Huge Misappropriation of Funds Found in Special Audit of Five DU Colleges, Says Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia

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New Delhi, November 6: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia slammed the Delhi University colleges funded by the Delhi Government as a special audit reveals serious financial irregularities and violations of UGC norms. Despite showing a surplus of crores, the salary of the teachers and staff has not been released. This comes after the colleges have repeatedly alleged the Delhi Govt of withholding funds. Shri Sisodia said that all legal proceedings are being considered on the basis of the audit report.

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“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.

Shri Sisodia said this at a press conference today at the Delhi Secretariat. 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, and directed the colleges. BJP Leaders in North MCD Are Looting Rs 1400 Crores of House Tax Money Every Year, Says AAP Leader Durgesh Pathak.

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“Two major issues have emerged in the Special Audit; unauthorised payments by the college, and surplus funds being stashed by the colleges,” said Sisodia while explaining the extent of mismanagement.

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

While reading out the audit report, Sisodia shared the following irregularities. “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.”

Multiple irregularities have been brought out by the Special Audit. This includes 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/housekeeping staff in violation of GFR, purchase of computers and other hardware without following financial normal, and hiring of cars without following financial norms. Moreover, the record of the attendance of such people was not shown.

The money spent by colleges was unauthorized, without seeking any approval from the Delhi Government as the colleges continued to make illegal payments.

Total unauthorised payments made out by these colleges from 2017 to 2020 - 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).

Shri Sisodia also questioned the colleges on violating the pay scale approved by the Ministry of Human Resource Department, UGC, or Delhi Government. According to this, Grantee Institute should not pay its employees higher than those applicable to similar categories of employees in the government. “Paying salaries of Rs 40,000 to security guards is a clear violation of this as standard pay is between 15k-20k,” said Sisodia. These inflated salaries imply this was done to hide their own misappropriation.

Similarly, despite receiving the funds from the Delhi government, the colleges continued to stash their surplus funds, Sisodia said at the conference. “The ‘Pattern of Assistance” by which the Delhi Govt makes payment to all the Higher Education Institutions funded by it - including Ambedkar University, DTU, IP University, and 12 Delhi University colleges - is based on the principle of deficit funding.” The govt, pays these higher education institutions the net deficit between their total expenditure, and their total income.

“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,” said Sisodia. “This constitutes ‘fraud’ as these colleges kept taking funding from the government on false premises,” he added. BJP-Ruled MCD Should Immediately Release Pension of 24,000 Pensioners and Stop Doing Politics, Says AAP Leader Durgesh Pathak.

“Despite having these surplus funds, the colleges have failed to pay the salaries of the teachers, and staff, and continued to falsely blame the Delhi government,” Sisodia said. Currently, these colleges have these surplus funds available to them as on 31 March 2020 - Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College has 22.44 crores, Keshav Mahavidyalaya has 9.38 crores, Shaheed Sukhdev College has 31.58 crores, Bhagini Nivedita College has 2.38 crores, and Maharishi Valmiki college has 39 lakhs but continue to demand the Delhi Government to release more funds.

Shri Sisodia said that as per the provision made by the state government for grant to colleges, the remaining shortfall has to be paid after the expenses from fees and income from all other sources. After exhausting that, remaining funds can be stored in Fixed Deposits. Yet the colleges have stored this surplus in Fixed Deposit.

Another damning examination by the special audit revealed that the colleges, in a completely arbitrary manner, created teaching/non-teaching posts in the colleges. Sisodia said, “In the Grantee College as per UGC/DU norms, only with prior approval of Govt. of NCT of Delhi, can any post be created as these colleges are funded by the government.” No appointment shall be made unless the posts creation is approved by the competent authority of Delhi Govt. Whose approval was taken to create these posts, Sisodia questioned the colleges.

“The Delhi government will look into the right legal course of action to be taken,” Sisodia said. He said that the Delhi government will stop such irregularities, and will not tolerate any work carried out by ignoring financial rules, and without approval.

In times like the Covid19 crisis, when the income of the state government has been brought down by 50% and continues to cut its expenses, Sisodia questioned the credibility, and intent behind keeping such large surplus funds in FDs. “They have been making unauthorised payments, and have surplus funds, yet continue to allege Delhi Government and ask us for more funds,” he said.

Shri Sisodia said that DTU, Ambedkar University, IPU, NSTU are also assisted under the government's grant rules. “No such issues have been brought up there as they continue to run smoothly, and efficiently. But due to mismanagement of funds by these DU colleges, unnecessary disputes in paying salaries of teachers and staff have risen,” he added.