House panel formed to probe alleged lapses in Rs 300-cr free laptop scheme

House panel formed to probe alleged lapses in Rs 300-cr free laptop scheme

The Legislative Council on Friday decided to form a house committee to look into alleged irregularities in a scheme to provide free laptops to college students.

The panel has to submit its report within 15 days, Legislative Council chairman D H Shankaramurthy said.

The state government had announced the Rs 300-crore scheme to provide free laptops to nearly 1.5 lakh students who have got admitted to government or aided medical, engineering and first-grade colleges in the 2017-18 academic year.

Opposition BJP and JD(S) raised concerns over the scheme, citing a letter IAS officer M N Ajay Nagabhushan wrote to the chief secretary highlighting irregularities in the procurement of laptops.

Nagabhushan wrote to the chief secretary last month after he was transferred from the post of commissioner for collegiate education.

Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddi said the government was open to the idea of constituting a house committee. Interestingly, Rayareddi informed the Council that he was   not aware of Nagabhushan's letter.

When he was Commissioner for Collegiate Education, Nagabhushan had raised objections to the manner in which funds were released to the Bengaluru Dr B R Ambedkar School of Economics (BASE) in Bengaluru. Nagabhushan is now Commissioner for Cane Development and Director of Sugar.

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