Govt to suspend RC college principal over funds 'misuse'

The Higher Education department has decided to suspend from service Dr Venugopal, principal, RC College of Commerce and Management for his alleged role in misusing college development funds during 2010-11.

The order signed by Shivalingaiah, undersecretary, Education department, (Collegiate Education), on October 23 states that "pending further inquiry a decision was taken to suspend him with immediate effect."

But the order is yet to be served on the principal. A departmental inquiry conducted a year ago had found major discrepancies in the process followed while discharging funds for various developmental works. 

According to the audit report, the college received Rs 46.8 lakh on October 25, 2010 for development of postgraduate courses and purchase of computers and other equipment.
However, no proper tendering process was followed and only quotations were invited in gross violation of the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement (KTPP) Act, states the report.

‘No price list’

In the purchase of computer equipment, the report states that directions of a high-level panel constituted under the e-Governance department was also not followed.

Even though Rs 2.52 lakh was spent on the purchase of books, no lecturers of  RC college were consulted. An sum of Rs 11.33 lakh was released to buy textbooks for the SC and ST students studying in the college and even here there was no tender process followed.
The report also notes that no proper documentation nor a price list was maintained for the work done and the amount spent. Even bills for various works were received even before quotations were accepted. On this particular point, the then undersecretary U B Ulavi made an observation.

“He had done this to see that the tender process is not followed so that supplies can be bought from one particular supplier,” report said.  

When contacted, Dr Venugopal said the order is being withheld due to a confusion. "I was asked to give a reply to these charges and I did. In any case, the orders needs to be served by the DCE and this has not happened yet," said Dr Venugopal.  

He said that during the said year when the amount was released, all the colleges had followed the same process of inviting quotations. “Not only I, in fact all government colleges had spent the funds in the same manner.”

“However, only a few colleges have been highlighted. If an audit on all colleges is done, they will also be found guilty of the same violation,” he claimed.

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