Sunday, 9 October 2011

EPASS SCHOLARSHIPS-Post Martic Scholarships In Andhra Pradesh

EPASS -THE SUCCESS STORY OF  POST MATRIC SCHOLARSHIPS AND REIMBURSEMENT OF TUITION FEE IN THE STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH

1.    Government have been implementing a prestigious scheme for providing of Post Matric Scholarships and Reimbursement of Tuition Fee for over 26.0 lakh  students belonging to the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, backward classes, minorities, and the disabled.    It has been recognized as an important welfare measure to enable the students to have access to education including professional courses like engineering, medicine, pharmacy, dental science, management of computer courses, etc.  Scholarships are given to students whose family income is below Two lakhs per annum for SC and ST Students and below one lakh per annum for BC, EBC, Disabled and Minority students on saturation basis.
The number of students applied for Post Matric Scholarships in 2010-11 is as follows

CATEGORY
NO.OF STUDENTS APPLIED FOR POST MATRIC SCHOLARSHIPS IN 2010-11(in lakhs)
SC
5.77
ST
1.87
BC
13.91
EBC
2.87
DISBLED
0.06
MINORITY
1.62
TOTAL
26.09
Over all the State of Andhra Pradesh covers the very huge number 26 lakh students per year amounting to Rs.4000 crores
2.EPASS-  complete online administration – may be first of its kind in entire INDIA:  The system of sanction of post Matric Scholarships was totally made ONLINE with a view to plug leakages / pilferages and ensure total transparency with the objective to ensure that genuine students from the weaker sections are benefited.
3. Eligibility criteria for claiming Post Matric Scholarships
·                    No caste restriction – All the students belong to the communities namely SC,ST,BC,EBC,Disabled and Minorities are eligible to claim Post Matrci Scholarships.
·                    Income Limit – (i). All the Students belong to SC, and ST whose family Income is below Two lakhs per year is eligible for Post Matric Scholarships.
(ii). All the students belong to BC, EBC &         Minority whose
family income is below one lakh per year is eligible for Post Matric Scholarships.

4.  SATURATION POLICY -
The Govt of Andhra Pradesh has taken very drastic, bold
and reformatic decision to handle the Post Matric
Scholarships scheme on SATURATION mode treating it as
progressive investment for future positive outcomes.
·        Saturation mode for SCs and STs since inception of the scheme.
·        Saturation mode for BCs and Minorities from the academic year 2008-09.
·        Saturation mode for EBCs (Economically backward Classes) from the academic year 2009-10.
Due to the Saturation policy the budget for Post Matric
Scholarships has taken a sudden quantum jump from Rs. 600 Cr (for 2007-08) to Rs. 4000 Cr (for 2010-11) per year.
        But the Govt of AP has taken a firm stand and implementing successfully in appreciable manner.

5. EPASS- UNIFORM ADMINISTRATION UNDER THE DYNAMIC FRONTEND LEADERSHIP OF SRI.J.RAYMOND PETER, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Dept :-
The Post Matric Scholarships Scheme in Andhra Pradesh covers all the SC, ST, BC, EBC, Disabled and Minority Students who fulfill the eligibility criterion. Generally different departments are there to look after the welfare of the concerned set of people like the following.



CATEGORY OF  PEOPLE
NAME OF THE DEPARTMENT LOOKS AFTER THE WELFARE OF THE CONCERNED
SC
SOCIAL WELFARE
ST
TRIBAL WELFARE
BC
BACKWARDCLASSES WELFARE
EBC
BACKWARDCLASSES WELFARE
DISBLED
WELFARE OF DISABLED & SENIOR CITIZENS
MINORITY
MINORITY WELFARE

But incase of the scheme of Post - Matric Scholarships, Social Welfare Department acts as the nodal department to monitor the progress and implementation of the scheme and hence as a part of it the Principal Secretary Social Welfare is  nodal officer for proper implementation of the scheme among all the categories of the students and administering the post Matric scholarships scheme uniformly.

