THE DELHI government Tuesday said that a total of five lakh scholarships for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and minorities — some of which had not been disbursed for two years — have finally reached students. However, the wait continues for nearly 2.29 lakh students who were supposed to get scholarships — to be disbursed by the local bodies’ schools. The MCDs and an ongoing ACB inquiry have been “held responsible” for the delay in the disbursement of scholarships at government-run schools.
As reported by The Indian Express on Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a note to Chief Secretary M M Kutty on June 30, said that files relating to more than five lakh such scholarships not being disbursed were “never put to my minister”, and that “the elected government was kept in the dark”. Kejriwal also mentioned an inquiry by Delhi’s Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) — ordered by him — in the matter.
On Tuesday, a government spokesperson said, “A total of five lakh scholarships have already been disbursed. Another 1.77 scholarships will be disbursed by the end of this month.
Meanwhile, 55,000 scholarships for minorities, which were to be borne by the central government, will now be sponsored by the Delhi government.” With these, officials said only two categories of scholarships remain to be disbursed.
The DDC report had stated that “three MCDs, the NDMC and the Delhi Cantonment Board failed to upload data of their students on the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) portal” because of which over two lakh students are yet to receive scholarships for the year 2016-17. The report states that “in 2017, a decision was taken to implement scholarships for schools run by Delhi government, the three MCDs, the Delhi cantonment board, the Kendriya Vidyalayas and the NDMC through the PFMS portal”.
There are 11 lakh applications that were to be processed and Rs 240 crore to be disbursed under two schemes — the merit scholarship and financial assistance for stationery to SC, ST, OBC and minority community students from Class I to Class XII in the year 2016-17. “The delay in processing 4 lakh applications is because of the failure of these departments to upload data,” the report stated.
The report added that “not a single student studying in schools run by the three MCDs received the scholarship amount under the schemes… since the portal was opened in January 2017”.