IIT-Rajasthan tablet launch draws CAG flak

IIT-Rajasthan tablet launch draws  CAG flak

Raising questions of financial impropriety, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has noted that a decision of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry to engage IIT-Rajasthan to develop and launch low-cost Aakash tablets led to unfruitful expenditures of Rs 1.20 crore on the project from the government exchequer.

Describing the HRD Ministry’s decision to assign the task to the IIT-Rajasthan, as arbitrary, the CAG  that move the has adversely affected the project and led to delay in its delivery.
“The ministry failed to carry out a feasibility study before undertaking a project of this magnitude,” the national auditor observed in its report, tabled in Parliament on Friday.

In July 2010, the ministry announced its plan to develop and launch Aakash, a low cost access-cum-computing device, for students and teachers of higher educational institutions under the national mission on education through information and communication technology.

In the preliminary discussion of the project, other established IITs had taken part, but the ministry overlooked them and decided to assign the work to IIT-Rajasthan, which was relatively a new institution, without ascertaining the institute’s capacity to undertake such project. The ministry also bypassed the observation of the integrated finance division which had conducted an enquiry into the institute’s preparedness.

The ministry awarded the project to IIT-Rajasthan at an estimated cost of Rs 41.50 crore and released the money hastily in instalments, within a period of five months, the panel observed.

Comments (+)