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K'taka rolls out cashless, contactless payment solution for students' scholarships

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Bengaluru, Dec 29 (IANS) Karnataka has become the first state in the country to adopt cashless payment solutions to facilitate education scholarship fee payment for eligible students. e-RUPI allows cashless payment solutions through a digital QR or SMS string which can be easily redeemed at the identified institute.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), State Bank of India (SBI) and Department of e-governance, Karnataka government, have partnered for enabling and implementing e-RUPI, a cashless and contactless payment solution to students under its scholarship programme.

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e-RUPI will be used to ensure a leak-proof delivery of education fee of eligible students by paying digitally to the college or institute by the Karnataka government. The Karnataka government will get e-vouchers delivered on the mobile phones of eligible students. The voucher code can be received on feature phone as well.

The students will be able to redeem e-RUPI at the identified colleges or institutes for the intended purpose of fee payment.

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Karnataka government has on-boarded around 176 schemes of 35 departments under it on the Direct Benefit Transfer platform. Apart from the scholarship scheme, other major schemes which have been on-boarded are minimum price support schemes, PM-Kisan state scheme, CM Relief Fund, housing schemes and milk incentive scheme.

Rajiv Chawla, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (e-governance), Karnataka government, said, “e-RUPI is indeed a very powerful tool for governments to use as it allows direct transfer of the benefits to the targeted beneficiary with safety and security. The instrument ensures that the beneficiary gets the benefit as per the guidelines of the scheme. Under this initiative, each transaction is mapped with the beneficiary and the institution ensuring that the e-voucher can be redeemed by the college where the student has enrolled.”

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For redeeming e-RUPI, the identified institutes will scan the QR code or SMS string displayed by the students using an app or POS machine. The process will remove the requirement of any physical token delivery for the students to avail of the scholarship.

Challa Sreenivasulu Setty, Managing Director, Retail and Digital Banking, SBI, said, “The e-RUPI (UPI prepaid voucher) was launched on August 2 this year by Prime Minister Modi for Covid-19 vaccination as the first-use case. Owing to its hassle-free usage coupled with its secured and cashless features, the government has envisaged to extend the use of e-RUPI to other use cases like DBT, scholarships, kerosene oil distribution, subsidised distribution of foodgrains, donations, grocery. SBI is one of the leading banks in the implementation of e-RUPI for other use cases by providing end-to-end solution to the Karnataka government for distribution of scholarships to the students for their studies.”

Kunal Kalawatia, Chief of Products, NPCI, said, “We are delighted to offer our e-RUPI solution to the Karnataka government for empowering students with hassle-free scholarships. At NPCI, we are continuously working on harnessing India’s technological and digital prowess by constantly developing path-breaking digital products and services. We believe e-RUPI is a revolutionary initiative in the direction of ensuring a convenient and leak-proof delivery of schemes. This is a win-win for both students and colleges. While students receive the voucher, they can redeem it only for payment of fee to colleges or institutes.”

Following the successful implementation of this pilot project, the state is examining the use of e-RUPI voucher in other schemes such as seed distribution, fertiliser distribution, micro- irrigation schemes, issuing of laptops to students and imparting skilled training.

–IANS

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