Students from Tier II and Tier III Indian cities eye foreign degrees

According to a recent survey, there has been a 300 per cent increase in education loan applications.

By H. P. Ranina

Published: Sat 9 Jul 2022, 11:12 PM

Last updated: Sat 9 Jul 2022, 11:15 PM

My nephew in India wants to go abroad for higher education, the cost of which has now gone up as a result of foreign colleges hiking their fees and the rupee weakening against the dollar. While some family members may chip in, substantial amount will have to be raised by way of loans. What is the best way of getting loans at the lowest interest rate?

According to a recent survey, there has been a 300 per cent increase in education loan applications. This is partly on account of high number of students from Tier II and Tier III cities of India aspiring for foreign education. There is increasing number of options available to students with a large number of financial institutions providing loans. The relaxation in visa regulations for education by countries like USA, UK, Ireland and Australia has also resulted in the overseas education market expanding. Loan amounts given by institutions vary depending on the university ranking and type of educational curriculum. Several edtech firms help the students by reaching out to various banks. The loan applications of the students are prepared and processed by these edtech firms who submit the applications to multiple banks and help to secure loans on the best terms and conditions and at the lowest possible interest rate.

Are there signs of economic revival in India despite the issues of elevated prices due to shortages of oil and commodities?

Some experts feel that persistent inflation will hit demand for goods and services in the short term. However, others believe that India is now witnessing early signs of a sustainable economic revival.

Domestic economic activity is fuelled by private consumption and rise in spending especially in the rural areas. There is a perceptible sign of improvement in economic activity in the non-rural areas.

This is based on the fact that credit card spending in May this year has touched Rs.1.14 trillion which is an increase of 8 per cent month-on-month. Spending by credit cards has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 per cent over three years. Some private banks have recorded a CAGR of 48 per cent. According to bankers, travel and hospitality is a major category of spending by way of credit cards.

The growing volume of travel business and increase in airfares has pushed up volumes in this category. Further, online shopping is at an all time high.

The Reserve Bank of India has, in its report, stated that the data collected indicates a strong growth in the economy. These trends are sustainable despite the increase in interest rates. Another positive development is that there is a perceptible fall in the number of failed auto debit transactions.

The number of ransomware attacks is increasing. What steps are needed to counter this threat and how is the corporate sector confronting it?

Even after the pandemic, more and more organisations have a hybrid system of work culture where employees work from home for two or three days in a week. This has thrown a new challenge for organisations to secure remote work and prevent cyber attacks on the organisation’s networks.

This is resulting in a new culture in the field of cyber security which is referred to as “zero trust”. This means that the enterprise systems should not trust anything and must consider everything as a potential threat. Zero trust is not a product or a tool; it is the overall security strategy aligned to the business goals of every enterprise. The principle is to distrust every user, device, application or process. A firm’s sensitive data needs to be evaluated continuously taking into account the contextual information. Every connection must be proved to be legitimate. The zero trust approach is therefore becoming inevitable when employees are working remotely and workloads are moving to the cloud. In short, zero trust is a sequence of maturity levels which an organisation must establish as part of its cyber security preparedness.

H. P. Ranina is a practising lawyer, specialising in tax and exchange management laws of India.

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