Higher education in India gets a Rs 8,000 crore boost

Government’s estimated schematic budgetary expenditure on health, education and social protection for 2018-19 is Rs 1.38 trillion. Photo: HT

Government’s estimated schematic budgetary expenditure on health, education and social protection for 2018-19 is Rs 1.38 trillion. Photo: HT

New Delhi: To increase investment in higher educational institutions, the Union Cabinet today approved a proposal for expanding the scope of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) by expanding its capital base to Rs 10,000 crore and tasking it to mobilise Rs 1 trillion by 2022.

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government wants to increase investments in higher education, for which an announcement was made in the last budget and HEFA was established.

“At that time its authorised capital was Rs 2,000 crore and now it has been increased to Rs 10,000 crore,” Prasad said, adding that earlier central government universities and other new varsities didn’t get advantage of HEFA but in today’s cabinet meeting, it was decided that they can utilise this fund.

In his Union Budget 2018, the then finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced a new initiative of the government—‘‘Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE)”—to step up investments in research and related infrastructure in premier educational institutions, including health institutions. HEFA, a joint venture company of Canara Bank and Ministry of Human Resource Development which provides financial assistance for creation of educational infrastructure and R&D in India’s premier higher educational Institutions, was tasked to fund this initiative.

Government’s estimated schematic budgetary expenditure on health, education and social protection for 2018-19 is Rs 1.38 trillion against estimated expenditure of Rs 1.22 trillion in 2017-18.

[“Source-livemint”]

How to fund child’s education: Take a loan or use own funds?

Keeping your accumulated savings invested and taking an education loan instead can benefit you. Photo: Alamy

Keeping your accumulated savings invested and taking an education loan instead can benefit you. Photo: Alamy

Any big-ticket spending requires you to either have the required funds in place or a financing option. When dealing with long-term financial goals, such as higher education of children, you have the advantage of planning much in advance. Here’s how you can go about the planning.

Start early

A lot of parents have an inclination to send their children abroad for higher education, at least at the post-graduate level, said Suresh Sadagopan, a certified financial planner and founder of Ladder 7 Financial Advisories. “In that case, the planning needs to start really early. They would need a horizon of at least 10-15 years. When we talk of international education at post-graduate level today, most likely it is not going to happen below ₹40 lakh,” he said.

Click here for enlarge

How do you work towards saving that amount? Prakash Praharaj, founder, Max Secure Financial Planners, said that the future cost of a particular course needs to be calculated taking into account at least 10% annual inflation. “Then calculate the current assets and investments accumulated for these goals. Then the remaining gap for the aimed amount is to be filled through monthly SIPs over the years,” he said.

Starting an SIP of ₹5,000-7,000 in an equity fund for 15 years and increasing it by 10-20% each year could help. However, Sadagopan said, given the fact that there are so many ongoing expenses these days, including other loans, it becomes difficult for parents to put aside a huge amount for the child’s post-graduation alone.

Consider taking loan

Even if you have been working on creating a higher education corpus, you need to consider taking an education loan. At present, the total expenses for higher education abroad could be in the range of ₹1 crore per child, Sadagopan said.

“A realistic thing that parents need to realise is that the child’s higher education is not their only goal. Retirement is also an important goal and they need to be aware of the fact that you can get a loan for all other requirements but not for retirement,” he said.

Own funds versus loan

But if someone has already accumulated the required amount, why should another repayment burden be taken on? The answer lies in two things, Praharaj said. “A cost benefit analysis suggests that taking an education loan and keeping the accumulated amount invested works in your favour. Moreover, it also helps in developing a sense of responsibility in the student. The realisation that a repayment has to be done by them keeps them focussed,” he said.

The math of keeping your accumulated savings invested and taking an education loan instead suggests that taking a loan results in significant benefits. For instance, if ₹1 crore is kept invested and an education loan for the same amount is taken, at the end of nine years, including the repayment holiday on the education loan, the net benefit could be around ₹87 lakh (see graph).

