A day after Pune Newsline reported about how the Maharashtra state board is still insisting on seeking payments from schools in cash, despite the state government’s insistence on ‘going cashless’ and its emphasis on digital payments, the board authorities have admitted that they have been “slow” in picking up pace.
Shakuntala Kale, chairperson of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, admitted that the board was yet to go cashless. “I know that the state government wants every transaction to go cashless and even the board is trying to do it… but it is taking some time. Given the sheer… number of students… it’s not that simple. In the first phase, we have started the RTGS facility in two smaller divisions, Latur and Konkan. If it works, then we will implement the same in the remaining seven divisions,” said Kale.
Recently the board has started accepting payments of examination fees for students who wish to appear for the SSC exam. Students don’t have to make payments directly; instead, their respective schools are collecting the payments, which they have to deposit with a bank selected by the board.
On November 14, a report in Pune Newsline had highlighted how, according to school authorities, they were being made to carry huge amounts of cash to the bank, as the bank authorities were refusing to accept payments via cashless modes, on the instructions of the SSC board.
Defending the delay in going cashless, Kale said it wasn’t as if none of the systems had changed. “If the school authorities are complaining, we don’t understand why… because it’s not as if the system was cashless earlier and we have now moved to cash-only payments. We understand that sometimes, the amounts can be high, especially in major schools, but we are trying to move to a cashless mode. I think by the next academic year, all these payments could be be done online,” she said.