6.     EPASS-   COVERAGE OF STUDENTS :-
Due to the Saturation mode the scheme covers around 26 to 30 lakh students per year which is almost 80 % to 85 % of the total number of the students who pursue Post Matric courses in and out side Andhra Pradesh.
7.          EPASS-        The Post Matric Scholarships consists of two components:
1)     Reimbursement of tuition fee (RTF):  The RTF component comprises of all non-refundable fee charged by colleges (as fixed by the University/Boards) is paid to colleges directly through the e-Pass online system on behalf of students by the respective welfare departments. 
2)   Maintenance charges (MTF):  The MTF Amounts are directly credited to the bank accounts of the students. The MTF component depends on the type of the courses such as Professional (Group I); Post Graduate Courses (Group II); Graduate Courses (Group III) and Intermediate level courses (Groups IV).  And the type of accommodation such as student managed Hostel College attached hostel or department run hostels. 

EPASS-REIMBURSEMENT OF TUITION FEE (RTF)
8.    Classification of Courses:  For the purpose of the POST MATRIC SCHOLARSHIPS scheme all courses have been categorized into 4 Groups as under :
S.NO
CATEGORY OF GROUP
LEVEL OF THE COURSES
COURSES INVOLVED
1
GROUP – I
PROFESSIONAL INCLUDING Ph.D
B.TECH, M.TECH, M.PHARMACY, M.B.A, M.C.A, Ph.D, M.B.B.S, B.D.S, M.S,M.D, ect.,.
2
GROUP – II
P.G LEVEL
M.A, M.Com, M.Sc, etc..
3
GROUP – III
DEGREE LEVEL
B.A, B.CoM, B.Sc, etc.,.
4
GROUP – IV
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
ITI, Polytechnic, Intermediate, etc….

The Govt. of AP is reimbursing all non-refundable fee like Tuition fee, Special fee, Other fee and Exam fee under the reimbursement of tuition fee (RTF) component. some of the popular courses and the amount reimbursed by the Govt. is as under.
S.NO
CATEGORY OF GROUP
NAME OF THE COURSE
FULL TUITION FEE REIMBURSED BY GOVT. (in rupees per year)




1




GROUP – I
B.TECH/B.E
31,000
M.E/M.TECH
57,000
M.B.B.S (CAT –B)
2,40,000
M.S/M.D
2,90,000
M.B.A/M.C.A
27,000
B.D.S (CAT – B)
1,10,000
M.PHARMACY
1,10,000


2



GROUP – II
M.A (SEL FINANCE) / M.Com (SELF FINANCE)
Ranging from Rs.10,000/- to Rs. 20,000/-
M.Sc (SF)
20,000/-
3
GROUP – III
B.A/BCom/B.Sc -
Regular
Rs.1500/- to Rs.9000/-
B.A/BCom/B.Sc -Restructured
Rs.4000/- to Rs. 10,000/-
4
GROUP – IV
Intermediate (Vocational)
Rs. 4500/-
ITI
Rs. 3500/-


EPASS-MAINTENANCE CHARGES (MTF)

Similarly for the purpose of granting the MTF, the current rates being given to the various groups is based on which group of study the student is pursuing and whether he is a day scholar or a  resident of a student managed hostel,  college attached hostel or department attached hostel.  The current rates of MTF from 2011-12 academic year are as follows:
ü       For BC, Disabled , Minority Students, the MTF rates are as below



Group

Revised Rates (in Rs.) per month

Dept. Attached Hostel (DAH)
Hosteller Attached Hostel (CAH)
Student Managed Hostel
(SMH)
Day Scholars (DS)

Group-I
962
962
442
429
Group-II
682
682
442
429
Group-III
520
520
325
240
Group-IV
520
520
325
182

ü  For SC and ST Students the enhanced MTF rates as per GOMS 60 is as follows.
     


