AMU issues clarification regarding purported Rs.120 cr. scam
The Audit Inspection Report (AIR) of the Principal Director of Audit, UP, Allahabad on the Annual Accounts of the Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh for the year 2014-15 contains 58 paras which includes 100 pages. The figure of Rs.120 crores which has been shown includes financial observations on entire AIR of the Annual Accounts of the University for the year 2014-15.
There are observations raised by Principal Director of Audit and not by C.A.G. as mentioned in the headline. This is a regular annual feature wherein audit objections are raised by the Team of Auditors to which the University sends replies item-wise. This year, the objections were received on 14th May, 2016 to which some replies have been sent and rest are under compilation from various Departments. It is incorrect to assume that there is any kind of scam, as mentioned in the heading of the News item. As a matter of fact, there is not a single case of misappropriation or embezzlement as is being attempted to portray. The Audit observations have been leaked to the media without even factoring in any response from the University.
The major heads involved in the whole AIR are enumerated below:-
1. Rs.75.00 crores for construction of 1,500 female students Hostel-
The matter relating to construction of 1,500 Female Students Hostel by HSCL was placed in the meeting of the Coordination Committee held on 03.07.2014. The recommendations of the Coordination Committee were placed in the Building Committee in its meeting held on 23.03.2016. The same recommendations have been approved by the Finance Committee at its meeting held on 02.04.2016. The UGC Guidelines framed in this regard have been fully adhered to.
2. Rs.10.62 crores utilized for Campus Development-
The XI Five Year Plan was upto 31st March, 2012. The Campus Development was one of the activities included in XI Plan. As per point No.4.22 of the Guidelines of the UGC for General Development Assistance to Central, State Universities and Institutions Deemed to be Universities during XI Plan extension was allowed to utilize the grant already paid by the UGC for a period of three years from 01.04.2012 to 31.03.2015 where grant has already been sanctioned or construction of buildings have already started on or before 31st March, 2012. The above directives of the UGC have also been conveyed by Ms. Sushma Rathore, Under Secretary, UGC vide her letter F.No.41-6/2012(CU) dated 4th August, 2014. However, the University vide its letter No.D.405/FO dated 20.06.2016 has also communicated the above decision of the UGC to Mr. N.K. Gautam, Deputy Director, Office of the Principal Director of Audit(Central/Lucknow, Allahabad.
3. Rs.84.32 lakhs for PMC Charges for the construction of 1,500 Female Students Hostel-
The work of construction of 1,500 Female Students Hostel has been assigned to Hindustan Steelworks Construction Limited (HSCL). The HSCL was selected on open tendering basis wherein many Firms were participated, out of which HSCL was selected because of being lowest in cost..
As regards, expenditure of Rs.84.32 lakhs on PMC charges (i.e. HSCL which is Public Sector Undertaking), it is stated that the UGC Guidelines for the Scheme of Development Assistance to Colleges for the Construction of Buildings during the Twelfth Plan vide para 7.1 (a) Mode of Construction are as under:-
“The work relating to planning architectural design, structural design, preparation of estimates and execution of construction work may be assigned to the CPWD, the State PWD or any other Government agency/Public Sector Undertaking, as the case may be, as a deposit work in toto.
4 Transfer of funds Rs.51.79 lakhs for construction of School at Muzaffarnagar-
A sum of Rs.51.79 lakhs was collected by AMU students through voluntary contribution who desired that the money be spent on construction of a School for riot victims at Muzaffarnagar. Since AMU cannot establish School beyond 20 Kms. from the University Mosque, the task was entrusted to Sir Syed Education Foundation of which the serving V.C. is the Ex.Officio President. A School has already been constructed at village Juala (Muzaffarnagar) utilizing this money. The School is functioning and can be visited.
The matter relating to establishment of School at Jaula, Muzaffarnagar (U.P.) was considered by the Executive Council under item No.11 of its meeting held on 04.10.2014 and the Executive Council passed as under:-
“After detailed deliberations, the house approved the amount of Rs.51,78,634/- collected from the students of different Halls under the head “Sir Syed Day Dinner-2013” may be utilized to establish a School at Jaula, Muzaffarnagar from Class Ist to Class V as an initial step, which could be later raised to the level of Senior Secondary School and also approved the School name “Sir Syed Public School, Muzaffarnagar.”
The students donated the said amount out of their volition and free will and just as a charitable mission to help out the riot victims of Muzaffarnagar. In the past the students of the University have always extended their hands to provide help to the victims; such as donation in crores was given by the students of the University for the flood victims of Jammu and Kashmir.
Ph.D. Programmes via Distance Education Mode in contravention of UGC Regulations-
The AMU does not offer Ph.D. Degree in distance mode. In fact a unique doctoral programme was devised to bridge the gap between industry and academia. It was envisaged to provide cross-fertilization of ideas from academia to industry through research work. The AMU had the “first mover advantage” and became pioneer in offering this kind of programme and carved out niche in the market place in the year 1997 in collaboration with All India Management Association. The programme has rigor of highest order. It is evident that the programme is in unique in nature and is in consonance with the Ph.D. Regulation of UGC in effect. Therefore, it defies labeling. The justifications are given by the Controller of Examinations & Admissions.
From the above facts, it appears that this selective leakage has been done just to tarnish the image and reputation of the A.M.U. There is nothing wrong as far as financial propriety and procedures are concerned.
Prof. S.M. Javed Akhtar