The State government will hold discussions with banks to ensure that students are made to repay their education loans only after they secure a job, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said. He was speaking after presenting the Mar Baselios Youth Excellence Award for the Best Engineering Student in the State to Nisha Mariam Johnson here on Friday.

“Not everyone in our society can fund their education. They have to depend on education loans. But, some of the banks are behaving like modern-day Shylocks in forcing the students to repay their loans, causing much difficulty to students and their families. The government intends to hold meetings with the banks to ensure that students are given time till they secure a job,” he said. Pointing out the case of State Bank of India, which has handed over the responsibility of getting the students to repay to a private company, he said that such measures were unfair.

‘Let students benefit’

“The private company which forcibly collects these education loans gets to keep 50 per cent of the money. Why not give this 50 percent to the students?” he asked. The Chief Minister said that there have been complaints about the quality of the engineering education and some of the colleges in the State. “We need to find a solution to this fall in quality. We are working on a system by which expertise from outside can be brought to the classrooms,” he said.

Cardinal Mar Baselios Cleemis Catholicos presided over the function. The Mar Baselios Youth Excellence Award is instituted by the alumni association of the Mar Baselios Engineering College for the Best Engineering Student in the State.

Ms. Johnson passed out of the College of Engineering Thiruvananthapuram this year. The award, consisting of Rs.1 lakh cash prize, a memento and a citation, was awarded to her based on her excellent academic and extra-curricular achievements.

Smt. Gayathri Krishnan IAS (Sub Collector- Pollachi) Dr T.M George (Principal), Prof. Viswanadh Rao (Vice Principal) and Rev. Fr Wilson Tattaruthundil (College Bursar) were present during the ceremony.

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