Institutes misused Aadhaar to claim SC scholarships: CAG

Chandigarh, August 9: An audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has blown the lid off a scam in the disbursement of SC post-matric scholarships by misusing Aadhaar cards of students.

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A sample data analysis of 6,29,668 scholarship claims made by educational institutions in Punjab’s six districts – Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Moga, Patiala and Muktsar has revealed that the Aadhaar cards of 3,275 students were used more than once under different student IDs to claim scholarship amount of Rs 15.63 crore.

The claims were made by the institutions between 2015 and 2017. In the audit report, which was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the CAG has pointed out lack of input validation control in the application software to reject more than one entry from the same student in the same academic year and course, resulting in repeated disbursement of scholarships.

Punjab is one of the five states where the performance audit of the SC scholarship scheme was carried out by the CAG for the period from April 2012 to March 2017.

To study inadmissible claims of scholarship, the CAG picked details of 85,166 beneficiaries in Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Moga and Patiala, revealing that particulars of 115 SC students appeared twice, indicating that the students as well as the institutions claimed fee and maintenance allowance of Rs 59 lakh by submitting false statements.

In a particular case, Hi-Tech Polytechnic, Bathinda, claimed fee and allowance of 479 students against 398 students registered with the department portal during 2015-16. Thus, the institute was paid Rs 26 lakh against 81 non-existing students.

Source Tribune India