BENGALURU: The ministers concerned had earlier tried to take funds from the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) and Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) to develop educational institutions.
Recently, the government had directed the RGUHS to transfer `500 crore to the PWD Department. But the university Syndicate put a break to it by taking a decision not to transfer the funds. “They asked me to sign the file saying it will be placed before the Governing Council before the final decision is taken. But I clearly said I will not sign it, and put my protest in the file,” a KEA official said.
Speaking to Express, Medical Education Minister Dr Sharan Prakash Patil said, “I got a call from the Higher Education Minister who spoke about utilising funds accumulated with KEA, and he asked me about requirements for our department. I asked my department officials to attend a meeting and submit a proposal.”
Patil did not comment on the matter further, but sources said the request for transferring funds was made in order to avoid a tax penalty on the KEA which has not paid taxes on the fund corpus till date. The Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) had faced a similar situation a few years back when its corpus had been seized by the Income-Tax Department for non-payment of tax.
However, KEA officials said the government can write to the I-T Department seeking exemption on tax. “These funds are meant for the development of PU students. Let them claim exemption and use it for training students for competitive exams. Why should the money be used to develop medical and engineering colleges?” an official asked.
Express tried to contact the Higher Education Minister, but he could not be reached.