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Meltdown21: Part 3: Where is the money?


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If you are owner of a shop, you should ensure that the money is deposited directly in you cash box or bank account as soon as possible. The owner should compare statements for transactions, inventory and cash personally and on a daily basis. Instead if you blindly trust your new employee at the counter to manage all your personal responsibilities, you are a good person but you are telling a cat to guard your fish. The same principles apply in case of online transactions and in case of public sector, the freedom to deviate is very restricted.

Can you imagine that even after the whole season of admissions, college received neither any statement of transactions nor any money till date, The estimated amount has already touched nearly 25 lakhs and is growing with each day. This kind of delay is very difficult to explain by citing reasons like transaction failure or clerical mistake.

In our country, online transactions are regulated by Reserve Bank of India (RBI). A business entity that wish to receive money online is termed a "Merchant". Merchant should accept this money through a "Payment Aggregator (PA)" which is either a bank or a large NBFC certified by RBI. Billdesk, CCAvenue, Razorpay are some examples of payment aggregators. Regulations of RBI restricts who can become PA and how they can operate. All PAs deposit received money in merchant's bank account along with detailed statement on a regular basis which is called settlement cycle. For transactions within the country this normally takes 0-3 days.

This year, a mysterious agreement was signed by the previous TIC with an agency for online admissions. It is quite obvious that they can not act as PA. Also, since this college is a public funded institution, settlements can not be made to a bank account that does not belong to the college. Presently the main question seems to be where is the money? Next question will be where did the the money go? What is the breakup of transaction charge collected from students? What happened to multiple transactions made for the same invoice? Did withdrawn students receive refund? Questions are many ... but would we ever get an answer?

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