Uddhav government reviews cash transfer program for tribal students

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The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra is reviewing the previous BJP government’s decision to implement the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system for tribal students in residential schools and plans to restore at least partially the old contract award system. providing stationery and personal use items to students.

Officials said the Tribal Development Department has set up a committee to study the effectiveness of DBT and recommend whether the old system should be reinstated. The committee has been asked to submit its report by the end of the month, an official said.

The DBT system was introduced in 2018 to transfer money to student bank accounts after finding that students did not receive items such as stationery, uniform, books and an umbrella on time, between others. Complaints about purchasing and legal matters resulted in delays in providing these items to students, the official added.

Questions were also raised about the quality of the articles. “So the DBT was introduced and the students received an advance for the purchase of these items,” the official said.

However, there were also protests against the DBT system and lawmakers also pointed out that the advance granted was not being used for the purpose for which it was intended. There was a request to cancel the DBT system, the official added.

A committee was formed under Padmakar Valvi, a former tribal minister, to study the effectiveness of the DBT system and see whether the old contracting system should be reinstated or the DBT should be maintained.

“The committee was invited to visit some boarding schools in Nandurbar, Gadchiroli, Palghar and other tribal areas and to interact with the students and their parents. So while all old contract systems may not be rolled back for all items, it may be for some items depending on the committee’s findings, ”the official said.

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