Guwahati: An investigation found several cases of scholarship being illegally diverted by middlemen in Bihar. From Ranchi in Jharkhan to Saharsa in Bihar to Nazira in Assam, the scholarship scam rip-off stretches far and extensive.
Knowledge on the Nationwide Scholarship Portal (NSP), for the Centre’s pre-Matric scholarships for poor minority college students, presents that Kendriya Vidlaya Nazira is listed beneath six districts of Bihar. In actuality, it is only one school – and is located in Assam’s Sivasagar district.
The Indian Express investigated entries on the NSP and matched them, one after the other, with financial institution accounts within the Public Finance Administration System (PFMS) to seek out at least 39 beneficiaries beneath this college’s title throughout Bihar.
They’re all faux, the college’s principal, Akhileshwar Jha, advised The Indian Categorical over the cellphone. Nazira is thought primarily as an ONGC outpost.
The newspaper also followed 15 schools in six districts of Jharkhand to find that middlemen, with the help of correspondent banks and school staff, stole IDs and passwords to gain access to the NSP and trick students. , and created false beneficiaries, to pocket a share of the purse.
For Kendriya Vidlaya Nazira, records for 2019-20 show beneficiaries in Darbhanga (14), Muzaffarpur (13), Madhubani (7), Purnea (2), Bhagalpur (2) and east Champaran (1).
According to the school principal, they have checked the list and the names cannot be found in the register. They said that they would raise this at the highest level.
Scholarship records for the school show that a Class 8 beneficiary and Muzaffarpur resident, Hasina Begum, received Rs 10,700. According to records of Bihar’s Welfare Department, which is the verification authority in this case, Begum’s address is “Kurhani, Muzaffarpur” and the pin code 834551 — this pin code does not exist; Kurhani’s code is 844120.
Officials in Bihar said inter-state applications are rare at the pre-Matric stage as they are mostly done by students who leave their homes to study in another state. In such cases, they said, the verification is done by the district minority welfare officer in the applicant’s domicile state.
The Centre’s pre-Matric scholarships are meant for minority students from families with an annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh and who scored at least 50 per cent in their class exams. Applications need to be verified first by designated nodal heads in schools that are registered with district welfare officers. They are checked by the district and state nodal officers before being sent to the Ministry of Minority Affairs, which verifies and uploads them on the NSP before disbursal through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).