Srinagar: Belying the tall claims of the present dispensation of bringing accountability and transparency in the functioning of the education department, crores of rupees are being ‘illegally utilized’ on employees accommodated through backdoor in various degree colleges spread across state.
Top sources in the department said the employees are being accommodated in the colleges on the recommendations of MLAs and ministers who are paid their monthly honorarium from the funds meant for student activities.
“The people who are accommodated in colleges as peons or casual workers have patronage of political parties,” the sources said.
The sources said the fraud has been going on the higher education department from the past more than one decade as the successive regimes have made hundreds of such recommendations to the college Principals for absorbing these political workers in their colleges.
“The height is that at times colleges Principals receive DO letters from Chief Minister’s office. For ministers and MLAs it has become a normal routine,” the sources said.
They said the employees are mostly not assigned any work in the colleges but remain active in colleges to disturb academic scenario in the institutions and play politics.
“They are political employees working on consolidated pay in the colleges as from time to time they were recruited by the various political parties. The move has put not only a heavy burden on state exchequer but also vitiated the academics in the college,” said a senior official, wishing not to be named.
He said all the funds collected from students for sports activities or other extra curriculum activities is spent on the salary of these employees.
“Not only this, the college development fund granted to the colleges from government is spent on the salary of these employees who are fraudulently engaged in the colleges,” the official said.
He said the government has failed to control this menace in the institutions.
“There is no contribution of these employees in the colleges but they are instead fed on the poor students’ money deposited in the college,” the official said.
He said the college Principals divert funds from other sections and utilize it on these employees and fraudulent means are used to show expenditure of these funds on other issues.
It may be recalled that the Comptroller and auditor general (CAG) in its latest report had censured Higher Education Department (HED) over non-utilisation of funds for student related activities and college development.
Funds charged from students for college development and student related activities, have remained unspent in HED, depicting dismal performance of the department in utilization of funds.
Already reported by this newspaper, an amount of Rs 1.70 crore out of Rs 2.25 has remained unspent in the colleges during the year 2011-12 while as Rs 2.12 crore out of Rs 2.81 crore was unspent in the colleges during the financial year 2012-13.
In the year 2013-14 an amount of Rs 2.38 core out of Rs 3.24 core charged from students at the time of their admissions, remained unutilized while as Rs 2.52 core out of Rs 3.32 core remained unutilized in the year 2014-15.
Also, the CAG report has revealed that an amount of Rs 3.15 core out of Rs 4.03 core charged from students, remained unutilized in the colleges.
“These funds are actually non lapsable and college administration manage to get extension for utilisation of these funds and then make fraudulent means to utilize the same funds on these employees,” the official said.
Principal Secretary, HED Asgar Hassan Samoon was not available for his comments.