No help to SC/ST students may land banks in trouble

No help to SC/ST students may land banks in trouble

The social welfare department has written to the chief executive officers of all Zilla Panchayats to register cases under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, against those nationalised banks that refuse to open accounts in the names of pre-matric students of these communities to facilitate online payment of scholarships.

The letter by the commissioner of the department has instructed the filing cases in the nearest police stations under Section 4 of the Act against banks that do not open the ‘no-frills’ accounts. All eligible pre-matric SC/ST students are due to get their scholarships for 2012-13.

The department’s move follows reports by the social welfare officers of all the districts over the non-cooperation by the banks.
The department plans to provide scholarships to nearly 12 lakh SC/ST students studying in classes one to 10. It is not possible to demit the scholarships without the accounts being opened.

Success of scholarship

The success of the scholarship programme hinges on the co-operation of the banks and accounts opened in rural banks are not considered.

However, the situation in Koppal district is much better. Though the banks were initially hesitant to open the ‘no-frills’ accounts, they are co-operating well now, said district social welfare officer S H Angadi.

He said Deputy Commissioner Tulasi Maddineni had impressed upon managers of lead banks and bank officials on the need to open ‘no-frills’ accounts during a meeting called by her.

A total of 19,000 ‘no-frills’ accounts were opened in the district till September 4, Angadi said, adding that 16,000 more accounts were to be opened.

He said the deadline to open the accounts had been extended to September 19 to help the SC/ST students.