KSOU overrides BoM, govt; buys brand new cars

With the purchase, vehicle fleet at KSOU rises to ten

 While on one hand several candidates pursuing distance education programmes at Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) continue to be affected by several shortcomings of the varsity, university authorities however appear to be in a bid to increase the vehicle fleet of the varsity, irrespective of its’ requirements.

In yet another violation of norms at KSOU, two new cars have been bought without the approval of the State government and Board of Management (BoM) of the varsity. The vehicles, two Mahindra Veritos were purchased in the first week of March at a cost of about Rs 15 lakh, days before the declaration of model code of conduct. The new cars are said to be for the use of the Registrar and Registrar (Evaluation) of the varsity. According to sources in the varsity, the cars are an “added expenditure”, as eight new cars had been bought by the University between two to four years ago.

Go Madhusudhan, MLC and BoM member said that though the BoM had met on February 7, no proposals regarding the purchase of new cars was submitted in the meeting.

M G Krishnan, Vice-Chancellor of KSOU admitted that the cars were bought pending BoM approval. “My justification for buying two new cars is that we have auctioned two old cars, in place of which the recent purchases were made,” he said. The auctioned cars were a Toyota Qualis and a Mitsubishi Lancer, which were old, causing ‘huge expenses’ to the varsity, he added.

Contrary to the VC’s statement, the Toyota Qualis was auctioned during the period of former vice-chancellor, K S Rangappa, while the Lancer, which was put up for auction at a base price of Rs three lakh, till date has not had any takers.

With the addition of two new cars, the number of vehicles with KSOU is 10, even though there are only six statutory authorities at the varsity. Of the ten cars, the Vice-Chancellor uses Honda Accord (Rs 22.5 lakh) and Toyota Innova (Rs 16 lakh); the Registrar and Registrar (Evaluation) will now use the new Mahindra Veritos (Rs 7.5 lakh each).

They were earlier using Tata Indigos. The varsity had purchased four of these vehicles (Rs 6 lakh each), of which, the Finance Officer and Dean (Academics) have been using the other two. While the Dean (Study centre) has been using the  Mahindra Verito, a Mahindra Bolero is said to be handed over to the Engineering section of the varsity.

Krishnan said that of the remaining cars, one will be used to ferry dignitaries visiting the varsity. “We will consult the transport section to decide on how to put the remaining cars to use,” he added.

It can be recalled that Krishnan, when he took over as vice-chancellor of the varsity, had withdrawn cars from Dean (Academics) and Dean (Study Center), claiming that the cars were ‘added expenditure’ to KSOU, only to revert his decision a couple of months later.

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