Mangaluru, Nov 30, 2017: The National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK), Surathkal in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka and five Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have become the first six institutions in the country to get an interest-free loan from the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to improve their infrastructure for research and innovation.
The HEFA board on Monday approved sanctioning of loan of Rs 2,066.73 crore to the NITK Surathkal, IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur and IIT Kanpur.
The interest-free loan is meant to support a total of 27 project proposals of these six technical institutes for improving research and academic facilities as well as creation of supporting infrastructure required to boost research and innovations.
“These funds would be used to improve the research infrastructure in these institutions to further improve their standing at the global level,” the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry said in a statement after the board’s meeting. HEFA loans are in addition to the grants that the government gives to these institutions. “It is a historic day today for financing the needs and promotion of research and innovation beyond budgetary allocations,” Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
The Union budget gives “ample allocation and grants” to the higher education institutions, he said. “But, still there is a greater need (for more funds). The vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the resolve of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has made possible the operationalisation of the HEFA to extend funds beyond budgetary allocations,” Javadekar added. As per the scheme, the HEFA, set up as a non-banking organisation, would mobilise Rs 20,000 crore through market borrowing and would release the same to the government institutions as interest-free loans.