Step towards empowerment

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has launched the Direct Benefit Transfer Tribal (DBT) web portal, to expedite the release of scholarship allowance into the beneficiaries’ accounts. How will this affect students from these communities?

June 29, 2019 11:58 am | Updated 11:58 am IST

Siddharth Jamad, II, BSc Economics, Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF), New Delhi

Besides being a crucial step towards digitalisation, and to bring about transparency, this portal will ensure that the funds are availed by beneficiaries, and on time. This is often not the case when the whole process is conducted manually by government institutions. Furthermore, the portal will also allow the Centre to keep a tab on the use of funds. By doing so, the government can ascertain the true economic value of the several financial support programmes that it offers.

Kavya A., III, BA (JPE), IFIM College, Bengaluru

DBT, as a part of the ‘e-government initiative’, aims at eliminating the redundant involvement of middlemen, and serves as a permanent record of data. The state government can raise queries to ensure time-bound transactions, transfer of grants to recipients, and ensure efficient usage of funds. However, beneficiaries should be well acquainted with the new system for it to function smoothly. This may also promote cashless economy and encourage people to open bank accounts.

Sunrita Sarkar, PGDM, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurugram

The portal, designed to simplify the issue of scholarship grants to beneficiaries, is a step towards tribal empowerment. For accessing the grant, it becomes mandatory for all students to have bank accounts and Aadhar cards, which will bring them under the purview of e-governance. The direct transfer allows them easy and direct access to their money. This may reduce dropout rates owing to financial pressure, encouraging students to continue their higher education.

Kshipra Ajrekar, PGP in Development Leadership, Indian School of Development Management, Noida

It is noteworthy that students will have direct access to the benefits through the web portal, as opposed to a common pool of tribal welfare schemes which are received usually by the male head of the family. Direct access, especially by female tribal students, will be a vital step towards gender equity through financial self-dependence. However, this move needs to pan out in geographies of limited access to banking services. Therefore, it becomes imperative for the government to also develop necessary infrastructure such as community resource centres with computer and internet access.

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