The Right to Information (RTI) petition filed by one school principal, Razaulla Khan, revealed that around 4 lakh students in Maharashtra did not received pre-matric scholarship in the last academic year. It is speculated that the error occurred due to technical malfunction on scholarship website. Every student who had benefited from the scholarship scheme is entitled to pre-scholarship scheme.
According to RTI revelation, of the nearly 7.18 lakh students from the minor community who renewed their pre-matric scholarship for the last academic year, only 3.31 lakh applicants were accepted by the state. Some RTI activists alleged the lackadaisical attitudes of the government officer.
What went wrong?
- Due to technical malfunction in the website of the state scholarship portal, only 3.77 lakh applicants from the 7.81 lakh were successfully received by the state government whereas 46, 000 applications were rejected by the state for not meeting the eligibility criteria.
- The application procedure was made online in the 2015-16 academic year after the distribution was taken over by the National Scholarship Portal (NSP). Many students failed to provide the required data even when provided with offline submission of the scholarship application. Offline application was accepted as scores of school principals faced several difficulties in filing the online application form.
- "It was for the first time that the schools were required to upload the applications online. Some were unable to do it, others didn't provide the data even though they were allowed to submit it offline. We will gradually overcome this problem," said Nandan Nangare, Director of Minority and Adult Education.
- It has also been identified that many schools in Maharashtra did not notify their students regarding the renewal of scholarship application.
Scholarship scheme for minorities
The pre-matric scholarship was introduced by the central government under the aegis of 15-point program for the minorities across the country.
The prime objective behind the introduction of school-level scholarship is to augment the financial status of the poor parent so that they can send their children to schools. The state government will grant a yearly scholarship of Rs 1000 to those children whose parent's annual income is below the margin of Rs 1 lakh besides the Rs 500 granted for the admission and the monthly emolument of Rs 350 for tuition fee.
The NSP will distribute the scholarship through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system.