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Delhi: 49% MCD students missed welfare benefits according audit

January 16, 2024

An audit report from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) Department of Education reveals that 48.74% of students in MCD schools did not receive financial benefits from various schemes between the academic sessions of 2016-17 and 2022-2023. The report, dated November 11, 2023, indicates that nearly 3,83,203 students were deprived of financial benefits due to the non-opening of bank accounts required for fund disbursement.

The audit, conducted by the MCD’s Office of Chief Auditor, a statutory body responsible for monthly examinations and audits of municipal accounts, brings attention to the failure of the Education Department to provide financial benefits under government schemes to a significant number of students. The report highlights that the department’s move in 2016-17 to transfer benefits directly to students’ bank accounts through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system was hindered by the lack of achievement of the 100% target for Aadhaar card preparation, mandatory for opening bank accounts.

As of November 2023, out of the total 7,86,205 students in MCD schools, only 4,03,003 had bank accounts. The report points out that 1,36,599 students with Aadhaar cards did not have bank accounts, indicating a deficiency in the mechanism and inconsistency in monitoring and reconciling the database of account holders with enrolled students.

The audit report deems this non-disbursement of financial assistance as a violation of the Right to Education Act 2009. It recommends that the MCD initiates the process of opening bank accounts at the beginning of the financial year 2023-2024 and sets a deadline of June 30. The report also suggests issuing guidelines to all schools for opening bank accounts at the headquarters level and entering into Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with banks to facilitate the implementation process. However, the MCD has not provided clarity on whether the set targets have been achieved. Calls and messages seeking a response from MCD Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti and Mayor Shelly Oberoi remain unanswered.

Source: PTI

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