A student write in his notebook. – File photo by AP
A student write in his notebook. – File photo by AP

NEW DELHI: The World Bank on Friday offered India a $500 million loan aimed at improving access to secondary education and enhancing its quality, a statement said.

The government plans to use the funds to construct 11,000 new secondary schools and repair 60,000 existing ones, while upgrading 44,000 primary schools into secondary schools.

The major focus would be on “quality of education... the country needs its young people to get good quality secondary education”, said Onno Ruhl, the World Bank’s country director for India.

While signing the agreement, an Indian government official said secondary education needs “greater attention” because of a poor enrolment rate and low standards of education in schools.

India is home to the world’s highest number of children who, in the next few decades, will enter the work force and begin productive labour – something the government and economists refer to as a “demographic dividend.”

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Comments (8)

October 7, 2012 12:59 pm
If you and I take loan, it means we dont have money. But when a country seeks loans, that does not necessarily mean that the country doesn’t have money. The inflow of dollars (as free money or loan) does two good things to any country 1) the countries local currency becomes stronger (changes the exchange rate in favor of the country say, India) 2) the country has ready $ to import international goods, say fuel. Getting loan in $ is a good trick to keep the exchange rate lower and pay less for the fuel. India already spends about 4% of is GDP on education, which is about $7 billion. $500 M is not really significant compared to the amount of money spent on space explorations.
October 7, 2012 6:57 pm
Dear Ravi, I am an Indian and i seriously think that we should mind our own business and not worry about what funds our neighbors need for educations. We are still a country with with pathetic infrastructure, low literacy and high poverty. Let us not be overconfident of ourselves!
Allaisa Xuver
October 6, 2012 6:09 pm
How come Pakistan is not offered such a loan?
October 7, 2012 3:20 am
Why does India need loan of $500 M when everybody is talking about how rapidly India is progressing in this world.
Mohan Kochicheril
October 8, 2012 2:40 am
Where money will ultimately end-up? I still wonder after passing through the corrupt ministers in central , state level and through the bureaucracy, there would be nothing left to improve the education, not even a paper trail to show who all ate the money in the name of improving the education.
October 7, 2012 8:50 am
We are just progressing and not progressed mate :) Of course, growing child needs more food than a grown child..
October 7, 2012 5:59 am
Pakistan needs this aid much more than India. Pakistan needs more funds for education, provided it is used to impart good education, that shall slow down religious misguided extremism and create true Islamic peaceful and tolerant citizens.
Paul tru
October 8, 2012 4:10 am
For a loan to be granted the world bank must be presented with a loan application - explaining what you want to do with the loan proceed. Then world bank will evaluate if you are using it for a purpose they approve of - i.e. if you say you want to by fighter aircraft then world bank will not approve the loan. You must use the loan proceed for a purpose they approve of. Then world bank will not approve of a loan for 100% finance or cost of a project it approves of. They will say - o.k. we like the purpose or what you want to do with the loan. But we will give you 20% of the total cost if you can come up with 80 % of the cost from your own money. And we won't give you all 20% in one installment. We will give you only 5% to start with and we will check progress of your work and if we think you are doing as you said you will then we will release, say another 5 %. If we don't like wHAT YOU DID WITH OUR MONEY NO MORE MONEY FOR YOU. IT IS STOPPED. This is how it works. I hope it makes things a little clearer why some countrties can get loan while others can not.
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