Members of the Senate alleged that funds were routinely diverted to meet non-plan expenditure without permission

Senate members call for judicial probe into usage of funds in Madras University
news Education Sunday, March 27, 2016 - 09:27

The Senate of the University of Madras on Saturday unanimously adopted two resolutions demanding a judicial probe into alleged diversification of funds over a period of six years, including Rs. 16 crore from the Nanoscience Department recently.

Some members of the Senate alleged that funds from the Pension Fund were routinely diverted to meet non-plan expenditure during the tenure of two Vice Chancellors – Prof. R Thandavan and his predecessor Prof. G. Thiruvasagam. This did not have the approval of the appropriate statutory bodies.

According to members, who raised the issue at the Senate’s budget meeting, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Department had in 2007 announced a special grant of Rs. 100 crore for setting up the Department of Nanoscience at the University of Madras in its sesquicentennial year.

Similar grants were given to the other two oldest universities in the country – the University of Calcutta and the University of Bombay. Of this, Rs 70 crore was released.

University officials said that the amount was sanctioned by a bureaucrat after the contractor had approached the court for non-payment of dues.

“Such transfer of funds would cause problems when the HRD Ministry seeks details on the utilisation of funds. It will not harm the Registrar or the bureaucrat who sanctioned the payment as they are not permanent officials of the university. We are worried that any negative fallout would bring disrepute to the institution,” Senate member S.S. Sundaram said to The Hindu, who had initially raised the issue.

Alleging large scale irregularities including in the maintenance of the Senate House, a thorough investigation into the way the university utilised funds in the last six years has been called for.

 

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