All states and union territories have been asked to issue caste and domicile certificates to students when they are studying in Class V or VIII.
The move assumes significance as there have been complaints of delay in grant of scholarship to students belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. Besides, citizens have often complained of harassment allegedly by government officers in getting domicile and caste certificates issued.
The responsibility of issue of residency and caste certificate is with the state governments and union territories.
"The school head or Principal will get the documents collected from all the SC and ST students and also other than SC or ST students and arrange to submit them to the relevant state government authority or revenue authorities for making the requisite certificates.
"The concerned revenue or state government authorities may scrutinise those documents and may issue the relevant certificates within a period of 30-60 days," an order issued by Personnel Ministry said.
Once the certificate is made, it may be given to the students in cellophane cover, as far as practicable, through the school authorities and would be kept with them for safe custody for availing the benefits and facilities available to the concerned category of students, it said.
If the certificate of any student is rejected for issue of the relevant certificate, reasons will be provided and provision for one-time appeal can be allowed by the state authorities, the order said.
In states where acceptance for SC, ST or domicile certificate is mandatorily done only through citizen service centres, it will be responsibility of the headmaster of the school for collection of the documents and ensuring that the application is digitally sent to the concerned authorities, it said.
If there is already a time limit prescribed by the state authorities through executive order or regulation for issuing such certificates, then such timeframe should be adhered to, the order said.
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