India's First University in Gujarat to go cashless

India's First University in Gujarat to go cashless


Now, students at Vishwakarma Government Engineering College (VGEC) need not worry about paying late library submission fees through cash. VGEC is one of the several colleges affiliated to Gujarat Technological University (GTU), which is on its way to become completely cashless.

Post November 8, since the demonetisation kicked in, cash crunch along with government's push for a cashless economy, varsities in Gujarat are on a mission mode to digitalise all kinds of payments. Colleges affiliated to GTU have been working with leading banks for taking multiple steps to push for cashless transactions.

For instance, while tuition fees are being accepted online since last two years, petty cash transactions such as penalty payments, library fees and other administration fees are now being accepted through payment kiosks being set up within the campuses. Moreover, canteens, which are mostly run on third party contracts, have also been equipped with point of sales (PoS) card readers by banks, apart from being encouraged to use Paytm and other mobile payment gateways by the university affiliated colleges.

"We accept all tuition fees online since two years. Honorarium for exams and paper checking to faculty is also through RTGS. Some of the colleges also pay salaries online. However, after demonetisation, SBI Gateway kiosks have been put up which has a payment gateway for payment of smaller cash transactions such as penalty, library fee, etc. We have asked canteens to go for Paytm while SBI and other banks are setting up PoS there," said Rajul Gajjar, officiating vice-chancellor of GTU. The varsity has in all 440 colleges affiliated to it, of which 12 are government colleges, 34 are polytechnic institutes and rest are self-financed colleges.

Similarly, CEPT University is also going cashless for students in availing campus facilities. The varsity, which began as a standalone architecture and urban planning institute, has now introduced a smart identity card for the students which will enable them to use it has a cash card. The card can be utilised at several facilities in the campus, including the canteen, stationary and printing, and can be recharged through cheque payment.

According to Ganesh Devkar, Director of Student Service Office and professor at CEPT University, every facility at the campus including canteens and libraries will have a card reader. The new cashless system will be launched on January 9, 2017.

"The initiative of introducing this card was taken in the interest of the students. It is a smart card and a multipurpose one. The RIFD code in the card helps the students to utilise for facilities in the campus like canteen, stationary and printing purposes. The students have to issue a cheque in the name of the university and the amount will get reflected in the card. The concept of the smart card was conceived a few months ago, but in the present scenario of cash crunch this facility has been a help for the students, especially those who are from other parts of the country," said Devkar. The varsity has over 1500 students, apart from faculty and staff.

GTU is also conducting a drive to link Aadhaar numbers and bank accounts of students and faculty members alike for the digitisation process.

"As GTU is made up of 95 per cent technical students, the university has decided to spread cashless awareness in such a way that each student gives proper understanding to 20 families. Senior officials from SBI, ICICI, HDFC and PayTm guided principals about latest techniques, apps and its uses for a cashless transaction," Gajjar added.

The varsity is also going to introduce DigiLocker system, which will also link Aadhaar number of students to enable them to use their mark sheets or transcripts through a simple login ID from anywhere in the world. According to GTU, all colleges are expected to prepare Aadhaar cards of all students within a month.

Varsities in Gujarat to go cashless
  • Online payment of fees, RTGS for honorarium fees
  • Internet kiosks for students for paying smaller amounts such as exam fees
  • PoS being set up by banks at canteens, other utilities
  • RFID enabled smart cards for students
  • Drive to link Aadhaar and bank accounts of students, faculty