Section 80E of the Income-tax Act, 1961 provides that in computing the total income of an individual, their shall be allowed a deduction of the amount paid by way of interest on loan taken by him from any financial institution or approved charitable institution for the purpose of pursuing his own higher education or higher education of his spouse, or children, or the student for whom he is the legal guardian.

The deduction is available for eight assessment years beginning with the assessment year in which the payment of interest on such loan is first made or until the interest is paid in full, whichever is earlier. This deduction is available to every individual who is liable to income-tax.

Under the earlier provisions, the deduction was available only for pursuing full time studies for any graduate or post-graduate course in engineering, medicine, management or for post-graduate course in applied sciences or pure sciences including mathematics and statistics.

The provisions of the aforesaid section 80E were amended vide the Finance (No. 2) Act, 2009 by substitution clause ( c ) of sub-section (3) so as to extend its scope to cover all fields of studies (including vocational studies) pursued after passing the Senior Secondary Examination or its equivalent from any school, board or university recognized by the Central Government or State Government or local authority or by any other authority authorized by the Central Government or State Government or local authority to do so.

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