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Delhi: AAP government grants loans to two students in 2021-22 for higher education, spends Rs 19 crore on advertising the scheme

The AAP government launched the 'Delhi Higher Education and Skill Education Guarantee Scheme' in 2015 but the number of students under it have been steadily declining.

The AAP government in Delhi is once again in the middle of a controversy as an RTI by Newslaundry has revealed that the government spent Rs 19 crores on advertisements for a scheme called the ‘Delhi Higher Education and Skill Development Guarantee Scheme’. The RTI also revealed that the government has granted loans to only two students in 2021-2022 under the scheme.

The AAP government launched the ‘Delhi Higher Education and Skill Education Guarantee Scheme’ in 2015. The objective of this scheme is to provide a loan facility of up to Rs 10 lakh to students in Delhi studying in the 10th to 12th standard so that they can study in college.

On 12th June 2015, Manish Sisodia announced this scheme.

In the financial year 2021-22, 89 students applied to get the benefit of this scheme, out of which only two students got loans. Loans up to Rs 10 lakh are available under the scheme. Even if these students availed the maximum possible amount under this scheme, the cost of advertising by the Delhi government is many times more than that. According to a report by Newslaundry, the AAP government in Delhi has spent Rs 19 crore on advertising the scheme in 2021-22. This information has been obtained by Newslaundry through the Right to Information (RTI).

While announcing the scheme on June 12, 2015, Delhi’s deputy chief minister and education minister Manish Sisodia said, “For the first time in the country, parents will not have to worry about finances to get higher and skill education for their children. Today we are launching the Delhi Higher Education and Skill Education Guarantee Scheme, under which the government will guarantee its loan.”

Contrary to Manish Sisodia’s claim, the scheme seems to be dying a slow death within 7 years. Year after year, the number of students benefiting from it is declining. According to the information received from the RTI, so far a total of 1139 students have applied for the loan, but only 363 students eventually got it.

Despite all the claims, only 31 percent of the students who applied got the benefit of this scheme. In the financial year 2015-16, the year the scheme was launched, 58 students applied for the scheme and all the students got loans. In the financial year 2016-17, 424 students applied for loans and 176 got loans, in 2017-18, 177 students applied and 50 were successful in getting the loans.

In the financial year 2018-19, 139 students applied for the loan, and 44 got it, while in 2019-20, 146 students applied for this loan but only 19 could get a loan. In the financial year 2020-21, 106 students applied and only 14 got loans and in the last financial year 2021-22, the number of students who applied for loans was only 89 and out of them, only 2 students got loans.

While very few students could get the benefit of the ‘Delhi Higher Education and Skill Education Guarantee Scheme’, the government spent crores of rupees on its advertisement. Advertisements were given in print and television media to promote the scheme. According to the report by Newslaundry, the AAP government provided data about the advertisement expenses on this scheme for the financial year 2020-21 while the RTI filed had asked for the total advertisement expenses on this scheme since its launch.

In the financial year 2021-22, advertisements worth Rs 46,22,685 were given in print media and Rs 18,81,00,618 in television media. In all, Rs 19.27 crore was spent on advertising the scheme, while only two students benefited from the scheme during the financial year.

This is not the first time that the Delhi government has spent more than the cost of the scheme on its advertisement. To get rid of pollution, the Delhi government deployed bio-decomposers. An amount of Rs 68 lakh was spent on this spray in two years, while Rs 23 crore was spent on advertisements for this scheme.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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