System enables officials to check district-wise status of payments under fee reimbursement scheme
With the Electronic Payment and Application System of Scholarships (ePass) fully geared up, the Social Welfare Department has intensified tracking of bill payments to students whose credentials have been verified.
The system also blocked 4,350 minority students for duplication as they were getting scholarship under minority as well as BC,SC,ST status. Similarly of 11,709 institutions which registered for the fee-reimbursement scheme, only 11,195 colleges were authenticated as they fulfilled the required parameters. For the first time colleges are feeling the heat as they have to qualify for inclusion under the fee reimbursement scheme, said sources.
With the online system enabling the officials here to check the district-wise status of payments under the fee reimbursement scheme, the pressure is now on district level officers to release the payments from the budget allotted to them.
“Payments of over Rs.900 crore are under process now in all the districts. For instance as on Thursday, in Chittoor, out of 11,172 applications cleared for payments, amount was released for only 180 applicants and similar was the case in Guntur. The district officers concerned have been told to speed up online release of amounts,” said a senior official.
The management and students can check the release of tuition fee and maintenance fund respectively online in their portals.
“Now with the online system to ensure transparency and accountability fully set, we are successful in transferring money to genuine students and recognised institutions through seamless processing and weeding out ineligible ones,” said Raymond Peter, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare and convener for the Group of Ministers monitoring the fee-reimbursement.
Rs. 5,500 crore
Of Rs.5,500 crore (including Rs.2,100 crore arrears) to be paid under the fee-reimbursement scheme to 24,47,527 students (both renewals and fresh applications) this financial year, the government so far released Rs.3,100 crore and Rs.2,100 crore had been credited to the bank accounts of colleges and students. Of the pending amount, Rs.1,500 crore would be released by March 31 and the remaining by end of academic year.
Even colleges were involved this year in the first stage verification of students' applications. So far 8.29 lakh applications were verified, 8.2 lakh cleared and 8,636 rejected. Over 24,000 applications were rejected by the colleges themselves as the applicants did not fulfil eligibility criteria. The verification of 7.3 lakh applications is on.