VELLORE: At least `120 crore, allocated as assistance for thousands of SCST girl students under the National Scheme of Incentive to Girl Child Education (NSIGCE), remains unused due to apathy of education departmentofficials and lack of coordination among the implementing agencies.According to documents available, the Union ministry of human resource development allocated `152.17 crore under the scheme between 2008-09 and 2012-13. Only `28.57 crore had, however, been disbursed to the beneficiaries from 2008-09 to 2010-11. The ministry on January 6 took back the remaining `123.6 crore from the Government Business Branch of Canara Bank, New Delhi, the nodal agency for the scheme.

The scheme was designed to promote enrollment among girls from SC ST communities and retain them up to Class XII. Under the scheme, `3,000 would be deposited in each student’s bank account after they enrolled in Class IX. Those psiing Class X would be entitled to withdraw the money with interest after they attain 18 years. According to dalit activist and member of Dalit Liberation Movement S Karuppaiah, the state and Union governments had failed miserably to execute the scheme.

Lack of coordination among the departments of the state and Union governments undid the scheme.”Ambiguity prevails over the disbursement of the fund and the channel to reach the beneficiaries. The MHRD, school education department of TN and the bank are giving contradictory details and statements over the number of beneficiaries, fund allocation and payments,” Karuppaiah told TOI. He filed a case in the Madras high court. Attempts to reach officials of the various departments proved futile.

Officials in the MHRD said they allocated `33.30 crore for 1,10,991 beneficiaries in Tamil Nadu whereas the Directorate of School Education said the total number of beneficiaries were 1,21,292. The education department furnished the details under RTI Act.School education secretary T Udhayachandran, in an official communication, mentioned the number of matured beneficiaries for the academic year 2008-09 as 87,166 and the amount allocated to them as incentives as `36.38 crore.
 But, deputy secretary of department of school education and literacy , MHRD, D K Goel, in his response to Karuppaiah’s petition said they received maturity data for 86,018 candidates for 2008-09.Of them, payment of `13.63 crore out of `33.30 crores was made to 35,645 students.