Fool-proof online system to check misuse of fee reimbursement

Group of Ministers to meet on April 7 to discuss ways to streamline, strengthen the fee scheme.
Second instalment should be paid by April 30, third by May 30, and the last by July 30.
HYDERABAD: The State government which has complied with its commitment given to the Supreme Court for releasing Rs.1,000 crore first instalment towards fee-reimbursement scheme dues for 2010-11, is now focussing on making the online system foolproof and transparent.

The bills worth Rs.999.95 crore had been passed by the Treasury and sent to respective bank accounts of college managements and students by March 31. The ePass – Electronic Payment and Application System of Scholarships, the online system could be accessed real time by departments concerned, colleges and students for the status report, Raymond Peter, Principal Secretary, BC Welfare told The Hindu.

Of total Rs.3,600 crore to be paid under the fee-reimbursement schemes towards 2010-11, the government sought time to clear the amount in four instalments by July 30. Of this Rs. 2,600 crore would be released to colleges towards reimbursement of tuition fee and remaining to students' accounts for maintenance fund.

In the first instalment, Rs.820 crore was released to the bank accounts of managements and Rs.179.82 crore to the students' accounts. The second instalment should be paid by April 30, third by May 30 and the last instalment by July 30.

While the government would clear these amounts, the Social Welfare Department has been fine-tuning the online system to rule out misuse of the scheme from the new academic year that would commence in August and September.

Meanwhile, the Group of Ministers on fee reimbursement scheme will meet on April 7 for further streamlining and strengthening its implementation to ensure that every eligible and diligent student gets the scholarship to pursue higher education. The government is also keen to bring in an ordinance to amend the present AP Universities Act to monitor and take action if the professional colleges did not conform to required norms and standards.

Barring 25 per cent of 740 engineering colleges which get Rs.1,178 crore under the scheme, others do not meet required standards, sources said..
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