Delhi University spent lakhs on discontinued course; VP, UGC want action

Delhi University spent lakhs on discontinued course; VP, UGC want action
Abhay Anand | Nov 3, 2020 - 5:22 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Vice President of India has sent a second letter to the University of Delhi to take action over allegations of embezzlement of more than Rs 29 lakh by two professors. There have been allegations of DU professors ‘using’ Rs 29 lakh over three years on a course that was closed in 2017.

Delhi University started the MTech in nanoscience and nanotechnology (NSNT) course in 2013 when it launched the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP). The programme was rolled back in 2014 and the MTech course discontinued in 2017 when the only batch to study the course graduated over July-August that year.

However, as per an RTI (Right to Information) activist, Anil Kumar, who sought expenditure details on MTech NSNT course, DU’s department of chemistry continued to spend on this course for the next three years. From August 2017 to August 2019, it spent Rs 29.56 lakhs under various heads. The two professors under the scanner are a former head of the department of chemistry and a former member of the finance committee who is also professor in the department of mathematics. Careers360 tried reaching out to the two professors over the phone, but till the time of filing of the story, calls remained unanswered. If they respond, this copy will be updated with their comments.

Machinery, labs, office expenses

In 2017-18, Rs 17.05 lakh was spent on the course; in 2018-19, another Rs 12.07 lakh was spent on it; and till August 2019 in the 2019-20 financial year, Rs. 43,160 out of a total sanctioned grant of Rs 31.13 lakh was spent.

The RTI data reveals that the department spent around Rs 8.09 lakh on ‘machinery and equipment’; more than Rs 9.9 lakh on chemical and lab expenses; and over Rs 6 lakhs on various ‘repair and maintenance’ work related to the course in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

The department also spent around Rs 5 lakh under ‘other academic expenses’ over the two-and-a-half years, besides spending money under various other heads including office and entertainment expenses.

UGC, VP demand action

After getting details of the expenditure, Kumar has approached every possible forum to highlight the alleged corruption by DU professors but according to him, DU Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi, who is now under suspension, did not take action.

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has registered six complaints related to the case which have been forwarded to the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the Delhi University for further investigation as per procedure.

The CVO of the DU had also registered a complaint in November last year but no action has been taken till now.

The Vice President’s secretariat has also issued two letters to the DU administration, one in July this year and another on October 26, to take appropriate action. The letter reads: “Action taken may kindly be communicated to the petitioner under intimation to this secretariat.”

In October, the University Grants Commissions (UGC) also issued a letter to the registrar of the university to look into the allegations of corruption. The UGC through its letter has asked the registrar to take appropriate action as per rules of the university.

Complaint under process at DU

According to Kumar, all the complaints are pending with the Vice-Chancellor. With Tyagi now suspended, he has once again sent a letter to the acting Vice-Chancellor, PC Joshi, demanding action.

Since January this year, Kumar has sent 11 letters to the DU administration to know the status of the complaint and each time he has received the same reply from the university, which states that the matter is under process. “The case progressed and will be concluded on receipt of inputs from various sections of the University. The matter is under process,” says a reply from the university.

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