The Center will roll out the initiative in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana which have already completed the linkage. A government official said the move followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction with secretaries, where it was suggested to fully digitize post-matric scholarships for students from scheduled castes, universally link disbursement scholarships to Aadhaar and caste certification and to ensure timely disbursement. The suggestion was accepted and will be implemented by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the current fiscal year.
The movement has important political connotations. At present, recipients are unaware that they are receiving pre or post matric scholarships from the government. The Department of Social Justice discovered that a bank account was associated with 10 to 12 beneficiary students. “It clearly indicates that the bank account is managed by the institution and that the students do not directly receive the amount disbursed. It also means that it has a central regime but is not aware of it”, said a ministry official. Once Aadhaar is linked to caste and income certificates, each beneficiary will be counted in the central system. The BJP attributed its victory in the Uttar Pradesh parliamentary elections to the success of government programs, stressing its importance.
Once Aadhaar is linked to the certificates, a beneficiary is automatically identified. The system will allow the government to type in the Aadhaar number and get details of the beneficiaries’ caste and income certification done by each state. When the State transmits the name of the beneficiary of a post-matric scholarship, the Center will be able to access it and transfer the amount directly to the child’s bank account. The Center has also set a specific date for the disbursement of the scholarships – end of August, November and February. “Previously, there was no specific time when a person would get the scholarship. This will now ensure that the scholarship is paid at the right time. The months have been fixed according to the admission schedule of various courses, including medicine , nursing and engineering,” the official quoted above said.