Bengaluru: Over 2.62 lakh primary and high school students across the state have not yet received their pre-matric scholarships given by the state government for 2018-19 as they have failed to link their Aadhaar numbers with bank accounts.
The Social Welfare and Other Backward Classes and Minorities and Tribal Welfare Departments have been giving the scholarship to SC/ST/OBC students studying in Class 1 to 10 under various government schemes.
The delay in releasing the scholarship has affected the studies of weaker section students. The affected students and parents are now running from one government office to another trying to link their Aadhaar numbers and bank accounts.
A majority of these students will discontinue their studies if the government does not release the scholarship, said a school headmaster, requesting anonymity. Umesh, a Class 9 student studying in Bengaluru North taluk, too said that it is difficult for him to attend school without the scholarship.
Sources in the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) told Deccan Chronicle that the state government has so far released scholarships to over 38.12 lakh students studying in both government and aided schools as against 44.61 lakh students who applied. Scholarships to the remaining 6 lakh-plus students have been on hold because of the delay in verification, technical problems like not seeding Aadhaar numbers and not uploading accurate information.
The state government was earlier disbursing the scholarship amount to the bank accounts of respective headmasters. But over the last two years, the e-governance department has developed the State Scholarship Online Portal and receiving both the applications from the students and crediting the amount directly to the bank accounts of students. The delay in payment is because of negligence of some students, and this will be sorted out soon, said an official.
Soon, the state government is planning to bring all scholarships under a single online platform – the State Scholarship Portal (SSP) –to prevent students from having to apply to individual departments.
Pre-matric scholarships of the Social Welfare, Tribal Welfare, and Backward Classes Welfare and Minority Welfare departments have already been brought under SSP. Students from Class 1 to 10, who have scored 50% or above in the previous exam, can apply for the scholarship, which covers the admission fee, tuition fee and maintenance allowance.
“We should have finished the process by November 15. But because of the delay this time, we still have lakhs of applications that need to be verified,” said an official at the OBC Department.
The students must upload all the details, like their income, caste, bank account number and other information correctly, otherwise they will face delays, said the official.
“The DPI, concerned Social Welfare, OBC and e-governance departments have given enough reminders to students to link their Aadhaar numbers with bank accounts. The government has made Aadhaar seeding mandatory to avoid duplication and misuse. In spite of this, several students have not done this,” the official said.
DDPIs asked to send list of affected students “Instructions have been given to all DDPIs to make a list of students who have failed to link their Aadhaar numbers to bank accounts. The government and e-governance department will take immediate steps to release the scholarship to students once they complete the Aadhaar seeding process,” said Dr K.G. Jagadeesh, Commissioner of Public Instruction.