Even as one lakh college students have registered as volunteers for the HRD ministry’s awareness drive on digital transactions, the response from the top universities, IITs and IIMs has been poor.
According to sources, none of the IITs, IIMs or NITs figures in the top 20 institutes that contributed the highest number of volunteers for the government campaign called Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyan (VISAKA). Central universities are also lagging behind.
Sources said not a single student has volunteered from the University of Hyderabad, IIM-Ahmedabad and the BHU, while only 11 students have enrolled from IIM Bangalore.
Seventy-five students from the Delhi University and 24 from the JNU are among others. A total of 23 students have enrolled from IIT Madras, and four from IIT Bombay.
Some of the top performers include Jamshedpur Women’s College, which has over 1600 volunteers; National College, Trichy, with over 1200 volunteers and Lovely Professional University with close to 500 volunteers.
A total of 211 students have enrolled from the Central University of South Bihar and 201 from the Central University of Punjab.
“We are happy with the overall response...More than one lakh students have already enrolled, and the central institutions only constitute less than 2% to the total number of students in higher education,” said a source.
HRD minister Prakash Javadekar has said that the number will soon reach 25 lakh.
In the wake of the demonetisation exercise, the HRD ministry launched this month-long campaign, which began on December 12, to spread awareness about cashless transactions among university students and teachers across the country.
Officials said the training of students has started and they are being taught how to open a bank account, link Aadhaar card with the account and other required information for digital literacy.
In the first phase, the government is targeting 500 cities with more than one lakh population each.