We all have come across bright students who have missed their higher education because of a lack of financial means. So time and again, central and state governments announce student credit cards for Indiaor a specific state dedicated to helping deserving students fulfil their dream of completing their higher education.
On 30th June 2021, West Bengal’s Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, unveiled the West Bengal Student Credit Card (WBSCC) scheme and tagged it as the most significant global project of this kind. The primary aim of this scheme is to make higher education more accessible by providing inexpensive loans to deserving candidates.
The student credit card scheme in West Bengal was promised by Mamata Banerjee in her election manifesto and pledged to provide students with a soft loan with a reduced interest rate. Read on to learn the basics of the West Bengal Student Credit Card scheme.
What is the West Bengal Student Credit Card?
“I am delighted to announce that GoWB has launched the #StudentCreditCard today.
To make the youth of Bengal self-reliant, the scheme shall provide a loan of up to ₹10 Lakh with an annual simple interest. (1/2)”
- Mamata Banerjee via @MamataOfficial, June 30, 2021
Student credit cards are for those who do not have a source of income to support their studies. They enable beneficiaries to borrow up to a specified limit.
The West Bengal Student Credit Card (WBSCC) scheme is a similar scheme for students studying within or outside India. It aims to enable them to pursue higher education without any monetary restrictions.
West Bengal Student Credit Card Loan Amount and Interest Rate
As the name suggests, the WBSCC scheme provides a collateral-free loan of up to INR 10 lakh to students at a nominal interest rate of 4%. These can be availed via any state cooperative bank, affiliated central cooperative banks, district cooperative banks, or public/private sector banks.
What is the Objective Behind the Student Credit Card of West Bengal?
The Higher Education Department of the West Bengal government rolled out the WBSCC scheme to help students pursue higher education without getting drowned in the heavy interest burden that usually accompanies personal loans. It is a security-free forwarding to help deserving students access quality education.
The WBSCC supports students to continue their education, be it secondary, higher secondary, undergraduate, post-graduate, or madrasah, and includes professional degrees and other equivalent courses in any specified institute within the country or outside.
The scheme even covers those who are appearing for competitive exams, such as medical, law, engineering, IPS, IAS, and more.
Eligibility Requirements for West Bengal Student Credit Card
Here are the eligibility requirements to benefit from the Student Credit Card scheme of West Bengal:
- The applicant must be between 15 and 40 years of age.
- They must be an Indian National and a West Bengal resident for the last ten years or more on the card application date.
- The applicant must have completed their Class IX education from any recognized boards in the state.
- They must be enrolled for higher studies within the country or abroad.
Loan Repayment Terms
Here are the repayment terms attached to the WBSCC scheme:
- The repayment period would be 15 years, including a moratorium/repayment holiday, for any loan availed under this scheme.
- Students can avail of a 1% interest concession if they can pay the interest entirely during the study period.
- The student or their legal guardian/parent can repay the loan before its stipulated due date without bearing any prepayment penalty or any other charges of any kind.
Documents Required to Apply for a Student Credit Card
Given that it is a collateral-free loan, there is extensive documentation involved while applying for a loan under the West Bengal Student Credit Card scheme. Here is what an applicant will need:
- A colour photograph of the applicant in JPEG/JPG format and size no greater than 50 KB and no less than 20 KB
- In case there is a co-borrower, colour photograph of them in JPEG/JPG format and size between 20 KB and 50 KB
- Signature of the applicant in JPEG/JPG format and size between 10 KB and 50 KB
- Signature of the co-borrower in JPEG/JPG format and size between 10 KB and 50 KB
- Photocopy of Student’s Aadhaar Card in PDF format and size no greater than 400 KB and no less than 50 KB. In the absence of Aadhaar Card, student’s class X Board Registration Certificate of a size between 50 KB and 400 KB
- Address proof of the guardian in PDF format and size between 50 KB and 400 KB
- PAN Card of the student/undertaking form if they do not have a PAN Card in PDF format between 50 KB and 400 KB
- PAN Card of the co-borrower/undertaking form if they do not have a PAN Card in PDF format and size between 50 KB and 400 KB
- Relevant document containing course fee/tuition fee in PDF format and size between 50 KB and 400 KB
- Admission receipt for the course they are pursuing
- ITR of co-borrower for the last two years, if filed. If they do not have their ITR copies, they need an income certificate approved by their local BDO/SDO
The West Bengal Student Credit Card is proposed to cover the following expenses:
- Fees charged by the school/college/university/professional institutes and competitive coaching institutes or for entrance examinations
- Fees to be paid for accommodation in a hostel or as PG (paying guest)
- Cost to be borne for buying books, digital devices, equipment, and more for education purposes
- Any deposit to be made to the institution, library, and laboratory
- Any other course-related expenses, such as project work, thesis submission, or study tours
The applicant can spend a maximum of 30% of the amount forwarded towards non-institutional purposes, such as buying books, study tours, and equipment purchases.
How to Apply for a West Bengal Student Credit Card
To apply for the West Bengal Student Credit Card, the applicant can follow these steps:
- The applicant can apply for the student credit card online by visiting www.wb.gov.in or https://banglaruchchashiksha.wb.gov.in. Click on the Student Credit Card tab to apply.
The applicant can also visit the West Bengal Student Credit Card website (https://wbscc.wb.gov.in) and tap on the Registration of Student option to proceed.
- Click on the Register option to generate a unique User ID and Password. It will be sent to the mobile number and used for submission of the application and all future purposes.
- Enter the essential details, such as name, date of birth, Aadhaar number, and gender. If the applicant doesn’t have the Aadhaar number, additional information on Class X passing out is required.
- Fill up the co-borrower’s details, such as PAN and occupation, and address details in the next section.
- Enter permanent address, course, and income details in the next section, including assembly, annual income, and course name with year of completion.
- Fill up the bank details of the student and the co-borrower, including the name of the bank, branch name, and account number.
How to track the WBSCC application?
Here are the easy steps to help track student credit card details online:
- Visit the official website of theWest Bengal Student Credit Card scheme and login into the account using the Student login option.
- Click on the “Track application” option. It will preview the current status of the student credit scheme application.
For assistance or in case of any problem, the WBSCC officials can be contacted via their helpline number or email. Here are the details:
- Helpline Number: 18001028014
- Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Support: email@example.com
The West Bengal Student Credit Card scheme is a welcome move by the state government in the wake of the rising costs of higher education. Until 2021, over 120,000 applications were submitted, and 50,000 were sent to the banks for approval. While some were rejected or returned to the district administrations, 6,000 had been accepted. It propelled H K Dwivedi, Chief Secretary, to set up a committee in each district to understand the reasons behind such denial.
This article attempts to give a fair idea about the West Bengal Student Credit Card Scheme.
If a loan approval under the WBSCC scheme isn’t getting cleared, a great alternative is the Education Loan via Tata Capital. The loan application process is entirely online, and loans up to INR 30 lakh are offered for domestic and international causes.