UGC gets flak from PAC for blocking Rs 5.48 cr in funds

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New Delhi, Apr 28 (UNI) University Grants Commission (UGC) has drawn flak from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for "injudicious release of grants" resulting in blocking of Rs 5.48 crore in funds for almost two years and subsequent loss of interest of Rs 59.02 lakh.

The 69th Report of PAC (14th Lok Sabha), presented by Prof Vijay Kumar Malhotra, MP, in the Lok Sabha today, has highlighted existing shortcomings in allocation of grants by UGC under its schemes and asked it to review its functioning particularly release and utilisation of grants.

It noted that utilisation certificates of Rs 618.29 lakh under the Special Development Grant to Young Universities and Rs 663.69 lakh under the Special Development Grant to Universities in Backward Areas were still outstanding. This was 50 per cent of the total grants paid to the universities under those schemes, the committee said.

Taking a serious view of the delay in furnishing the certificates, the panel said UGC should galvanise their machinery and take up the matter with the state governments/universities and suggested stringent measures to avoid a similar recurrence.

Regarding shortcomings in existing system for allocaion of grants to the universities, the panel said no mechanism had been evolved by the Human Resource Development Ministry or UGC to assess actual requirements of funds by the Universities and allocate funds accordingly.

The committee was of the view that UGC had not evolved any procedure nor was any presecribed by the Ministry for management of grants.

"The UGC had not prescribed any time limit for ensuring that presentation of papers be made within the prescribed time schedule," the report said.

It suggested that UGC review their system of approval and release of grants to to Universities under different schemes so that funds were released judiciously based on soundness of proposals without needlessly blocking funds released prematurely on half-baked proposals.

"Absence of a proper mechanism in the UGC to monitor whether the budget allocations made to the Universities have been utilised by them as per prescribed norms or not," the committee said in its report.

In view of the fact that a large number of utilisation certificates involving huge sums of money have been pending for submission by the universities concerned, the panel urged UGC to make their regulatory mechanism more effective to have proper utilisation of grants.

UNI SD RP AS2006

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