Scholarship scam in Thane, scores of fake names sent | Thane News

THANE: Thane Zilla Parishad claims to have stumbled upon a massive fraud in scholarships for students from the minority communities. Officials said hundreds of fictitious students were registered for the scholarships on the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) database.
The irregularity, which could possibly have larger ramifications and run into crores of rupees, was discovered after a random scrutiny of pending approvals by Chaya Paradke, extension officer at Thane Zilla Parishad last week.
As per a Central government scheme, minority community students from Classes 1-10 in all schools are entitled for annual scholarships ranging between Rs1,000-Rs10,000. Every school is allotted a unique login ID and password. Schools have to use this to upload student details on the UDISE portal every year. The district education department then reviews the list and approves it, following which it is sent to the Union ministry which releases money to bank accounts of individual students.
“I came across around 588 requests from a Marathi-medium school in Thane city which, incidentally, had shut down five years back. I spoke to the school management, and they were stunned too. After inquiring with a few other schools, we discovered it was not an isolated case and that many fake student identities had been similarly uploaded,” Parandke told TOI.
Department officials said around 1,600 fictitious identities from around 15 schools have been uploaded. The department said they will now check with other parts of the district and also alert the state and the Centre.
Thane BJP MLA Sanjay Kelkar, who approached the police commissioner on Monday, sought a detailed probe. “Each registered student from the minority segment is given this scholarship to provide them mainstream education. However, there seems to be an attempt to usurp this amount using fictitious identities,” said Kelkar.

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