Apr 112016

Vidya Lakshmi Yojana for Government Scholarships and Educational Loans in Hindi/English PDF

“Education”. How important is that? It is an undeniable fact that education and the knowledge gained through it is the greatest asset that a human can possess. This is perhaps the only asset that can never be taken away from a person. It helps to achieve various goals in life. One of the most important goals – survival – to a great extent depends on education. A proper education helps a person to get jobs or start a business and earn for his or her family.

Now coming to Indian education, it is considered one of the best in world. There are dozens of premiere institutes in India where Indian students can get world class education that can put them at the forefront of the career they choose. However, there is a small problem. Education in India, just like in any other country, is a pretty costly affair and specially when it comes to higher education, expenses can burn holes in bank accounts!

Vidya Lakshmi Educational Loan Yojana

For the rich and the elite and even the upper middle class people, affording the cost of education is possible but for the rest like lower middle class people and other economically weaker sections of the economy, higher education often remains a dream simply because they don’t have the financial tool to achieve the same. What they usually resort on are educational loans and government scholarships.

However, finding a proper educational loan or a government scholarship is pretty difficult. In order to make it simple for aspiring students, the government of India led by PM Narendra Modi launched a web-portal known as Vidya Lakshmi. This portal can be accessed through this link.

Launched on 15th of August, 2015 (on Independence Day), the primary aim of the portal is to provide a comprehensive window through which students can get access to educational loans offered by various banks operational in India. Not just that, the portal is also designed to offer government scholarships to eligible candidates.

Who are behind Vidya Lakshmi Educational Loans?

Vidya Lakshmi is of course a brain child of Modi government but there are several organizations that helped to realize this unique concept and give it a shape. The website has been developed by NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited. The organization is responsible for maintaining the website. However, other bodies were involved in providing the necessary guidance for the development of the portal. This bodies include:

  • Finance Ministry of government of India.
  • Financial Services Department of Indian government.
  • Higher Education Department of Indian government.
  • Human Resource Development or HRD Ministry of Indian government.
  • IBA or Indian Banks’ Association.

Core Features of Vidya Lakshmi Educational Loans

This unique portal that has been launched by government of India has some really interesting features, making this portal the first of its kind initiative in India. It is expected that the portal will eventually help many aspiring students to complete their higher education without thinking of the financial hurdles that usually keep students from pursuing higher education. Let us take a quick look at the features of the portal.

Information center The portal works as an information center for students. They can get information about the loans that they can avail through these portal for their higher education.
Forms There is something called CELAF or Common Educational Loan Application Form. This is available for all students who wish to apply for an educational loan. A common form makes it easy for students to apply for loans and minimizes paperwork.
Access to multiple banks One of the greatest advantage of the Vidya Lakshmi portal is that it gives easy access to all banks that offer educational loans. Students don’t really need to physically visit every single bank to know about the loan facility. All banks are listed and they can easily apply with any bank or multiple banks of their choice.
Banks get access to students On one hand where students can easily access all banks, all banks that are participating in the portal will have direct access to application forms from all students. They can quickly download the applications and check whether the students fulfill their terms and conditions or not.
Status update from banks Banks participating in Vidya Lakshmi portal can post quick updates on the status of the loan applications.
Grievances or queries Students may have queries before they apply for loan. There is an email service made available that can be used by students as their questions to banks of their choice. Also, once the loans are taken out by students, they may have grievances. Students can quickly reach out to the banks with their grievances through the email service available at Vidya Lakshmi portal.
Dashboard facility for students Every student who registers with the website gets his or her individual dashboard that can be accessed after logging into the site. The dashboard is the place where students get information on their loan application status that are updated by the banks.
Access to government scholarships The portal itself doesn’t provide direct access to government scholarships. However, the portal does have a link to the National Scholarship Portal where students can quickly find information about government scholarships. Eligible candidates can then apply as per the instructions found on National Scholarship Portal.

There is no doubt that Vidya Lakshmi is one of the most comprehensive systems out there in market that can make the process of application for educational loans simple and user-friendly.

The Commonly Asked Questions About Vidya Lakshmi Portal

While the information above is pretty simple, there are still many questions about the portal that are often asked. Let us take a quick look at these questions and try to answer them in the simplest possible format.

Question 1: What is CELAF?

Answer: CELAF is the abbreviated form of the name Common Educational Loan Application Form. The Indian Banks’ Association or the IBA came up with this form which is accepted by all banks participating in Vidya Lakshmi portal. Since different banks usually have different formats for loan application form, it was looked upon as a hassle for students to fill up separate forms in case they wanted to apply for loans with multiple banks. To iron out this bump, the CELAF was designed. By filling up this single form, students can apply for loans with multiple banks and are not required to fill up separate forms.

Question 2: How to access CELAF?

