July 22, 2021 12:29:43 am
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday accused the Punjab government of “embezzling” more than Rs 108 crore sent by the Central government for the betterment of higher education in the state and sought a time-bound probe in the alleged scam, under the supervision of the High Court.
AAP senior leader and in-charge of Payal assembly constituency, Manwinder Singh Giaspura, alleged in a press conference on Wednesday that more than Rs 108.60 crore that was sent by the Central government for the development of government colleges and higher education had been embezzled.
Giaspura said that in the year 2000, the Union Government had launched the ‘National Higher Education Campaign’ (RUSA), to improve the quality of higher education in the country, under which 60 per cent amount was to be paid by the Centre and 40 per cent by the states for the renovation of government colleges and for raising the standard of higher education.
The AAP leader further alleged that the Congress and the SAD-BJP governments had not paid their dues under this campaign for 13 years, as a result of which the doors of government colleges were closed for lakhs of students, teaching and non-teaching staff. He further disclosed that by the year 2019-20, the Union Government had released Rs 124.32 crore to the Punjab government under the National Higher Education Mission (RUSA-I) and the Punjab government was to contribute Rs 86 crore. But the government only contributed Rs 36 crore. He said that out of the total amount of Rs 160 crore, the Punjab government had issued a certificate of utilisation of only Rs 80 crore, while the remaining amount of over Rs 80 crore was squandered, which should be a subject of investigation.
The AAP leader further said that the Union government had given Rs 28.60 crore to the Punjab government for research work, laboratories and libraries in government colleges under RUSA-II, but the Punjab government did not pay its share. Instead, it embezzled Rs 28.60 crore and therefore, RUSA-II certificate of utilisation of the amount was not issued.
Presenting the statistics of higher education and the number of colleges in Punjab as compared to the neighboring states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, he said that for the last two and a half decades, no lecturer and non-teaching staff had been recruited in the government colleges of Punjab.
“Government colleges are closing down and the private education mafia is thriving. As a result, the youth of Punjab are frustrated and unemployed, addicted to drugs or in the race to go abroad,” said Giaspura. He demanded that there should be periodic scrutiny of funds released by the Punjab government for the renovation of government colleges and the development of higher education, under the supervision of the High Court.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.