In a bid to protect the interest of students and reduce the scopes for any potential harassment, the Modi government on Wednesday announced that all central scholarships from now on will be pushed straight into students’ bank accounts under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) program.
Following this announcement by the government, the University Grants Commission (UGC) came into the foray and issued a guideline to all recognized colleges and universities to implement the scheme in a “befitting manner”. The UGC is responsible for overseeing higher education in the country.
To ensure that everything goes by the book, the UGC has asked the institutes to register themselves with the Public Financial Management System (PFMS), a unified central portal for registering implementing beneficiaries and agencies.
PFMS will help the institutes verify the online applications of the students, enabling the Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) ministry to disburse the scholarship amounts directly to students’ bank accounts.
“The uploaded applications on PFMS portal need to be validated by the institutes online without any delay to safeguard the interests of students and to prohibit discrimination and harassment of any student,” the UGC guideline said.
UGC also asked all colleges and universities to display scholarship schemes and the new moves announced by the HRD ministry on the home page of their official websites.
Najma Heptullah, the minority affairs minister at the Center, also communicated with all state chief ministers requesting them to take adequate measures for ensuring that post-metric and merit-cum-means scholarships for minorities are disbursed properly using DBT.
Meanwhile, the government also decided to extend the DBT payment mode to beneficiaries under pre-metric scholarship scheme for students belonging to the minority communities and depositing the scholarship amounts into their bank accounts using the DBT.