CHENNAI: The State technical education directorate has sent a circular to all government engineering and polytechnic colleges directing its heads to keep a close tab on the faculty in the matter of their receiving ‘gifts’ or ‘loans’.
The directorate has sent the communication after it was brought to its notice that lecturers were not following rules that mandate them to obtain prior permission.
As per norms, no government employee can acquire or dispose any immovable property by lease, sale, mortgage, purchase or exchange in his or her own name or in the names of their family members without prior approval of the prescribed authority. In the case of colleges, the lecturers have to get the Principal’s nod before dealing with immovable property.
Even after getting the approval, the TN Government Servants’ Conduct Rules, 1973, restrict lecturers from receiving temporary interest-free loans exceeding `3 lakh.
However, authorities found out that several lecturers and staff were violating this norm. “In most cases, permission was never sought. When pulled up, they come up with an application for ratification,” said a senior government official.
This issue was brought to the notice of the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Technical Education (TN DOTE). Following this, the circular was sent to all government engineering and polytechnic colleges instructing the heads to keep a tab on their lecturers in this regard.
All lecturers and staff have been instructed to intimate their concerned heads 90 days before availing temporary loans from personal friends or relatives for purchasing immovable property. Not following this will be considered as gross violation of the norm, and disciplinary proceedings will be initiated accordingly, the official added. In the case of gold mortgage or bank loans, the circular mandates lecturers to submit copies of the receipts alongside approval from the concerned local authorities.
Former Anna University Vice Chancellor P Mannar Jawahar said though this can be seen as an attempt by DOTE to bring in more transparency and eliminate black money by recording all sources of income, as there are several practical difficulties.
“Unlike bank loans which are planned well ahead, loans from friends or relatives are mostly last minute transactions and involve lesser documents or surety bonds,” said a government engineering college professor from Coimbatore. Intimating authorities three months ahead was almost impractical, he added.
“This three lakh ceiling was introduced when the average monthly income of lecturers was `40,000-50,000. But now, their minimum pay is `50,000. So it would be better if the ceiling is raised to `10 lakh,” Jawahar told Express.