Group   

Dept. Attached Hostel (DAH) / College Attached Hostel (CAH)
Day Scholars (DS)/             Student Managed Hostel (SMH)

Group-I
1200
550
Group-II
820
530
Group-III
570
325
Group-IV
520
325

  1. EPASS-Administration of the Post Matric Scholarships: The Post Matric Scholarships are administered through the e-Pass online system and has been made fully functional from 2009-10 for RTF and 2010-11 for MTF.  Hitherto all bills were disbursed manually.  All the welfare departments namely Social Welfare (SCs), Tribal Welfare (STs), Backward Class Welfare (BCs), Economic Backward Classes(EBCs) and Disabled Welfare(DWs) disburse the scholarships through the ePass online system. The Minority Welfare Department administered the scholarship through the NIC Server.  The Principal Secretary Social Welfare is the Nodal Officer for the POST MATRIC SCHOLARSHIPS

  1. Steep increase in the requirement of funds: The expenditure incurred by the Government on these programmes has increased considerably from the year 2004-05 onwards.  In the year 2004-05, the expenditure on this scheme was Rs 474.28 Crores and this has reached Rs.5563.53 Crores in the year 2010-11. The requirement of funds grew very steeply in view of the policy of providing reimbursement of tuition fee and scholarships to all eligible students by following the `saturation’ mode from the year 2008-09 onwards.  This implied sanction of reimbursement of tuition fee and scholarship to all the eligible students. Saturation mode is adopted for BC and Minorities from 2008-09 and for EBC’s from 2009-10 on par with SC and ST.   In the year 2010-2011, about 24.5 lakh students studying in about 11,000 colleges in the State were benefited. The following table describes the picture how the students and the requirement/expenditure in POST MATRIC SCHOLARSHIPS scheme  is being increased from 2004-05 to 2010-11.

                 (Rs.in Cr)
Year
No. of students
SW
BCW
EBC
TW
Total
2004-05
844035
201.51
90.2
0
57.37
349.08
2005-06
936473
158.93
124.77
0
74.17
357.87
2006-07
1100899
318.55
149.91
0
79.39
547.85
2007-08
1352403
454.61
267.98
0
92.49
815.08
2008-09
1879928
488.67
1084.94
0
141.70
1715.31
2009-10
2277574
690.04
1526.10
502.57
205.82
2924.53
2010-11
2447000
779.11
1815.04
636.02
228.25
3458.42
(Rs. in Crores)
11.      The Total liability for 2010-11:  
The Total liability for 2010-11 for all categories is Rs. 3800 Cr besides the arrears prior to 2010-11 of Rs.2000 Cr amounting to the total of Rs. 5800 Cr. The Govt. of AP has released the entire amount of Rs.5800 Cr by the efforts of the principal secretary (social welfare)and cleared all the dues of Scholarships for the years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11.This is phenomenal and happened first time in the history of all welfare departments.

12.     Government Strategy to Sort out the problem: with a few to seek a long term solution to the issue Government have initiated a three pronged strategy:

a)    Appointed a committee of secretaries to examine the strengths and weakness of the POST MATRIC SCHOLARSHIPS
b)   Constitute a Group of Ministers to examine the POST MATRIC SCHOLARSHIPS in detail and streamline the same
c)    Chalk out an action strategy to clear the arrears and payments due

13.     Committee of Secretaries:  A Committee of Secretaries was constituted vide G.O.Rt.No.2089, GA(Spl.A) Dept., dt 1st May, 2010  to look into the issue of streamlining the delays in the disbursement of the scholarships. In pursuance of the directives of the Government the Committee of Secretaries after detailed deliberations submitted its report in May 2010, to the Government for its consideration.  The committee has made nineteen recommendations to streamline the scholarship program.  To expedite the release of tuition fee and scholarships, the Government has initiated online transfer of these amounts where, the amounts are deposited directly into college management accounts as well as students of colleges.  By one stroke, the government has been successful in eliminating scope for double claims or delayed payments and there by benefitting the weaker sections directly. Perhaps this is the largest online transfer of funds meant for students in the country.
14.     Group of Ministers (GOM):  The Govt. vide G.O.Rt.NO. 2509, GA (Cabinet ) Department, Dated 21-05-2010, has constituted a  Group of nine Ministers to hold discussions with the managements, students and officers to suggest guidelines to be followed for the reimbursement of fees and scholarships to the students.  The Committee held number of detailed discussions and finally recommended several measures to streamline the scholarship system which was approved by the cabinet and issued vide G.O.Ms. No 66 dated 10-09-2010. Some of the key recommendations are:

