Gulbarga varsity offers a dead bat to RTI plea

After three-and-a-half months, the PIO and VC are yet to provide info on expenditure on a workshop

The autonomous academic institution fully funded by the State government and the UGC  has been simply playing truant with the RTI Act with both the Registrar, who is the Public Information Officer, refusing to furnish information and the Vice Chancellor, the appellate authority also falling in line with his PIO.

The information sought by the well-known RTI activist Shaikh Shafi Ahmed is very simple and in the normal course could have been furnished within reasonable time. But then both the VC and Registrar have chosen to sit over the application with an alleged ulterior intention to shield tainted faculty of the Department of Education.

The Department headed by the indicted former vice chancellor of Karnataka State Women’s University, Bijapur, Dr Sayeeda Akhtar, had organised a four-day national workshop on ‘Review and Reframing of BEd Curriculum in the Context of Globalisation’ in collaboration with Association of Teacher Educators of Colleges of Education, and All India Teachers Education Professionals Academics and Research Forum from March 22 to 25, here.

Details of expenses

Shafi Ahmed in his application on June 1 this year had sought among other things details of expenses incurred for the workshop, the sources of funds, details of sponsors who had supplied consumables, etc. He had also sought to know if any budget was allocated  for the workshop and whether the university had authorised  organisers to collect funds and if authorised he had sought a copy of the authorisation letter.

The university could not furnish any information during the specified period of 30 days. The PIO would not part with information even on simple matters such as salient features of workshop, list of participants and dignatories attending the workshop.

Following failure to get any information the applicant filed an appeal with the appellate authority, the vice chancellor on July 20, requesting him to direct his PIO to furnish information or hold an hearing. To his shock the VC also stonewalled the appeal and maintained a stoic silence all through the specified period of 45 days. With the PIO and appellate authority willfully denying information, the applicant has now been left with no alternative than to file a complaint with the State Information Commission.

Informed sources maintained that the organisers collected huge funds for the workshop have unauthorisedly and there was no accountability for fund raising. The university Syndicate Enquiry Committee headed by Umakant Nigudgi has also indicted Sayeeda with regard to irregularities in Gulbarga university.

“She had attended a seminar in Delhi without applying for duty leave and had enjoyed all the monetary benefits. The Committee has found her guilty and had recommended for action against her. But unfortunately university has taken no action against her,” Nigudgi told Deccan Herald.

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