This includes the tax saved on repayment of loan. Borrowers of education loans can claim deduction on the interest paid, though not on the principal amount. Also, unlike in home loans, there is no limit to the amount that can be claimed as deduction.

Sadagopan said it is better that the parents keep the money with themselves and let the child take the loan. “In future if the child is struggling to find a job and pay back, you can step in to help at that point,” he said.

[“Source-livemint”]

Police launch probe into agriculture recruitment racket

A preliminary enquiry found that 15 candidates from Haryana used unfair means to excel in the examination held on September 4, 2016.

Police on Wednesday launched a probe into an alleged cheating racket pertaining to a nationwide examination conducted by the Agricultural Scientist Recruitment Board (ASRB) in 2016.

A preliminary enquiry found that 15 candidates from Haryana used unfair means to excel in the examination held on September 4, 2016. At least 13 of them appeared for the test at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly.

Officials of the institute lodged a complaint in this regard on the ASRB’s direction.

All the candidates under question were found to be residents of Sonepat and Rohtak districts of Haryana. They have also been accused of involvement in scams pertaining to other central government recruitment examinations, including those conducted by the army.

“The 15 candidates scored similar marks in the examination, much higher than the average score of other candidates. We became suspicious and reported the matter to the police,” said IVRI director Dr RK Singh.

The complaint was filed at the office of Bareilly senior superintendent of police (SSP) Joginder Kumar on Tuesday. He then directed a circle officer to investigate the matter, and lodge an FIR in this regard. “We will share inputs in the case with our counterparts in Haryana to nab the racketeers,” said Kumar.

Meanwhile, the ASRB has decided to hold a re-examination on June 24. A notice put up on its website cites “administrative issues” as the cause for cancellation of the previous test.

The examination is conducted to ensure recruitment for technical posts in agricultural institutes across the country. Over 70,000 candidates appeared for the exam to fill 150 vacancies that year.

[“source=hindustantimes”]

HC seeks Centre, CBI response on reinvestigation of SSC exam leaks

A plea field by several job aspirants alleged that the officials of the SSC, private vendors and others were a part of the syndicate selling seats for Rs 10-20 lakh per candidate.

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Centre and CBI to file their response on a plea by several job aspirants seeking reinvestigation into the cases of Staff Selection Commission (SSC) paper leaks.

Justice S P Garg listed the matter for July 26 on the plea filed by 44 people.

The job aspirants also sought setting up of an enquiry commission headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court or the High Court in connection with the repeated offences such as cheating in the SSC exam.

The petition said that multiple FIRs are lodged every year over leaks of question papers and several persons are arrested for allegedly aiding the aspirants to cheat for money, but in none of the cases, the probe agencies have been able to bust the racket and arrest the main persons involved in the organised crime.

Advocate Anurag Ahluwali accepted the notice for the Central government and the SSC, while advocate Narender Mann did so on behalf of the CBI.

The plea claimed that the syndicate was still operating as officials from the department of SSC have never been arrested. It alleged that the probe agencies have failed to identify the source of the leaks and the main perpetrators of the crime were still untouched.

“The modus operandi of the syndicate is supported by ultra-modern technologies and the commission of the crime gets detected at very few places as the local police agencies are not well equipped technologically,” it said.

The plea alleged that the officials of the SSC, private vendors and others were a part of the syndicate selling seats for Rs 10-20 lakh per candidate.

The plea said that the exams are conducted for sensitive posts such as inspector, sub-inspector, constables of para-military organisations, National Investigating Agency, Central Bureau of Investigation, Intelligence Bureau, Income Tax, Central Excise, Delhi Police and various coveted post across the government ministries.

“These posts are so sensitive in nature that selection of a tainted candidate can jeopardise the national security of the country,” it said, adding that the future of many deserving candidates has been ruined because of the inaction of authorities to stop the offences since 2013.

The Supreme Court had in March this year dismissed a PIL seeking a CBI probe into the SSC paper leak case after the Centre informed it that the probe agency has already started investigating it.

Amid protests over alleged paper leak, the SSC had recently recommended a CBI probe into it.

 

[“source=hindustantimes”]