The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), State Bank of India (SBI), and the Government of Karnataka's Department of e-Governance have teamed together to enable and execute e-RUPI, a cashless and contactless payment option for students participating in the scholarship programme. The government of Karnataka has been the first to deploy e-RUPI to enable cashless payment options via digital QR/SMS channels that can be instantly redeemed at specified institutes.
According to NPCI "e-RUPI will be used to ensure a leak-proof delivery of education fees of eligible students by paying digitally to the college/Institute by Karnataka Government. Karnataka government will get e-vouchers delivered to the mobiles of eligible students. The voucher code can be received on the feature phone also. The students will be able to redeem e-RUPI at the identified colleges/institutes for the intended purpose of fees payment."
The recognized institutes will use an application or a POS machine to scan the QR code or SMS string provided by the students in order to redeem e-RUPI. This procedure will eliminate the need for students to deliver physical tokens in order to be eligible for the scholarship.
Mr. Rajiv Chawla, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms (DPAR) (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."
Mr. Challa Sreenivasulu Setty, Managing Director, Retail & Digital Banking, State Bank of India said, "The e-RUPI (UPI Prepaid Voucher) was launched on 02/08/2021 by Hon'ble Prime Minister of India 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, subsidized distribution of food grains, donations, grocery. State Bank of India is one of the leading banks in the implementation of e-RUPI for other use cases by providing end-to-end solutions to the Government of Karnataka for distribution of scholarships to the students for their studies."
"We are delighted to offer our e-RUPI solution to the Government of Karnataka 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 fees to colleges/Institutes," said Mr. Kunal Kalawatia, Chief of Products, NPCI.
On the Direct Benefit Transfer Platform, the Karnataka government has implemented 176 schemes from 35 state agencies. Other key initiatives that have been incorporated include Minimum Price Support schemes, PM-Kisan State Scheme, CM-Relief Fund, Housing Schemes, and the Milk Incentive Scheme. According to the Karnataka Government, the state is looking at using the e-RUPI Voucher in additional programmes such as seed distribution, fertiliser distribution, micro-irrigation schemes, student laptop distribution, and skilled training, thanks to the effectiveness of this new initiative.