AAP spent 19 crores on advertising the scheme that granted loans to two students in 2021-22

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After an RTI by Newslaundry revealed that the AAP government spent Rs. 19 crores on advertising their scheme ‘Delhi Higher Education and Skill Development Guarantee Scheme’, the government has found itself in the middle of a controversy. It was also revealed in the RTI that only two students received loans under the scheme in 2021-2022.

The ‘Delhi Higher Education and Skill Development Guarantee Scheme’ was launched by the AAP government in 2015. The aim was to provide a loan facility for students in classes 10th, 11th, or 12th where they can get up to Rs. 10 lakh for studying in college. 89 students applied for this scheme in the financial year 2021-22, out of which only two received loans. Since Rs. 10 lakh is the maximum amount available under the scheme, even if all the students received the grant, it would still be less than what the Delhi government spent on advertising. 

When this scheme was launched, Manish Sisodia, Delhi’s deputy chief minister and education minister, said that this scheme is to ensure that parents don’t have to worry about their children getting higher education. However, in just 7 years, the scheme seems to be dying. The RTI revealed that out of 1139 students who applied for the loan, only 363 students received it. In the financial year 2015-16, 58 students applied, and all of them got loans. Next year, 424 students applied and 176 received loans. In 2017-18, 177 students applied, and 50 received the loan. In 2018-19, 139 students applied, and 44 received it. In 2019-20, 146 students applied, but only 19 received it. In 2020-21, 106 students applied, and only 15 got the loan. In 2021-22, 89 applications were received, but only 2 were granted loans. 

As the number of students benefiting from the scheme continues to decline yearly, government spending on the advertisement has not reduced. Advertisements were made on television and print media to promote the scheme.