In a move to ensure more benefits for Project Affected Persons (PAP) and their families, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) has doubled the budget allocated for the stipend to Rs 3 crore. Last year the budget was Rs 1.5 crore. The town-planning agency provides stipends to the wards after class XII, to encourage them to enroll for graduation courses.
Project Affect Persons are people whose lands were acquired by CIDCO in the 1970s for the purpose of development of the city of Navi Mumbai. There are over 3,000 students who benefit from these stipends, which CIDCO has been providing since the 1970s. Till last year, the stipend amount was sent directly to the colleges in which the student had enrolled. This process usually resulted in delays as approvals for the cheques took time.
In May this year, CIDCO decided to make the process hassle-free for the students. Beginning this August, CIDCO started opening bank accounts for the students. The stipend money will be deposited directly into these accounts.
Informed an official from CIDCO, “We have already visited three colleges in Karave, Kopar Khairane and Airoli where we opened bank accounts for students. At each place, we selected one college with the maximum number of PAP students and asked all the PAP students to come to that college to open their bank accounts. We also visited a junior college in Jasai. But for junior colleges, since the students are minors, a guardian needs to be a joint account holder.”
On a pilot basis, officials from Tata Institute of Social Sciences(TISS) also accompanied CIDCO officials to Jasai for a career counselling session. Every year, CIDCO receives thousands of application forms from potential students. In order to maintaina proper record of the students, CIDCO uses colour coding for the forms. Every year, the colours are changed to avoid misuse.
“Two years ago, the colour of the form was white. Then it became green and this year, it’s pink. This is to help us recognise the year of submission of the form. We are very student-friendly and have started printing forms in English as well as Marathi. We also ask for minimal details from students,” explained the official.
3,000 No of students who benefit from these stipends, which CIDCO has been providing since the 1970s