February 3, 2021.
TED NewsDesk, Thane: The Zilla Parishad of Thane district of Maharashtra has informed that a huge sum of money is involved in a scholarship fraud. The scholarship is meant for the students of minority communities. The Parishad representatives added that many fake students have been made up and included in the list for the scholarship. The list had been sent to the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) repository.
The scholarship runs under a government scheme that aims to provide monetary support to students of marginalised groups from classes 1 to 10. The scholarship amount ranges from Rs 1,000 to 10,000. To avail the scholarships, each school has been allotted a unique ID and password using which they have to log in the information of the students eligible. Later the district education department evaluates the list and draws up their own list approved candidates. The final list is sent to the Central government which allocates the prescribed amount to the bank accounts of each student.
While following this process, extension officer at Thane Zilla Parishad Chaya Paradke, encountered few discrepancies in the list awaiting approval of the Union government. If unchecked the discrepancies could have lead to a scam that could have costed crores of rupees, according to the representatives.
As per Parandke, ”
I came across around 588 requests from a Marathi-medium school in Thane City which, incidentally, had shut down five years back. I spoke to the school management, and they were stunned too. After inquiring with a few other schools, we discovered it was not an isolated case and that many fake student identities had been similarly uploaded.”
The Parishad representatives added that almost 1,600 fake names from 15 schools were added to the list. The department will coordinate with Parishads of other districts of Maharashtra to make sure such fraudulent activities are not taking place. They also plan to inform the Union and Maharashtra government.
Sanjay Kelkar, BJP MLA from Thane has asked for an in-depth investigation of the case as he visited the police commissioner here on Monday. Kelkar said, “Each registered student from the minority segment is given this scholarship to provide them mainstream education. However, there seems to be an attempt to usurp this amount using fictitious identities.”
In the whole affair, the role of extension officer Parandke, who caught the discrepancies on time, before it turned into a huge financial loss. It is hoped that the source of the fraud is found out promptly and the deserving candidates provided their due.
Source: Times of India