Srinagar. Dec 7: Waking up to growing allegations of misappropriation, Jammu and Kashmir government has set up a high power committee to plug loopholes and ensure genuine students avail benefits of different welfare schemes in the Union Territory.
A nine member committee headed by Commissioner Secretary Social Welfare Department has been set up to monitor welfare schemes including Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme.
Commissioner Secretary School Education, Secretary Higher Education, Secretary Revenue, Secretary Tribal Affairs, Director General Social Welfare, Directors of School Education, Director Tribal Affairs and Director Colleges are its members.
The committee has been tasked to liaise with deputy commissioners for ensuring 100 percent enrollments of “eligible SC, ST, OBC and general category students” in scholarship schemes.
Besides, the committee has to examine the amount of scholarship provided under different scholarship schemes and monitor the progress on a weekly basis.
Sources said directives have been issued to concerned officials to ensure transparency in implementation of scholarship schemes. Officials have also been told to remove bottlenecks faced by students while obtaining various documents.
“There are complaints that genuine students are not able to avail benefits under various scholarship schemes as they face difficulties in obtaining income and reservation certificates. The loopholes run deep almost in all schemes,” sources said.
In May this year, a large number of discrepancies were unearthed in Kulgam district under Ministry of Minority Affairs-run `Merit Cum Means Scholarship for Professional and Technical Courses’ scheme. Under pressure, the government initiated a probe and reportedly rectified the wrongdoings.
Although the scheme was meant for members of minority (Muslims) community, as per the records non-Muslims were largely benefited.
Ministry of Minority Affairs was carved out of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and created on January 29, 2006 to ensure a more focused approach towards issues relating to the notified minority communities including Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikhs, Parsis and Jain.
The mandate of the ministry includes formulation of overall policy and planning, coordination, evaluation and review of the regulatory framework and development programmes for the benefit of the minority communities.