The Jammu and Kashmir government today said it would probe alleged irregularities in the disbursement of scholarship funds released by the Union minority affairs ministry. The state's Minister for Social Welfare Sajad Gani Lone assured the Assembly the government will probe the matter thoroughly. Lone was responding to a calling attention notice of GM Saroori regarding alleged embezzlement of the fund. "Though the funds are transferred directly to beneficiaries (bank account) but if the embezzlement as alleged by the legislator, is proved, the government will conduct inquiry and also request Minister for Minority Affairs to apprise the state whether any scholarship amount meant for the minority community has been transferred to any other institution," Lone said. He said as per Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) issued by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs, candidates have to directly apply on the National Scholarship Portal of the ministry for the scholarship. The applications are thereafter scrutinised online by the Institute concerned and later by the district, state-level nodal officers and then transferred to the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs (online) for selection and grant of scholarship to the eligible candidates. He said scholarship amount is then credited directly into the bank accounts of the selected applicants by the Union ministry. The entire process is online and as such there was no scope for transfer of the scholarship fund to any private institutes at the state level, he said. However, Union ministry of minority affairs will be requested to apprise the state whether any scholarship amount meant for the minority community has been directly released in favour of the institute mentioned by the legislator.
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