The Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) lost Rs 37.35 crore due to negligence while implementing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) scheme in 2011-12 and 2012-13.
The department was to frame an evaluation method for students and pay the contractors under the scheme as per the number of students passing in the examination. But since no such evaluation method was framed, the entire amount of Rs 37.35 crore had to be disbursed to the contractors, says the CAG report.
As per the contract between the state and the private players, “payment at six per cent per year of the total contract value (30 per cent for five years) was to be made to the contractors based on the performance of the students in Computer in an annual examination to be conducted by the Director of Education, Pune’.
The break up of the payment to be released was based on the number of students passing the examination. As per the break up 100 per cent payment had to be released if 70 to 100 per cent students passed, 75 per cent if 60 to 70 per cent passed, 50 per cent if 50 to 60 per cent passed and 25 per cent if 40 to 50 per cent passed. No payment was to be made if the passing percentage stood at less than 40 per cent.
As per the audit documents, under phase II of the project, 2, 500 schools across the state were taken up and ICT training was imparted to students, as per the contract, by private players for two academic years between 2011 and 2013.
“Audit further observed that an amount of Rs 37.74 crore payable to the contractors based on the performance of the students in annual examinations in the first two years of the scheme was initially withheld by the department. However, Rs 35.79 crore was subsequently released (September 2013) to the contractors, after it was realised that the accountability for not holding the examinations lay with the department and the contractors were not to be blamed for the situation,” said the report.
After this issue was highlighted by the CAG, in 2013-14, the first examination was held by Maharashtra State Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education for class 10.
“Currently the board holds an examination for this subject for class 10 and the marks obtained by the students are converted to grades and shown in the report card. For class 9, the schools individually conduct their exam and grade the students,” said Sarjerav Jadhav, Director of Education, (secondary).