CAG raps govt for delay in setting up campus for IITs

CAG raps govt for delay in setting up campus for IITs

CAG raps govt for delay in setting up campus for IITs

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has rapped the government for delay in establishment of permanent campus for eight new IITs set up in the last six years, as the cost of shifting these institutes from their temporary campus has gone up by more than 150 per cent which could have been avoided.

On July 17, 2008, the Union Cabinet had approved setting up of IITs in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Indore in Madhya Pradesh at a total cost of Rs 6,080 crore (Rs 760 crore per institute).

Out of eight, six IITs commenced their academic session in Bhubaneshwar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Patna, Jodhpur and Ropar in 2008-09 while the remaining two started operating in Indore and Mandi in 2009-10. All of them began functioning from temporary campuses.

The cost of setting up of these eight IITs over a period of six years was then estimated at Rs 6,080 crore (Rs 760 crore per IIT). The government, however, will now have to cough up at least Rs 15,664 crore due to the delay in construction of permanent campus, according to the latest report by the CAG.

In its response to the CAG, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry cited various reasons for delay in establishment of permanent campus, including the delay by states in handing over land, preparation of master plans and appointment of architects.

The national auditor, however, highlighted several lapses on the part of the government, noting that the expenditure finance committee (EFC), while considering the proposal for setting up the institutes in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, had emphasised the need for setting up a “project monitoring unit” in the HRD ministry to ensure timely completion of the project.

But the ministry did not pay heed to the advice and went ahead with the plan to set up institutes. The CAG also noted that no commitment has been obtained from the state governments for timely allotment of land before sanctioning the projects.

The CAG remained dissatisfied with the ministry’s clarification that progress of the establishment of new IITs were monitored through monthly reports, regular meetings, video conferencing and visits to the institutes. “The fact remains that both physical and financial progress in the establishment of these IITs has been extremely slow,” it observed.

The CAG also observed that the government has not addressed the erstwhile Planning Commission’s advice that projects should be completed in four years instead of six.
DH News Service