KD Investigations : How Children of Affluent Get Foreign Medical Degrees on Govt Money?

JKEDI makes mockery of survey report to favor blue eyed applicants

Abrar Mattoo

SRINAGAR, Apr 15: In a glaring violation of guidelines, a reputed school owner’s ward has been fraudulently granted Rs. 13.30 lakh loan by the Jammu & Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) to pursue MBBS in Bangladesh.

The applicant’s father who is also the co-borrower of the said loan has a certified annual income of Rs. 69 lakh but a cheeky survey report has been pivotal to helping the candidate who was otherwise not eligible. The case is one among the many fraudulent loans issued in favor of the children of the affluent under the government schemes earmarked for the poor and downtrodden.

The loan has been granted under a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) actually meant for the poor and marginalized students from among the minorities.

This is the second instance of its kind in the last week after an in-depth investigation launched by Kashmir Despatch revealed that a son of a property dealer who also ‘owns’ 100 kanals of land in Budgam has been sanctioned a loan of son Rs. 17. 60 lakh to pursue MBBS in Bangladesh under the Education Loan scheme of the Government of India.

The Education Loan scheme of NMDFC, which works under the aegis of the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA), GoI guarantees the students loan benefit with interest rates as low as 3% and not exceeding 8%. The repayment period starts six months after course completion or getting a job, whichever is earlier.

Incidentally, on 11-01-2019, an applicant and a resident of Reshipora, Budgam applied for Educational Loan under NMDFC at JKEDI to pursue MBBS in Ad-Din Sakina Women’s College, Jashore Bangladesh.

The applicant submitted an income certificate issued by Tehsildar Budgam (Vide No. 1886/NTB and 205/Bud/Teh/2018 Dated 23-03-2019) in which it was claimed that applicant’s annual family income is Rs 3.60 lakh. On 27-03-2019, the applicant submitted another income certificate issued by Tehsildar Budgam (Vide No. 966/MM/19 Dated 27-03-2019) claiming that the annual income of her family is just Rs 98,000 from all the sources.

Pertinently, the sanction to the soft loan was granted after the then, District Nodal Officer, JKEDI Budgam, recommended the case in favor of the applicant to pursue MBBS in Bangladesh.

This was in clear contrast to the pre-sanction survey conducted by the same officer wherein she mentions that the applicant’s father is the chairman of a private School in Budgam and the family is well off.

The survey report, a copy of which lies with Kashmir Despatch, also mentioned that the joint family (applicant’s father and her uncle) own 15 kanals of paddy land and live in a well-maintained three-story house.

On the surveyor’s recommendation, the case was approved vide Sanction Letter No. JKEDI/NMDFC/2019/299 Dated 09-10-2019 for an amount of Rs 13,30,000 at a nominal interest rate of just five percent. The first installment of Rs. 2.13 lakh was released on 14-11-2019 in favor of the applicant and transferred to Ad-Din Sakina Women’s College, Jashore Bangladesh.

However, at the second installment of the loan, suspicions were raised, and accordingly, another survey was conducted on 31-12-2020 by a team of two different officials from the district center Budgam to ascertain the facts. The second survey pointed out that the applicant’s father, is not just the chairman, but is the co-owner of the private school in Budgam which has a certified annual income of Rs 69, 06,633 as per an audited account statement for the financial year ending 31-03-2020.

Ironically, none of these aspects find a mention in the survey report conducted by the then District Officer who recommended the case under her seal and signature—due to which the candidate has got benefitted under the scheme otherwise meant for the poor and the downtrodden.

As per the scheme guidelines, the beneficiary was neither eligible under Credit line-I nor credit line-II since the annual family income is much higher than the upper prescribed limit. According to the scheme guidelines laid down by the NMDFC, New Delhi, under Credit Line-I, any applicant falling in the income level of Rs. 1, 20,000 for Urban areas and Rs. 98,000 in Rural areas can avail of the education loan facility of Rs 20 lakhs for courses in India and up to Rs. 30 lakhs for studies abroad. Under Credit Line –II applicants with an income level of Rs 8.00 lacs per annum can be considered. However, the set criterion has not been followed in this case.

Despite repeated attempts to reach Director JKEDI, Aijaz Ahmad Bhat for his comments, Kashmir Despatch could not record his take on this matter. However, it remains to be seen what more aspects and cases in this regard would come to the fore in the coming days.

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