Maharashtra government’s post-matric scholarships portal MahaDBT has shut shop after being launched just four months back. The portal which was set up to provide benefits directly to the accounts of beneficiaries is now closed. Despite probing into the matter, the reason for closing the portal is not clear.
Around 50,000 students from Nagpur who had filed the application for the first time will suffer because of this move.
The portal provided 32 types of post-matric scholarships to students of the SC/ST, VJ/NT, OBC and minority community. The concession took care of 100% tuition fees and exam fees.
Apart from the waiver, monetary assistance of Rs. 9,000 to Rs. 12,000 was handed to students of SC/ST category. For the VJ/NT students, the waiver was the same as SC/ST students while the monetary aid was of Rs. 4,000. The minority students of the state were to get Rs. 25,000 and the ones from outside Maharashtra were to be given Rs. 30,000.
VM Wakulkar, the assistant commissioner of social welfare department, said that out the 1.3 lakh students who applied, 80,000 of them would not face any issue.
"These are renewals and we need to only check if these 80,000 students have cleared the exam or not. We are prepared to process the renewals but the disbursal for first-time applicants depends on the government," he said.
Wakulkar added that the department has asked for the list of first-timers who had applied on MahaDBT.
"Once we get the data, we will start work on it," he said.
The state government had issued a circular to the various departments and institutions to carry on with the ongoing old-system scholarship process. The tribal development department and the social welfare department pointed out the technical snags they faced while filling in information such as college names, date of birth etc.
State’s move to close the portal has not just affected the students largely but also the colleges who had just begun to heave a sigh of relief. The state scholarship portal provided a major helping hand to colleges who were already facing arrears in unpaid dues which amounts to crores of rupees.
A college official, on the condition of anonymity, said, "The government had made tall promises after launching MahaDBT. To ensure transparency, several formalities like filling Aadhaar numbers, verifying domicile status etc were completed. The students and colleges spent a lot of time doing this. It was expected that the funds would be disbursed in December. But, suddenly in January, you are asked to apply again through old process.”
The official went on to reveal that the students were not too keen on going through the application process again and that the college officials too are burdened with other work.
"Many colleges have also not paid salaries in the hope that the scholarship amounts would be reimbursed. The wait has stretched longer now," he said.
Wakulkar spoke about a meeting that has been called with all the colleges within the district to talk about the issues and figure out measures that will lessen the hassles.
Information source: timesofindia
Title image source: kiplinger