Karnataka school scholarship scheme gets a tech boost

Karnataka school scholarship scheme gets a tech boost

The paperless process will significantly cut down the time required for disbursal of scholarships.

In a first, scholarships in Karnataka will be disbursed based on entitlements, which means eligible students will not have to apply for it each time — thanks to technology.

This automated, paperless process that the state government has put in place, will also significantly cut down the time required for disbursal of these scholarships.

The sanction time of these scholarships, which currently undergoes a verification process that can take up to a month, will come down to as low as five days as part of the entitlement regime, according to officials.

The entitlements system will be facilitated through the State Scholarship Portal (SSP), a one-stop shop for students to apply online for scholarships offered by four departments — Social Welfare, Tribal Welfare, Backward Classes Welfare and Minority Welfare.

“The SSP is linked to the Student Achievement Tracking System (SATS) of the education department. Over 50 lakh students have applied for scholarships on the SSP this year. Next year, we will extract their academic performance data from the SATS, based on which scholarships will be sanctioned to them automatically in five days,” Additional Chief Secretary (e-Governance) Rajeev Chawla said.

Launched in September, the SSP is currently configured to process pre-matric scholarships (Classes 1-10). Since its launch, as many as 54.33 lakh students have applied for pre-matric scholarships this academic year.

The SATS database, developed with the help of the Infosys Foundation, has information on 1.20 crore schoolchildren with each one having a unique ID.

The SSP uses this unique ID to fetch details of students for pre-matric scholarships — academics, caste, income details and so on.

“Because SSP and SATS are linked, this will be one year where the students need to apply for scholarships. Next year, our system will check the SATS database to make sure the students have maintained the required academic criteria and
scholarships will be given on an entitlement-basis. The entire application has been so designed that over a period, the only time a student has to apply is at Class 1. Thereafter, it becomes an auto-mode of scholarship sanctioning,” SSP project director Annapurna K said.

Authorities, however, are yet to find a way to bring post-matric scholarships (college) onto the SSP.

“For pre-matric scholarships, we have a ready database with SATS. But there’s no such database in the higher education space. We’re in talks with the Higher Education department to figure it out,” Annapurna said.