Audit – The New Indian Express

By Express press service

ROURKELA: The Pre-Matric Scholarship (PMS), intended for SC and ST high school students in Sundargarh district, is spent on personal needs rather than education. This came as a revelation during an audit by the Auditor General’s office.

No less than 30 public schools in the district were randomly selected for the audit which has been conducted since August 1 by a team consisting of Principal Audit Officer BK Behera, Deputy Audit Officer PK Swain and others.

Sources from the ST and SC Development Departments told an audit that several students who received PMS said the money was spent by their parents for personal use. The program aims to help SC and ST students benefit from additional tuition fees and to obtain teaching materials and books.

A few ST students said their parents used the money to repair the house or buy goats. The PMS is credited to the student’s bank accounts via the Direct Benefit Transfer mode.

Under the centre-sponsored PMS scheme, Day Scholars of Classes IX and X of Category ST are entitled to receive Rs 3,000 per annum. Similarly, inmates of ST hostels receive Rs 6,250 per year. In the case of SC Day Fellows and Hostel Inmates, the amount is Rs 3,500 and Rs 7,000 respectively.

The district has approximately 30,000 SC and ST students in Class IX and X. Almost half of them stay in hostels and, barring an insignificant number, the majority of recipients have their own bank accounts. Yet their parents continue to be guardians of the PMS amount. About 5-10% of these bank accounts report failed transactions due to inactive account status.

ROURKELA: The Pre-Matric Scholarship (PMS), intended for SC and ST high school students in Sundargarh district, is spent on personal needs rather than education. This came as a revelation during an audit by the Auditor General’s office. No less than 30 public schools in the district were randomly selected for the audit which has been conducted since August 1 by a team consisting of Principal Audit Officer BK Behera, Deputy Audit Officer PK Swain and others. Sources from the ST and SC Development Departments told an audit that several students who received PMS said the money was spent by their parents for personal use. The program aims to help SC and ST students benefit from additional tuition fees and to obtain teaching materials and books. A few ST students said their parents used the money to repair the house or buy goats. The PMS is credited to the student’s bank accounts via the Direct Benefit Transfer mode. Under the centre-sponsored PMS scheme, Day Scholars of Classes IX and X of Category ST are entitled to receive Rs 3,000 per annum. Similarly, inmates of ST hostels receive Rs 6,250 per year. In the case of SC day scholars and hostel inmates, the amount is Rs 3,500 and Rs 7,000 respectively. they stay in hostels and, except for an insignificant number, the majority of beneficiaries have their own bank account. Yet their parents continue to be guardians of the PMS amount. About 5-10% of these bank accounts report failed transactions due to inactive account status.

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