Answer: Brilliant question! There is twist here. In order to be able to use CELAF, students need to first register with the website and then login to their account. The registration and login processes are pretty simple. For first time registration, students simply need to open the portal and click on registration. A registration form will open up and students need to provide the necessary information and finish the registration process as per instructions that will be shown on screen.

After registration is completed, students need to go back to the website and click on login option. A login form will open where the user ID and password (that were provided during the registration process) are to be used to login into the portal.

Once login is successful, students will be given access to the CELAF. There is nothing to download. It is completely online and students need to fill up the form online and hit submit. Filling up the CELAF is a one-time business. Students don’t need to fill it up again and again.

Question 3: What happens after CELAF is submitted?

Answer: As mentioned in question 1, CELAF is a common form. This form will be accessible to all participating banks. However once a student fills the form, he or she needs to search for loan schemes available from different banks and simply click on Apply button. The CELAF will reach to the bank along with the loan scheme that the student wants. In case the student does not select a loan scheme, different banks can easily contact the student using the information provided through CELAF.

Question 4: How many banks are there in Vidya Lakshmi Portal?

Answer: As of now there are 33 banks that are participating in the portal. The banks are:

  1. Allahabad Bank
  2. Andhra Bank
  3. Axis Bank
  4. Bank of Baroda
  5. Bank of India
  6. Bank of Maharashtra
  7. Bharatiya Mahila Bank
  8. Canara Bank
  9. Central Bank of India
  10. Corporation Bank
  11. Dena Bank
  12. GP Parsik Bank
  13. HDFC bank
  14. ICICI Bank
  15. IDBI Bank
  16. Indian Bank
  17. KarurVysya Bank
  18. Kotak Mahindra Bank
  19. Oriental Bank of Commerce
  20. Punjab and Sindh Bank
  21. Punjab National Bank
  22. RBL Bank
  23. State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur
  24. State Bank of Hyderabad
  25. State Bank of India
  26. State Bank of Mysore
  27. State Bank of Patiala
  28. State Bank of Travancore
  29. Syndicate Bank
  30. UCO Bank
  31. Union Bank
  32. United Bank of India
  33. Vijaya Bank

Question 5: How many banks can you apply with at once?

Answer: This is a bummer. Though it is said that you can apply with multiple banks, the term multiple is actually restricted to 3. So, if you are using CELAF, you cannot apply for loans with more than 3 banks at once. In case you want to apply for loans with other banks, you have to do so off the portal.

Question 6: Once the loan application is submitted, how to know the loan status?

Answer: Very simple! Login and then get to the dashboard where you need to click on Application Status option and you will find the status of all your applications. Basically, the status will be updated by the banks from their end and will be shown in the dashboard of the respective students.

Question 7: What if the applications get rejected?

Answer: Well, that’s a possibility and if that happens, it will be a real bummer. If a bank rejects the application, you will have no option of contacting the bank for further information on the same. You will have to just accept that the application has been rejected. So, it is advised to check out all terms and conditions before applying with banks so that you fulfill all requirements.

Question 8: Why is the application status showing ‘On Hold’? What does that mean?

Answer: If the status is showing On Hold, it simply means that the bank needs further information for processing the application. The exact reason for the status will be shown in ‘Remarks Section’ once you log in into your dashboard. Check the remarks and provide the necessary information for the bank to successfully process your application.

Question 9: Will all banks provide a uniform interest rate?

Answer: NO! Not at all! Different banks will have different interest rates. On top of that, different schemes from same bank may have different interest rates. Please check the loan scheme details properly to know the interest rates.

Question 10: How will the banks give the money if the approve the loan applications?

Answer: Disbursal of the loan money always and always takes place outside Vidya Lakshmi portal. The student needs to contact the bank for details. Usually the bank disburses the loan money directly to the bank account provided by the student during the loan application process.

That’s pretty much all the important questions that you need to stay aware of. Now that we are done with the FAQ section of Vidya Lakshmi portal, it is time that we divert our attention to National Scholarship Portal.

So, what is National Scholarship Portal?

First thing first, it is different portal altogether. It is not the same as Vidya Lakshmi portal. Only a link to the National Scholarship Portal is provided on the Vidya Lakshmi portal.

Since this is a portal, there are few things that it does:

  • Gives details of all government scholarships available from time to time.
  • Allows students to apply for such scholarships directly from the portal.
  • Applications are processed by the government through the portal.
  • Scholarships are also sanctioned and disbursed through the portal (well, the disbursal actually happens directly at banks).

The portal allows the government to:

  • Reduce paper work.
  • Select the most eligible candidates quickly.
  • Weed out duplicate applications.

In order to apply for scholarships, students will have to first register with the portal. This portal too has a common application form similar to CELAF of Vidya Lakshmi portal. Filling up this single common form will allow students to apply for multiple scholarships at a time. However, the intelligent system working behind the portal will actually select the best scholarship for the eligible students depending on whether they fulfill the criteria or not. The eligible candidate will get the money in provided bank account through Direct Benefit Transfer or DBT feature.

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