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CAG detects violation of AICTE norms, financial mismanagement in GCET Jammu

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, July 16: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has pointed out violation of several AICTE norms and financial mismanagement resulting into poor utilization of funds by the Government College of Engineering and Technology (GCET) Jammu.
Funds ranging from 11 to 35 percent in Non-Plan of each financial year from 2011-12 to 2015-16 and 61 percent of Plan funds of 2014-15 remained unutilized by the College while non-adherence to prescribed teacher student ratio affected the quality of education imparted to students as reflected in low pass out and campus placement rate, observes the latest CAG report for the year ended March 31, 2016.
Audit has noticed preparation of unrealistic budget estimates by the College Management with the result that plan funds were released in the range of 42 and 17 percent during 2012-13 to 2014-15 and Non-plan funds in the range of 79 and 66 percent during 2012-13 to 2015-16. Despite less receipt of funds, there were still unutilized funds ranging between 11 and 35 percent under Non-Plan at the close of each financial year from 2011-12 to 2015-16 while 61 percent of the Plan fund remained unutilized during 2014-15.
Further, audit also noticed un-utilized balance under 23 local funds ranging between Rs 1.70 crores to Rs 3.15 crores at the end of each year from 2011-12 to 2015-16.
Tuition fees of Rs 85.52 lakh, out of Rs 85.73 lakh, collected as of January 2016, had not been utilized by the College Management for organizing specialized lectures for students by guest faculty during the period, which ultimately deprived the students of intended benefits. Similarly, Rs 8.02 lakh was lying unspent under Training and Placement fund as only 17 training sessions were held during the period of five years from 2011-12 onwards.
Under Modernization and Removal of Obsolescence Scheme (MODROB), sponsored by AICTE to enhance the functional efficiency of teaching, training and research activities besides ensuring that practical work and project work carried out by students is suited to the needs of Industry, more than Rs 17.5 lakh grant to GCET remained unspent. Out of Rs 57.25 lakh received (July 2012) as grant-in-aid from AICTE, only Rs 40.91 lakh had been utilized as of March 2013 leaving an unspent balance of Rs 16.34 lakh plus earned interest of Rs 0.84 lakh.
Even as the AICTE norms stipulate teacher student ratio of 1:1.5 for UG Engineering and Technology courses, there was shortage of teachers in GCET and consequent higher teachers student ratio. As the shortage of teachers increased from 11 to 22 in five years from 2011-12 onwards, non-adherence to prescribed ratio severely affected the quality of education imparted to the students, which was reflected in low pass out rate (between 68 and 80 percent) and also low campus placement (between 10 and 21 percent) during these years.
Further, according to the AICTE norms, the ratio between Professors, Associate Professors and Assistant Professors should be 1:2:6 whereas the same was not found maintained during the years of audit (2011-12 to 2015-16). It was 1:1.6:2.2 and 1:5:8.5 in respect of sanctioned and effective strength of staff.
Also, non-accreditation from National Board of Accreditation (NBA) resulted in non-introduction of PG Courses in five Engineering and Technology courses offered by GCET.
Pertinent to mention that the GCET was established in 1994 in accordance with the norms of the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) under the administrative control of Higher Education Department. The College is affiliated to Jammu University and offers five Under- Graduate Engineering and Technology courses, having an annual intake capacity of 315 with 63 seats in each course.
Even as Jammu and Kashmir Budget Manual stipulates that all offices of Heads of Departments should be inspected by the Secretaries to Government at least once a year, the CAG report points out that administrative inspection of GCET to monitor activities of the college had never been conducted by the Higher Education Department since the college was established.
Further, Rule 18.8 of the said Manual stipulates that physical verification of stores should take place at least once a year, audit found that no such inspection had been conducted for the year 2014-15 to ascertain the correctness of ground balances of stock.

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