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JNU caters mainly to UP, Bihar students, says CAG

Saturday, July 2, 2011

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
NEW DELHI: Jawaharlal Nehru University, set up as a centre for academic excellence for the whole country, mainly caters to students from UP and Bihar. This has come out in the draft performance audit report of Comptroller & Auditor General that also found JNU having diverted Rs 6.29 crore, allocated under Infrastructure Development Fund for OBC reservation, to pay electricity/water charges.

The government auditor said JNU had failed to maintain an "all-India character by having on its rolls a fair representation of students from different regions of the country". While domination of students from Bihar and UP in JNU is well known, the sheer numbers has come as a surprise. CAG said JNU was popular only in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar from where 10,000 applications were received every year while less than 1,000 applications were received from 17 to 20 states.

This includes Gujarat, Karnataka, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and all the north-eastern states. CAG also pointed out irregular appointments "defeating the purpose of open recruitment", shortage of teaching and non-teaching staff and JNU's failure to maintain its pan-India character.

As for misuse of funds, CAG's draft report, sent to the HRD ministry, said JNU made "inadmissible expenditure out of OBC recurring grant". It said UGC had released Rs 24.29 crore in 2008 as first installment for recurring expenses for implementation of OBC reservation. Out of this, the varsity allocated Rs 21.80 crore at the rate of Rs 10 lakh each to 110 faculty members of science schools, and Rs 3 lakh each to 360 faculty members of non-science schools for expenditure on consumables and research material.

But in January 2009, the report said, JNU "in contravention of the norms, permitted incurring of expenditure on purchase of assets, national/international travel or field work or attending seminars/conferences".

It added, "In 17 schools/centres, 262 faculty members spent Rs 4.99 crore on purchase of fixed assets, publications, and expenses in connection with seminars/tours/meets out of the said recurring grant which was inadmissible as per the conditions laid down by UGC."

In case of foreign students, the vacancy ranged between 50% and 61% of the sanctioned seats from 2005 to 2009. The report said 2,112 more students – comprising the total number of vacant seats – could have studied in JNU from the proportionate non-plan expenditure of Rs 48.24 crore. Besides, JNU did not release the second admission list wherever more than 50% of the intake capacity in each course was filled on the basis of its first merit list.

In the past five years, dropout/fail percentage in undergraduate courses against the number of students enrolled ranged between 35% and 48%. In MA/MSc/MCA courses, it ranged between 18% and 22%. "The reasons for the same were not found on record and no action was taken by the university to ascertain the reasons for student's request for discontinuing his studies," CAG said.

In case of research projects, the report said, JNU maintained a single bank account of sponsored projects. In 2005-06 and 2009-10, the university earned Rs 2.02 crore as interest on this account. "But, this interest was treated as an income for the university," it added.

~Akshaya Mukul, TNN
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