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Cash Transfer under ‘PMS Scheme’ helps in reducing dropouts Home>> Achievements
‘Pre Matric Scholarship Scheme’ in the state of Odisha has come as a blessing for the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) students from an economically weak background. Under the scheme, the day scholar boys and girls of classes 9 & 10 are being given an annual scholarship of Rs.2250 and Rs.3200 respectively. The girls are receiving a higher amount which is supported by the Department for International Development (DFID), UK.  This amount is inclusive of an ad-hoc grant for buying books and uniform.

In the year, 2014-2015 about 4.27 lakhs students were registered under the scheme and around Rs.128 crore were disbursed directly to the bank accounts of the eligible students. The direct cash transfer helped in reducing the delivery time of the benefits and eliminated any leakages. The students quoted that they are using the scholarship money to buy guidebooks, reference material, pay for tuitions, stationery, etc. and it has come as a great help for them. Some of them are saving for higher education.

DFID, UK is the technical and financial assistance partner for Government of Odisha and is assisting in the implementation of the Pre Matric Scholarship scheme in approx. 10,000 high schools across the 30 districts of the State. The technical team appointed by DFID for the implementation support helped in opening of the bank accounts and getting the caste certificates for the registered students. In order to efficiently manage such a volume of data, a web-based IT application has been designed. The IT solution landscape for the application covers all aspects right from data capture, disbursement to dashboards/ reporting.

Massive community mobilization activities and household counseling sessions were organized to motivate the students to come forward and apply for the scholarship and also to bring drop-outs back to school.

The efforts paved the way to bring about 1560 drop-outs back to school which is an increase of approximately 12% over last year. The program MIS also provide some indications of change at the school level with a steady increase in the enrolment from 83% in 2013 to 91% in 2014 in case of SC and ST students in the secondary grades.

The students are not only back in schools but are also attending classes regularly as the scholarship is given on the conditionality of minimum 70% monthly attendance. The baseline/midline data collected to assess the impact of the program reveals an overall change from 74% to 80.1% in attendance by the end of first year. This amounted to an 8.24% change over the base year.

However, this change may not be completely attributable to the scholarship program only but indeed a positive trend can be seen in the State.
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