In a bid to give scholarships to students belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Extremely Backward Class (EBC) and backward classes, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has come up with an innovative e -Z-Pay card scheme.
The first phase of the scheme promises 2.50 lakh students an ATM card for which the government has made agreement with the State Bank of India. According to the policy, the monthly scholarship will be deposited in the account of each beneficiary and the students will be able to draw money from ATMs by using their cards. The card can be accessed from any of the 23,000 SBI ATMs available in the state.
This will save students from unnecessary harassment and will prevent the need of running from one place to another. The policy right now is a post-matric scheme which will later be made available to school students also. The purpose of the providing the scholarship is to motivate students to continue with their higher education and prevent them from dropping out due of college to financial troubles.
According to the Scheduled Caste, ST, EBC and Backward Classes Welfare Department, 2.50 lakh beneficiaries have already been given the e Z-Pay cards in the first phase. The students were getting monthly stipend between Rs 300 and 700 depending on their class and stream; likewise students of Class XI and XII were getting Rs 300 while students of technical education get Rs 700 per month.