The last date to fill online application forms for state scholarships for students from Scheduled Caste, Other Backward Classes and physically challenged sections is only four days away, but the website to facilitate this has been dysfunctional since October 22.
While students are a harried lot in the absence of any information posted on the website, officials said the link to ‘e-Scholarships’ was out of order because of an ongoing security audit procedure. The last date at present is October 31, but Secretary, Social Justice, R D Shinde said it would be extended.
“It is a technical matter. We are carrying out a security audit of all the data on the website to make it foolproof of hacking. It will take a few days more. But we will extend the deadline for online applications accordingly so that students do not suffer,” said Shinde.
He, however, did not give a new date.
The online applications are received for three months from August to October and about 3 lakh out of the total 15 lakh applications received across the state on an average are registered online.
The social justice department spends more than 20 per cent of its budget outlay of over Rs 6,000 crore on scholarships. In the financial year 2013-14, an additional amount of Rs 1,548 crore was earmarked for these scholarships. The state government offers 13 different types of scholarships, which include those for school education, higher education, technical education and medical education of SC boys and girls. The government has also given scholarship to 50 students from OBC and SC communities to pursue education abroad.