E-grantz for Dalit Students

The educational grants to the students of the dalit, adivasi, and backward communities such as stipends and fellowships form an aspect of state affirmative action. Easy access to such assistance is as important as its adequacy. The transparency in its distribution is also a matter of concern. In Kerala, there were, till very recently, several hurdles in its distribution. Inefficiency on the part of the educational institutions and irresponsibility on the part of concerned departments posed major problems. Fortunately, there has been a meaningful move by the Government of Kerala to ease the students’ access to state assistance.

From the academic year 2009-10 onwards, with the help of the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology, the government initiated the “E-grantz Online” system of crediting the grant to the savings bank account of the students who may withdraw it using an ATM card. At the time of their admission, students fill up an application form to open a No Frills Account that is used for the transfers. The institutions as well as the students have separate accounts and thus fees go to the institution’s account and the stipend, pocket money and fellowships go to the student’s account.

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