    1. Scholarships to continue on a saturation basis
    2. Scholarships to be applicable only convener quota seats.
    3. Self finance courses to be reimbursed full fees as fixed by AFRIC.
eg. MBA, MCA, B.Tech, B.Pharmacy, MBBS, BDS, etc..,.
    1. Changes in the income declaration in the income certificate.
    2. 75% attendance to be followed.
    3. Renewal of scholarships only for promoted students.
    4. Scholarship to be disbursed only through online system.
                                         i.    Colleges must be registered in the e-pass website.
                                       ii.    Application of students to apply for fresh and renewal scholarships on line.
                                      iii.    Registration of renewals of mandatory.
                                      iv.    Unique ID for scholarship holders.
                                        v.    Processing of bills online and disbursal into bank accounts of students and colleges.
                                      vi.    Comprehensive of MIS system.
                                     vii.    Project monitoring unit to be authorized to make entries.
                                   viii.    Linkage of minority welfare department server and e-pass server to avoid duplicate claims.

15.  EPASS-  Measures to streamline the POST MATRIC SCHOLARSHIPS  taken:  In pursuance of the streamlining of the POST MATRIC SCHOLARSHIPS System a number of measures have been initiated on the lines of the recommendations above.  All these measures have ensured that the bonafide and eligible student is assured of a scholarship in a transparent and expeditious manner. 

