In a bid to curb corruption, the Maharashtra government has decided to directly transfer money to the bank accounts of tribal students studying in ashram schools in the state. The money will be provided to buy stationery and other items of daily needs. The decision has been taken in order to prevent corrupt practices which were followed in the contracts awarded to provide these items to the students. An official from the tribal development department said that this will allow students to purchase items of need on their own instead of being dependent on private firms.
The official told PTI that the government will begin a pilot project in this regard in the upcoming academic year in 133 government run ashram schools.
Currently there are 500 government-run ashram schools in the state where almost 2.4 lakh students are enrolled. Every year the government allots contracts worth Rs. 700 crore to private firms to provide items of daily necessities to students studying in these schools. The items provided to students include text books, note books, school uniforms, pen-pencils, slate and also things like bathing soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, raincoats, blankets, coconut oil, etc.
The official said, "However, the government has now decided to pay the students by directly transferring money into their bank accounts so that they can buy their own stuff."
The tribal development department officials have worked out the average yearly expenditure for the students of classes 1 to 12. Based on the estimation, students studying from class 1 to class 4 will be provided Rs. 7500 annually. Students studying from class 5 to class 9 will be provided an annual amount of Rs. 8500. Students in class 10 to 12 will be provided Rs. 9500 annually.
(With Inputs from PTI)
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