e-Scholarship System (Uttar Pradesh)  
 
 

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Scholarships play a vital role in spreading education amongst children of weaker sections of the society and enable a considerable number of under-privileged students to obtain post-matric and higher level of education. Statistics reveal that Scholarships improve the enrollment figures by almost 50%.


Uttar Pradesh government has constituted a number of different scholarships, with an annual budget of more than 2000 crore, to increase the literacy rate, enrollment & attendance in schools, motivate rural-poor students for higher education, decrease dropout rate, and reduce gender gap resulting in an overall sense of equality amongst people. However, the major challenge is to ensure that the scholarships reach the targeted segment of students within time as U.P. is a very large state and multiple departments are involved in distribution & management of scholarships

e-Scholarship

e-Scholarship is a web based solution implemented by the Government to enhance transparency and streamline the distribution of Scholarships to more than two crore beneficiaries belonging to OBC, SC/ST, Minority and weaker sections of the society. With implementation of e-Scholarship Uttar Pradesh became the first state in the country to have used IT based initiative for electronic transfer of scholarships. The web portal, designed and developed by NIC, U.P. State Unit, uses advanced techniques of database management to assign a unique identification to each student getting scholarship, it then tracks the progress & performance of the student till class 10th and subsequently monitoring is done till the beneficiary finally gets proper employment opportunity.

The portal helps in timely disbursal of funds with auto-generation of department-wise scholarship demand for each district and school, and facilitates direct transfer of scholarship to the bank accounts of Gram Panchayats, School or Student as the case maybe. Various reports and statistics provided on the portal help the concerned departments to effectively monitor the progress at all levels and makes decision-making a lot easier. The verification measures such as scanning & uploading of photograph of beneficiary with the data and linking of data with other authenticated databases such as BPL/APL family details has left very little room for frauds & misappropriation of funds.

Scholarship Services at a Glance (as on 03.12.2007)
 

Launch of the Portal

The e-Scholarship Portal was formally launched by Sh. P.K. Mishra, Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh on 30th August 2007. Speaking during the inaugural function the Chief Secretary appreciated the hard work and determination of more then three lakh officials of different departments who worked day and night to accomplish the task in a record time of three months.

Chief Secretary & other state government functionaries during the launch of web portal

He was deeply impressed by the massive exercise undertaken towards collection & compilation of data of more than two crore beneficiaries and nearly two lakh schools spread across the state and congratulated NIC state & district officials for their sincere and dedicated efforts in development of the portal in a short time of two months.

Need for e-scholarship

One of the major concerns of the state government was that in spite of all the scholarships there was no fall in the dropout ratio which suggests that the funds earmarked were not reaching the right person at the right time.  Many other impediments such as involvement of different departments, distributing agencies and mechanisms, no availability of data, poor verification processes, discrepancy between demand made & actual requirement were rendering the entire Scholarship program non-effective. There was a large amount of undistributed sums in bank accounts of Institutions and funds were not distributed to students on time. In many cases the delay was more than a complete session. Fraudulent institutions were claiming scholarship funds and there was no mechanism to monitor or control the entire activity resulting in huge losses to the government in financial terms and in its endeavor to take education to masses.

e-Scholarship Portal

The e-Scholarship portal provides a common platform to all concerned departments and facilitates sharing of data amongst the stake-holders. Existing government processes have been simplified and made easier for the general public and the application software has been designed to work both in an offline and online mode to reduced duplication of efforts. New-age banking systems such as ECS & e-banking have been integrated to directly

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transfer the funds to the beneficiaries and banks have opened "no-frill accounts" of students with zero balance facility as a step towards financial inclusion.

The e-Scholarship portal provides a common platform to all concerned departments and facilitates sharing of data amongst the stake-holders. Existing government processes have been simplified and made easier for the general public and the application software has been designed to work both in an offline and online mode to reduced duplication of efforts. New-age banking systems such as ECS & e-banking have been integrated to directly transfer the funds to the beneficiaries and banks have opened "no-frill accounts" of students with zero balance facility as a step towards financial inclusion.

Way Forward

The e-Scholarship portal has received widespread appreciation from all quarters and was recently awarded the Microsoft Certificate of Merit at the Microsoft e-Governance summit 2007.  Efforts are continuing to make the database more authentic with inclusion of photography of all beneficiaries & schools.

A separate database is under preparation for all the registered schools including infrastructure details, faculty, drinking water facility, rooms etc. and planning has been done to interlink these databases with other central and state government schemes and projects.

The implementation of e-Scholarship has been a win-win situation for all stake holders.
 

For further details contact:
S. B. Singh

State Informatics Officer
U.P. State Unit, Yojna Bhawan, Lucknow 226001
sio-up[at]nic[dot]in