PhD abroad, are eligible to obtain interest subsidies on their entire loan amounts for a specified time period (course period, plus one year or six months after getting job, whichever is earlier).

There is also an income limit: as per the scheme, only candidates (both employed and unemployed) with a total income of less than Rs 6 lakh annually can avail of the interest subsidy. Under the scheme, 35% of seats are also earmarked for females. The Scheme was part of the then Prime Minister’s fifteen-point programme for the welfare of minorities in 2006.

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