A standing parliamentary committee has called on the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment to address any identified gaps in the system, as it has expressed displeasure over allegations of embezzlement under scholarship programs for the underprivileged in some states.
The panel report filed in Lok Sabha on Thursday said ministry officials claimed the system is fail-safe, as all transactions and verifications are done online.
“The committee is quite troubled by the reported cases of suspected embezzlement of scholarship programs for disadvantaged sections in some states, which are currently under investigation,” the panel said.
It is puzzling for the committee to observe that such cases, no matter how small, would undermine student confidence in government scholarship programs, he said.
The Parliament Standing Committee said it “ wants the ministry to further address any identified loopholes in the system, strengthen data and password confidentiality, and reduce all manual intervention, whether it is the school staff, banking intermediaries, NGOs or unauthorized persons.
He said the department should advise states to try to contact a sample of recipient students directly to ensure that they are not duped under the guise of government scholarships and that they receive the full amount of the scholarship. of studies authorized for the term as approved against their names in the portal.
The parliamentary committee also made reference to the 60-year-old Post-Matrix Scholarship Program for Listed Castes Students, which guarantees financial aid to students from Listed castes whose parents’ annual income does not exceed Rs 2 , 5 lakh.
The committees note that only 113.15 lakh students have benefited over the past two years, i.e. 2018-19 and 2019-2020 until December 31, 2020, with an expenditure of Rs 8,639, 47 crore under this program.
“The Committee estimates that the number of beneficiaries should be much more, i.e. around 80 lakh per year to achieve the number of 4 crore students, who are expected to benefit over the next five years,” he said. In light of the ruling that states must first donate their 40 percent share of the scholarship amount, and then the centre’s 60 percent share will be given to students, the panel said it was informed by representatives ministry that state responsibility is now reduced. However, not all state governments are very good at giving their share on time. Therefore, the committee believes that an appropriate system can be developed so that students are not deprived of a scholarship in the absence or late of the provision from the states, ” the panel said.
“ The committee therefore recommends that adequate awareness be created among students so that as many students as possible can benefit from the device, in particular in view of the objective set for the next five years, ” he said. declared. It also recommended that, since the suggestions made in the recently conducted program evaluation study are practical and worth considering, they can be considered and implemented.
The committee said it also appreciates the concept of issuing a free delivery card which will prove beneficial to students for admission to the institution of their choice anywhere in the country without paying a fee. . âThe committees want the department to order all states and union territories to issue a free delivery card to all eligible students who have applied to the program,â he said.
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