From the next academic year, reserved category students won’t have to keep inquiring with the college authorities if the scholarship amount has been released against their name.
Instead, they will simply have to go online and check how much fee the Treasury has released. That’s because, for the first time, the Social Welfare Department has decided to make the system of reimbursing scholarship and freeship amount transparent and accountable.
To be effective in Mumbai city, Mumbai suburban and Thane district, the beneficiaries will be 70,000 reserved category students studying in 800 colleges comprising both Mumbai University affiliated as well as professional colleges.
“We have found that most of the colleges don’t give accurate information to the students or their parents on the fee status. So they are forced to approach our department which at times cannot give the required information immediately since files have to be dug out,” said Yeshwant More, chief social welfare officer (Mumbai suburban). “What is the point in having a scheme for students if it doesn’t benefit them.”
With cases of colleges withholding the maintenance allowance under the scholarship amount that a reserved category student is entitled to, the website will give details of the fee that is rightfully his.
“Since the system will be transparent, students will be in a position to demand the money that is due to them,” said More adding that he has written to the Mumbai University to call for a principal’s meeting to explain the nuances of the software.
Principals opine that this is a "very good exercise". "With the website, the process will be faster. There will no need for students to keep checking with college office about the case status. But most importantly, transparency will be ensure," said Principal Naresh Chandra, president of the Principals Association.
But it’s not only the students who will benefit. The website will also help colleges to find out if their proposals have been cleared by the department and whether the Treasury has released the cheques to the colleges.