The Maharashtra government has decided to transfer money directly into the bank accounts of students studying in ashram schools for purchasing the items of their daily needs.
The move is aimed at checking corruption in the contracts awarded to provide stationery and other daily use items to the tribal students of the residential ashram schools.
The students can use the money to buy items of day-to-day use on their own instead of the government allotting contracts to private firms to provide these things, an official from the tribal development department said.
A pilot project in this regard will be started from the upcoming academic year in 133 government-run ashram schools, he said.
There are over 500 government-run ashram schools in the state where nearly 2.4 lakh students are enrolled.
The government provides items of daily use to the students by allotting contracts worth around Rs 700 crore per year.
The government makes available stationery items like text books, note books, school uniforms, pen-pencils, slate and also things like bathing soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, raincoats, blankets, coconut oil, etc.
“However, the government has now decided to pay the students by directly transferring money into their bank accounts so that they can buy their own stuff,” the official said.
The tribal development department officials have worked out an average yearly expenditure for the students of classes I to XII.
The students studying in classes I to IV will be given Rs 7,500 each annually.
The students from classes V to IX will be given an annual amount of Rs 8,500 each, the official said.
Those studying in classes X to XII will be eligible to get Rs 9,500 each annually, he added.