BELAGAVI: It is a scam that runs into several crores at the very centre of technical education -- the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), which manages over 200 engineering colleges in the state. A reply to an RTI query by well-known advocate Surendra Ugare revealed that VTU misused funds and the university audit report for 2017-18 raised objection to these suspicious transactions.
The audit report highlights that crores of rupees have been withdrawn from the university’s bank accounts and deposited back after some time, leading to a loss in interest amount. It shows that receipts and payments to the university’s account for 2016-17 was `59.60 crore.
It was transferred as ‘advance’ to Registrar (evaluation), VTU, in two separate transactions -- `38 crore on March 21, 2017, from the university’s regular account and `21.60 crore on March 31, 2017, from the SCP/TSP Cell account through a demand draft. The amount has been deposited back to the university account exactly a year later, on March 31, 2018.
Audit report seeks action against VTU officials
The audit committee report states, “As per the VTU Act 1994, Section 23(6) of Chapter 7, the revenue and fund of the university should be utilised only for the development of the university. But, this fund was diverted and re-deposited after a year. The committee has found that it is the violation of the university act and regulations and that it is a case of misuse of funds.
’’During 2016-17 and 2017-18, Rs 109.60 crore was transferred from VTU’s account without seeking the approval of the competent authority. In the second case, Rs 12 crore was transferred to the principal, UBDTCE, Davangere from university’s account on March 21, 2017 without the approval of the VTU Finance Committee and Executive Council. In the third case, Rs 10 crore was debited from the university’s account on April 24, 2017, but no transaction details were mentioned. In the fourth case, Rs 24 crore and Rs 1.11 crore from VTU’s National Academy of Skill Development account, maintained by the Finance Department, was withdrawn and deposited back without approvals.
The audit committee states, “No related documents and reasons to justify these transactions have been presented before the audit committee by the VTU, neither VTU sought the approval from Finance Committee or Executive Council before doing transactions of such huge amounts. All these transactions have caused unnecessary blocking of VTU funds and in turn, caused a massive loss of interest to the university.”
The audit report has recommended disciplinary action against officials concerned.VTU sources said that the university has clarified the points raised in the audit report, but did not give further details. Advocate Ugare said he will submit the documents to the Lokayukta soon.