BANGALORE: The Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) has shocked government auditors by paying a contractor Rs 6.84 crore just to transfer question papers online.
A report from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), a copy of which is available with Express, stated: “The payment was to be made only for the specimen question papers transferred online... at the rate of Rs 19.16 per question paper and not for the number of question papers issued to students.”
The exam cell in each college could well have made copies cheap, at just 35 paise a page, the report observed.
The total excess paid was Rs 6.84 crore from 2009 to 2012 for four sessions, and the excess payment per session was Rs 1.55 crore, it said.
The university officials pointed out that the agency was tasked with maintaining the network, where the VTU provided them a soft copy of the question paper, which the contractor hosted on the server.
All affiliated colleges could log on to the server and take printouts. The total amount given to the agency does not include the cost of printing at the colleges or the number of printouts taken at the colleges, they explained.
In 2011-12, the VTU introduced a system to mail all question papers to colleges and exam centres. The college goes to the printer buffer, where the question paper is deposited, and gets a specific number of copies. The VTU has even supplied printers and toners to the engineering colleges.
“It is a good observation by the Comptroller and Auditor General. Why pay so much to the tenderer when colleges can take a single copy and photocopy it?” Atria Institute of Technology principal M S Shivakumar said.