COIMBATORE: The Bharathiar University’s account auditing for 2014-15 has opened a Pandora’s box, with the Local Fund Audit Department finding that the university appointed 62 teaching and 82 non-teaching staff in excess of the sanctioned strength.
As against the government-sanctioned strength of 106, the university has 168 faculty members. Sixty two excess staff members mean an expenditure of Rs 4.65 crore. It also has 82 non-teaching staff above the sanctioned strength, which means an extra spending of Rs 5.57 crore. Thus the appointments entail an expenditure of over Rs 10 crore.
The report, to be placed before the Senate on May 5, comes at a time when the State Higher Education Department is struggling to depute the surplus staff – 1,031 in teaching and 4,722 in non-teaching sections – of Annamalai University
There are 844 audit objections amounting to Rs 82.2 crore pending from 1982-83. Of them, 52 objections involving Rs 20.34 crore have been pending from 2010-11; 104 involving Rs 15.34 crore from 2013-14 and another 104 involving Rs 17.97 crore from 2014-15.
The report said the BU has not followed UGC guidelines on territorial jurisdiction and opened study centres outside TN. It objected to the payment of Rs 30.58 lakh to the national coordinator of distance education courses as service charge and rapped the Rs 1.26 lakh paid to former Vice Chancellor G James Pitchai towards abnormal, incidental and unforeseen expenditure and as cell phone expenditure.
There were objections to awarding higher pay scales, wrong pay fixation and increments awarded to teaching and non-teaching staff in violation of rules. The report said the Finance Committee had not ratified the Rs 25.7-lakh expenditure for Deepavali gifts given to the staff. On spending Rs 6.91 lakh on refreshments for felicitation organised for former UGC Vice Chairman H Devaraj and Periyar University Vice Chancellor C Swaminathan, the report suggested that a ceiling limit may be fixed in future for expenditure. Questions were also raised on the non-submission of completion report for Rs 4.56 crore paid to Principal Construction Engineer, DRDO, Secunderabad, for infra development.
When contacted, university Vice Chancellor A Ganapathy said, “After 1996, the government has not given sanction for new posts. During every plan period, the UGC sanctions extra posts. After completion of the plan period, these have to be absorbed by the university or government. The Finance Committee’s approval has to be obtained. We plan to have a joint sitting with Local Fund Audit Department.”