Audit of 7 DU colleges shows financial irregularities; they blamed govt for cash crunch: Sisodia

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New Delhi, Nov 6 (PTI) A special audit of seven Delhi University colleges funded by the Delhi government has revealed serious financial irregularities and violation of UGC norms, showing that despite having surplus funds the salaries of staff have not been released, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Friday.

Sisodia, who is also Delhi's Education Minister, said the government is exploring legal proceedings on the basis of the audit, which was conducted following repeated allegations by the colleges that the city government was withholding funds.

'After receiving complaints of mismanagement of funds, we sanctioned a special audit to examine the fund expenditure of five colleges funded by the Delhi government. Despite their resistance to the audit, it is clear that these colleges have been grossly mismanaging funds, as shown by the report of the audit,' Sisodia said at a press conference.

'The special audit, when initiated, was obstructed by the colleges by matters of resisting to show their accounts books to the audit officers. The books were only shown when the High Court intervened. Two major issues have emerged in the audit-- unauthorised payments by the college and surplus funds being stashed by the colleges,' he added.

The colleges that were audited on the order of the high court are Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Shaheed Sukhdev College, Bhagini Nivedita College, and Maharishi Valmiki college. Sisodia claimed that Aditi Mahavidyalaya and Lakshmibai College refused to allow the audit to be carried out despite the order.

As per the audit, total unauthorised payments made out by these colleges from 2017 to 2020 are -- Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College (49.88 crores), Keshav Mahavidyalaya (29.84 crores), Shaheed Sukhdev College (16.52 crores), Bhagini Nivedita College (17.23 crores), and Maharishi Valmiki college (10.64 crores).

There was no response from principals of the seven colleges on the issue.

Sisodia said despite increasing the funds of these colleges, they kept showing a deficit. After corroboration with the audit report, it’s clear these colleges have been in violation of UGC norms and have been misappropriating the funds, he said.

The irregularities pointed out in the audit include payment of teaching and non-teaching staff against the posts that did not have sanction of the Directorate of Higher Education, hiring of security guards and housekeeping staff in violation of GFR, purchase of computers and other hardware without following financial normal, and hiring of cars without following financial norms and not furnishing attendance records of such people.

'The money spent by colleges was unauthorized, without seeking any approval from the Delhi Government as the colleges continued to make illegal payments. Paying salaries of Rs 40,000 to security guards is a clear violation of this as standard pay is between 15,000-20,000. These inflated salaries imply this was done to hide their own misappropriation,' he said Sisodia further said despite receiving the funds from the Delhi government, the colleges continued to stash their surplus funds.

'Any source of earning, and the total income received by the college from fees has to be declared to Delhi Government. However, these colleges violated this pattern of assistance as large, undeclared incomes in their accounts have been found by the auditors, which were never declared to the Delhi Government,' he added.

Sisodia alleged that despite having surplus funds, the colleges have failed to pay the salaries of the teachers and staff, and continued to falsely blame the Delhi government.

'Currently, these colleges have these surplus funds available to them as on 31 March 2020 -- Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College has Rs 22.44 crores, Keshav Mahavidyalaya has Rs 9.38 crores, Shaheed Sukhdev College has Rs 31.58 crores, Bhagini Nivedita College has Rs 2.38 crores, and Maharishi Valmiki college has Rs 39 lakhs -- but they continue to demand the Delhi Government to release more funds,' he said. PTI GJS GJS RDM RDM