NEW DELHI: The Minority Affairs Ministry has initiated an investigation into the distribution of pre-matric scholarships in Jharkhand following reports that the funds were being allegedly diverted by a nexus of middlemen, and bank, school and state employees.
Chief Minister Hemant Soren has said he would order an inquiry into the alleged scam, which was disclosed by a national daily through a series of reports that pointed out instances of fraud in the distribution of the pre-matric scholarships sanctioned by the ministry for 2019-20.
Asked about the reports, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the ministry had initiated a probe into the matter and was in touch with the state government.
Naqvi underscored that the ministry had put in many safeguards to ensure that the money reached the beneficiaries without any lapses and the process was transparent.
The Union minister said the process of verification was carried out by the state and the ministry was in touch with the Jharkhand government, which was also looking into the matter.
According to the newspaper, minority students in several districts of the state have been being duped of a centrally-funded scholarship by a nexus of bank staff, middlemen, school and government employees.
Soren has pinned the blame on the erstwhile BJP state government, while former welfare minister Louis Marandi has refuted the charge.