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Delhi: 49 per cent MCD students didn't get financial benefits since 2016, reveals audit report

The audit was done by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi's Office of Chief Auditor - a statutory body that is responsible for conducting monthly examinations and audits of municipal accounts and reports to the Standing Committee.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Published on: January 14, 2024 18:51 IST
MCD school in Delhi
Image Source : REPRESENTATIONAL PIC MCD school in Delhi

An audit report of the municipal body's Department of Education stated that as many as 48.74 per cent of students in MCD schools were deprived of financial benefits under various schemes from 2016-17 to 2022-2023 session.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi's Education Department failed to provide the financial benefits under different schemes of the government of NCT Delhi to nearly 3,83,203 students due to non-opening of bank accounts required for the disbursement of funds, the audit report dated November 11, 2023 claimed. An official of the Auditor's office, on condition of anonymity, confirmed the findings of the report. 

However, MCD Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti and Mayor Shelly Oberoi did not respond to calls and texts on the audit report went unanswered.

The MCD in 2016-17 decided to transfer all benefits/funds directly to the student's bank account through direct benefit transfer (DBT) in view of different bank accounts operating for the transfer of these funds and the time consumed for maintaining records by teachers.

As per the DBP scheme, the cash subsidy for uniforms, school bags, scholarships, and stationery among other benefits is provided only through the bank accounts of students to avoid malpractice and misappropriation of funds.

Earlier these welfare funds were given to the headmaster of the school through ADE/DDE for distribution in cash to students enrolled in MCD schools.

The audit report observed that till November 2023, the 100 per cent target of preparing the Adhaar Card mandatory for opening bank accounts was not achieved by the Education Department of the Municipal Corporation due to which many students could not get financial aid.

According to the report, of the total 7,86,205 students in MCD schools, only 4,03,003 students had bank accounts till November 2023.

Furthermore, 1,36,599 students did not get their bank accounts opened despite having an Adhaar card.

"Lack of proper mechanism and inconsistency to monitor/ reconciliation of database of account holders vis-a-vis the enrolled students, they were being deprived of financial assistance released by the Department under various schemes," the audit report observed, stating that the non-disbursement of the policy amount is a violation of Right to Education Act 2009.

It had asked the MCD to start the process of opening bank accounts at the beginning of the financial year 2023-2024 in April and set a deadline of June 30.

The audit report also asked the corporation to issue guidelines to all schools to open bank accounts at the headquarters level in advance and suggested signing MOUs with banks to ease the implementation of the process.

There was no clarity by the MCD on whether the set target has been achieved.

(With PTI inputs)

Also read: PM Modi feeds cows at his residence to celebrate Makar Sankranti | PICS

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