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Online push for tribal scholarship

Simple, quick and easy as a click — the welfare department’s new initiative of receiving scholarship forms online promises a hassle-free way for Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Caste (OBC) students to avail state benefits.

The online scholarship initiative, launched under the e-governance programme of the state around a fortnight ago, will help tribal and scheduled caste students with a yearly family income of less than Rs 2 lakh as well as OBC candidates whose family income is less than Rs 44,500 per year.

The welfare department, which has already started receiving application forms online from students — both within and outside the state — has set October 30 as the last date of submission.

November 15 has been set as the date of submission of hard copies of the forms, along with other relevant documents.

“This year onwards we have made a provision for eligible SC, ST and OBC students to submit their post matric scholarship applications online if they want to,” confirmed R.K. Ranjan, deputy director of the state welfare department.

He added the students would have to provide certain details such as their core banking account number, and name and address of the respective bank, while filing up their forms online.

“The applicants filling up and submitting forms online have to submit a copy of relevant documents along with their income and caste certificates to the welfare department in November,” Ranjan said.

While students in the state can submit their documents at the office of the welfare officer in their respective districts, those outside the state will have to do so at the office of the Tribal Co-operative Development Corporation.

Interestingly, nearly one lakh SC, ST and OBC students studying in various colleges of the state avail the welfare scholarship of the state, with another 4,000 students studying in colleges outside Jharkhand making use of the benefit.

The officials, this year too, expect a surge in the number of applications.

Apart from this, the welfare department has also embarked on an ambitious mission to electronically transfer the scholarship funds directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries .

The move will help in curbing red tape, will come as a boon for tribal students, officials said. “The electronic transfer of money will help in speeding up the process of distribution of funds. Till last year, the process used to be cumbersome and time-consuming,” Ranjan said.

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