"The ADB and the Government of India signed an agreement for a USD 100 million loan for Meghalaya, aimed at enhancing the employability of the state's youth through improvements in secondary education and vocational skills training programmes," ADB said in a release.

The project -- Supporting Human Capital Development in Meghalaya -- is ADB's first loan in India focusing on boosting education and skills, it said.

The agreement was signed by Nilaya Mitash, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Finance Ministry and Narhari Rao, Officer In-Charge of ADB's India Resident Mission.

ADB said a technical assistance grant of additional USD 2 million by Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction will also be associated with this loan to strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations and related state government departments.

"ADB's first ever loan for skills development and reform of secondary education to India will enhance the employability of Meghalaya's youth by improving the quality, access, and delivery of its secondary education (Grades 9 to 12) ... the project will help in creating a virtuous cycle of inclusive growth in the state," Mitash said.

Rao said the project will provide employment-linked skills training to around 60,000 youth, 40 percent whom are women, through innovative public-private partnership arrangements.

"By upgrading the infrastructure of more than 100 government-aided private schools to national standards, supporting training of 3,500 secondary school teachers, and promoting the use of internet-based teaching, it will improve the overall learning environment for nearly 20,000 poor students, 40 percent of which will be girls," Rao added.

The project is expected to be completed by September 30, 2018.

The loan of USD 100 million from ADB's ordinary capital resources makes up 80 percent of the total project cost of USD 125 million, with the Central and state governments providing counterpart finance of USD 25 million.

The loan has a 25-year term, including a five-year grace period, with an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB's LIBOR-based lending facility.

ADB helps in areas such as reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration.

It has 67 members, of which 48 are from the Asia Pacific region alone.


Latest News from State News Desk