$100 Million ADB Loan to Promote Human Capital Development in Meghalaya

NEW DELHI, INDIA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed an agreement Thursday evening for a $100 million loan for Meghalaya that is aimed at enhancing the employability of the state’s youth through improvements in secondary education and vocational skills training programs.

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

Nilaya Mitash, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Finance, signed the agreement on behalf of Government of India, and Narhari Rao, Officer In-Charge of ADB’s India Resident Mission, signed the agreement on behalf of ADB. The project agreement was signed by Pankaj Jain, Resident Commissioner, on behalf of Government of Meghalaya.

A Technical Assistance (TA) grant of an additional $2 million by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) is also associated with this loan that will be used to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations and related state government departments, including education and labor, and to ensure the sustainability of project reforms.

“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), and technical and vocational education training (TVET) programs. Given its strong pro-poor and gender focus, the project will help in creating a virtuous cycle of inclusive growth in the state,” said Mr. Mitash.

“The project will provide employment-linked skills training to around 60,000 youth, 40% of them 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% of which will be girls,” said Mr. Rao.

The project is expected to be completed by 30 September 2018. The loan of $100 million from ADB’s ordinary capital resources makes up 80% of the total project cost of $125 million, with the central and state governments providing counterpart finance of $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.