BHUBANESWAR: Failure to upgrade Government Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), under-utilisation of funds, deficient in basic infrastructure facilities and inadequate tools, equipment and teaching staff have hit the functioning of the technical education in the State.
The latest report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for the year ended March 31, 2014 stated that the Employment and Technical Education and Training Department failed to ensure timely execution of new projects sanctioned for backward districts.
Despite availability of sufficient funds, the Directorate of Technical Education and Training (DTET) failed to utilise the Central assistance.
The Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) had sanctioned 22 polytechnics for backward districts of the State during 2008-10 in three phases. The Ministry released Rs 181.47 crore between 2010 and 2014 as against the total project cost of Rs 270.60 crore (Rs 12.30 crore per polytechnic).
Of the 22 proposed polytechnics, only eight were operational during 2013-14 academic session in four trades having 60 students in each trade. The new polytechnics had enrolled 1,413 students in different trades as against their intake capacity of 1,920 seats.
All the eight polytechnics were without principal and there were huge vacancies in teaching posts. As against the sanctioned strength of 120 lecturers and 56 senior lecturers, the men in position were 28 and 18 respectively. The posts of junior clerk, junior librarian and laboratory assistant were lying vacant in all the new polytechnics.
The Centre had sanctioned Rs 12.30 crore for each polytechnic of which Rs eight crore is meant for civil construction and Rs 4.30 crore for equipment, machinery, furniture and learning resource materials.
Though the Centre released Rs 161.47 crore for civil works of 22 polytechnics, Rs 54.31 crore was lying with IDCO and Odisha Small Industries Corporation (OSIC), the executing agencies, till March last year.
Civil works of three polytechnics proposed at Bhadrak, Deogarh and Mayurbhanj had not started till June 2014. There was cost overrun of Rs 11 crore in case of nine polytechnics due to change in scope of work and finanlisation of tender premium.
The directorate released Rs 56 crore to the executing agency for civil construction of 11 polytechnics with selecting sites.
As per the MHRD guidelines, the project implementation should be monitored by a State-level committee headed by Secretary of Employment and Technical Education and Training Department. Though the project was implemented in 2008-09, such a committee was not constituted till June 2014, the audit report stated.