A dedicated web portal has been launched for the students to access all kinds of educational loans and government scholarships, an official statement said on Thursday.
The portal - www.vidyalakshmi.co.in - was launched by the finance ministry, the human resource development ministry and Indian Banks Association (IBA).
The portal will provide a single window for students to access information and apply for various educational loans and government scholarships, the statement said.
A common education loan application form for students, ability to apply to multiple banks for education loans, facility for banks to download students' loan applications, facility for students to e-mail grievances, a dashboard to view the status and linkage to national scholarship portal for information on government scholarship are some of the features.
Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed to set up a fully IT-based student financial aid authority to oversee education loan and government scholarships under Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram (PMVLK) to ensure that no student missed out on higher education due to insufficient financial resources.
The launch of the portal is the first step in this direction, the government added in the statement.
As many as 13 banks have registered 22 education loan schemes on www.vidyalakshmi.co.in while five banks --SBI, IDBI, Bank of India, Canara Bank and Union Bank, have integrated their system with the portal.
National Securities Depository Limited e-governance Infrastructure Limited (NSDL e-gov) developed the portal and will maintain it.