Students will get pure gold medals if they pay for them: minister

Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddy said it is not possible to present pure gold medals to rank students of Bangalore University.

If people, including students pay for them, then they will get pure gold medals, he added.
He was replying to Lakshminarayana (BJP) who raised a question in this regard on behalf of K C Kondaiah (Cong) in the Legislative Council on Friday.

The minister said the university presents 203 ‘gold medals’ every year.’ Students who secure first rank get a 20 gm silver medal with gold cover. Gold used is 1.30 gm for each medal. Medals are instituted under endowments which fetch more than Rs 4,000 bank interest.
The minister said many endowment awards were instituted three to four decades ago. Those days, it was easy to buy gold medals with the limited money but not anymore because of the high cost of gold.

JD(S) MLC Saravana, who is into gold business, said, “Instead of insulting students, it is better to tell them they are being given silver medals.”

The minister hit back saying, “You must be saving a lot of gold in your business. Give that to us. We will present gold medals in your name.”

Permission must

Rayareddy said state universities must get the higher education department’s permission to take up civil work worth more than Rs 1 crore.

Replying to Congress member M Narayanaswamy and BJP’s Mahantesh Kavatagimath, the minister said it has come to his notice that large-scale financial irregularities have taken place in the execution of civil works. It has been decided to put an end to this. If the cost of work is more than Rs 10 crore, then the state Cabinet’s approval is compulsory. Piece contract is not allowed if the cost is more than Rs 1 crore, he added.

He pointed out that Sahyadri College of Kuvempu University had taken up Rs 4.70 crore civil work. But finally it ended up paying the contractor Rs 11.65 crore. Similar cases have were reported in other universities too, he added.

The minister said committees have been formed under the chairmanship of deputy commissioners to probe irregularities in the universities. The reports would reach the government in a month’s time.

“We need to bring transparency in administration of universities. At present, the governor has the authority over the universities. It is planned to bring a comprehensive law to improve the system,” he added.

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