The Gujarat government Tuesday widened benefits offered to students from the non-reserved category by raising annual income limits and providing more assistance in terms of educational loans. To avail benefits of schemes offered by the Gujarat Unreserved Educational and Economical Development Corporation, the annual income limit has been raised from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4.5 lakh, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said.
The state-run corporation was set up last year to provide financial assistance to students from non-reserved categories, including help for tuition, coaching, food and competitive exam preparations.It also helps students from the unreserved category for education, employment, study abroad, and for self-employment. Also, to avail up loans of up to Rs 15 lakh to study abroad, the annual income limit of the student's kin has been raised from Rs 4.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh, he said.The loan, which was earlier provided only to pursue medical education in foreign countries, will now be given to students to pursue any post-graduate course or higher programmes abroad, he added.
Patel said the scope of Rs 10-lakh loan provided to pursue medical and technical education in institutes in Gujarat has been further extended.Now, students can avail loan facility even for admission to institutes outside Gujarat, Patel said, adding that, additionally, students can avail educational loans to study in national institutions like IIM, IIT, NID, NIRMA, NIFT among others. The corporation was set up last year to counter demands made by the Patidar community under the leadership of Hardik Patel to provide assistance to 58 castes in the states that are not entitled to any reservation benefits.The state government had last year announced several schemes to benefit students from this category by offering assistance in terms of jobs and education.