Four govt college principals in the dock for ‘misuse’ of funds

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Bangalore, Sept 20, 2013: Principals of four government colleges may be charged by the State government with violating norms on the use of funds meant for development of their respective institutions. Two of them, when contacted, said the charges were “baseless”.

The principals in question – Dr B V Krishnappa of Government First Grade College, Frazer Town, and formerly of Government First Grade College, Chikkaballapur; Sreeramaiah of Government First Grade College, Yelahanka; Dr Venugopal of R C College of Commerce and Management, Race Course Road, and Prof Srinivasa, formerly of Government Arts College, Bangalore (unconfirmed reports said he is now posted in a government college in Bellary) – are found to have violated the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act, 1999.

The charge against them appears to be based on an audit report on usage of funds, prepared by the Department of Collegiate Education (DCE). The matter has now been placed with the Higher Education Department, according to reliable sources.

The principals had not followed the due procedure in using funds: calling for tenders and properly placing orders, etc, the sources explained.

Some of these colleges are under the University Grants Commission (UGC) whereas others are under the State government. There might be misuses of both the State and UGC funds, the sources added.

Krishnappa (for his tenure in Chikkaballapur) and Sreeramaiah have been charged with not following the KTPP Act while using Rs 35 lakh received from the State government in 2010-11 for expenses on the laboratory equipment, library, furniture, computer lab, etc.

Two of the principals, however, claimed the charges were “baseless” and based on wrong notions. Rarely do they have a choice other than bypassing the rules while utilising funds, they stressed.

“We have not violated the rules at all. Every time the funds reach us very late and we do not have much time to use them through due process,” Krishna said. “If we do not use the funds, they would slip by.”

Sreeramaiah pointed out that of all the colleges which received the funds, “only two or three” had followed the rules. “But only we are being accused of violating the norms,” he maintained.

A well-placed source in the DCE also agreed with the principals’ stand and said it was a “procedural lapse” on the part of the department. “The grants were released at the end of the financial year. For an orderly use of funds, the calendar of events has to be prepared and financial allocation classified. All this takes at least a month,” the source said on the condition of anonymity. “Many more principals have not followed the rules, but they there is no mention of them.”

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