1)   Unique Student ID :  The ID of a student was linked to the SSC or Intermediate database.  This would enable to avoid duplication of applications.  As opposed to the earlier practice a student can only pull out his record from the database and opt for the colleges which have been registered and authenticated on the e-pass website.
2)   Registration of Colleges:  For the first time all colleges have been asked to register on the epass website.  Colleges need to furnish proof of recognition, courses offered, fee structure, no. of seats allocated per course by the relevant agency.   Colleges were also asked to furnish the details of the board of governors, details of bank accounts for remittance fees etc. The status of registration of colleges is given.
No. of Colleges Registered online : 11,209
No. of Colleges Conformed by the District Officer: 10944
The Students of those confirmed colleges only can claim the Scholarships.
3)   Filing of Applications by Students Online:  All students have asked to file the application online from an internet kiosk or the college.  The student for the first time has a choice to file his application 24/7 on the website at http://epasswebsite.cgg.gov.in A candidate needs to enter his SSC ID ( certificate No.) year of passing, whether regular or supplemental and his date of birth to access his records.  In case he is unable to retrieve, he may enter his intermediate certificate details as above.  He only needs to select the college and course from the drop down menu and state the type of hostel he is residing in (SMH, DAH, CAH or as day scholar).  In addition a student has to scan and upload his photograph, Caste Certificate and Income Certificate.  For the first time email is made mandatory.  Each student has to furnish an email id which will be used for correspondence with the IT team. Any changes can be done only by the student using his user id and login.  All stages of his application status are emailed to his email account automatically by the server.   The details of the currrent years registration of students is given in Annex: ..
4)   Verification to be done by college and a large team of Officers: Detailed verification of the application form will have to be done by the principal and recommended to the department. The principal of a college can only change the type of course, course year only.  The College will have to prepare verification booklets for fresh and renewal students for each category namely SC, ST, BC, EBC, DW, MW for later processing by the verification officer and the individual departments.  During the current year, district collectors have been asked to appoint verification officers to conduct physical verification of students and documents and recommend or reject on the online system.  Thus 4336 Officers were appointed as Verification Officers to verify and recommend the claims of students.
5)   Linking and Streamlining Payments:       The three servers namely, ePASS server, Treasury Server and the Bank Server have been fully integrated with each other to have a seamless transaction and transfer of funds.  The scholarship bill is processed online and sent to the treasury where it is passed online and the amounts uploaded online though the common internet banking interface.  A return confirmation file from the bank server gives details of the date on which the amounts were deposited in the college/student account.  Each college and student has to furnish a valid bank account which is then authenticated by a third party.  Where students have not been able to secure an account, the department provides an SBI eZ pay card to the student.  Thus amounts can only be remitted online.  All bills also have to be submitted online.  The practice of submitting manual bills have been done away with.   All approvals of budget release orders are also populated on the website directly by the concerned head of department.  District officers can then load bills based on the amount made available by the head of the Department.  This procedure has streamlined the way in which the system works with ease and convenience.
6)   Benefits of the Online System: The most important benefit of the online system is the ease of administration uniformly throughout the state under a standard set of rules and guidelines.  The element of discretion of sanctioning officers is reduced to the barest minimum.  High volume transactions have been simplified by lumping colleges and students in a single bill amounting to Rs. 2.00 Crores.  Thus the number of bills and the ease with bills can be processed online is simplified.  Further no bill can be passed twice or payment be made twice the college or student will no longer be available once a bill is passed and sent to the treasury.  While a genuine scholarship would hinge to a large extent on the quality of the verification process which over time can be improved but the speed of processing in a transparent and accountable manner is incomparable to the manual process.   Some of the Benefits include:
i)     Benefits for students:
a)    Online application and verification of status 24/7
b)   Delivery of amounts through bank account /ATM cards and automatic transfer of amount from Treasury bank to the students and college accounts.
c)    Total Transparency ensured as students can view the status of scholarships at every stage of sanction.  E-mails also sent to students at every stage of sanction.
d)   Elimination of middlemen/brokers for processing scholarships.
e)    Convenience for students as they can apply from any where any time.
ii)   Benefits for colleges:
(1)  Quick delivery of scholarship amounts through automatic transfer of amount from Treasury bank to the college accounts.
(2)  Elimination of middlemen/brokers.
(3)  Colleges need not keep going to Government offices for pursuing for their reimbursement of fees.
iii)  Benefits for Government:
(1)  Elimination of double sanctions
(2)  Time delays
(3)  Verifiable accounts and transactions
(4) Easy retrieval of data etc.
(5) Government money can be saved by ensuring that only eligible and genuine students get the benefits
iv)    
·         All registered students in Epass were provided with user ID and password. Elimination of double sanctions Verifiable accounts and transactions
·         All 11000 colleges provided with user ID and Passwords.
·         All 4336 verification officers appointed by District collector provided with User ID and Passwords.

17.     EPASS-Categorization of Courses and its  implications : It may be seen from the above, that the Group I Courses  which comprise of the professional courses such as engineering, MBA, MCA, Pharmacy, Medicine, Dentistry, Agriculture, Veterinary and Education have the second largest enrollment of  6,07,472 students (23.5%) almost consume 61% of the total scholarship amount.  The largest group of students are in Group IV comprising of intermediate and ITI courses cover 10.51 lakh students consume barely Rs. 512 Crores (14%) of the scholarship budget.  The group II and Group III courses also consume around 14% each but cover together only 9.00 Lakh students.  Thus the scholarship program in a way promotes professional education in the state. 
18.     In Conclusion, the Government of Andhra Pradesh committed to pay the POST MATRIC SCHOLARSHIPS amounts to colleges and students in time. Accordingly the Govt. has already cleared all the dues of  2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 amounting to Rs. 5800 Cr in one financial year by giving top priority to this scheme among all other welfare schemes.
 

1 comment:

  1. i had 1 backlog in my 2nd semester of mtech and i have applied for scholarship..can i get scholarship this year?

    ReplyDelete