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Maharashtra government’s direct benefit transfer initiative fails

The state Information Technology (IT) department is struggling to run the schemes smoothly on the DBT portal resulting to which the state cabinet decided to run them offline for this academic year.

mumbai Updated: Nov 21, 2017 23:11 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra,state government,direct benefit transfer
The state Information Technology (IT) department is struggling to run the schemes smoothly on the DBT portal resulting to which the state cabinet decided to run them offline for this academic year.(FILE)

The Maharashtra government’s initiative to provide direct benefit of its welfare schemes to the students through direct benefit transfer (DBT) portal has failed miserably. The state Information Technology (IT) department is struggling to run the schemes smoothly on the DBT portal resulting to which the state cabinet on Tuesday decided to run them offline for this academic year.

The state cabinet further decided to pay part of the scholarship fees, tuition fees, examination fees and subsistence allowance for the first semester to the Aadhaar linked bank accounts of the students so that they won’t have to face difficulties from the educational institutions for non-payment.

The development has come at the time when the IT secretary VK Gautam has gone on 15 days leave and the buzz is that he was sent on compulsory leave by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis following goof ups in the ambitious farm loan waiver scheme.

The state government run 40 various schemes for students that provides scholarship, tuition fees, examination fees and subsistence allowance to them through six departments — school education, higher and technical education, social justice, tribal development and minority development.

The DBT portal was launched on August 3 this year and all these schemes were linked to it aiming to provide direct benefits to the students through cashless means. The other objective was to end corruption while running such monetary schemes. Students who want to take benefits of these schemes will also have to register themselves with DBT.

However, sources revealed that of around 30 lakh who were expected to register with DBT portal, only 8.34 lakh could have been registered on the portal as there are technical difficulties. Students didn’t find names of colleges or courses on the portal necessary for completing the registration process. Many times portal didn’t accept applications despite mentioning registration number of the required certificates. They don’t receive one time password again necessary for completing the registration etc.

Not only students, government offices and colleges too are facing many difficulties which were discussed in detail in the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the sources said.

It was then decided that all such schemes being run by school education, social justice, tribal development and minority development will not run through DBT portal for this academic year and will be processed offline. The IT department was also directed to clear all the technical errors of the portal in the next one month, the sources said.

First Published: Nov 21, 2017 23:11 IST