AFTER PUBLIC sector companies, a sweeping range of educational institutions, from Navodaya schools for rural students to IITs, IIMs and central universities, have together contributed Rs 21.81 crore to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) fund — mainly from staff salaries, RTI records accessed by The Indian Express show.
The Prime Minister’s Office, which manages the fund, has declined to furnish details of contributions received, saying that PM CARES is “not a public authority under the ambit of…the RTI Act”.
The fund was set up following the Covid outbreak, and had a corpus of Rs 3,076.62 crore on March 31, 2020, just four days within launch, of which Rs 3,075.85 crore were listed as “voluntary contributions”, according to its official website.
On August 19, The Indian Express reported that 38 PSUs used their Corporate Social Responsibility funds to together contribute over Rs 2,105 crore. But for several educational institutions (see chart), the “voluntary contributions” came from salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff — and in some cases, even from pensioners and students.
Consider some of the key contributors from the 82 educational institutions and top organisations in the sector that responded to RTI requests from The Indian Express:
📌Rs 7.48 crore was contributed by the Navoday Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) alone, with “donation from the employees” at its headquarters and all eight regional offices. The NVS runs over 600 Navodaya schools in rural areas.
📌11 central universities contributed Rs 3.39 crore. Among them, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) topped with Rs 1.33 crore followed by Banaras Hindu University (BHU) with over Rs 1.14 crore and Delhi-based Central Sanskrit University (CSU) with Rs 27.38 lakh.
CSU’s Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) R G Murli Krishnan responded that while Rs 19.04 lakh was from “Sansthan contribution”, the rest was from “Adarsh contribution”, without providing any details. BHU said that “no…contribution is made other than the salary of the BHU employees.” AMU said that the contributions came from the salaries of its employees.
📌20 IITs contributed Rs 5.47 crore. IIT-Kharagpur topped with over Rs 1 crore, including Rs 36.22 lakh from “other sources”, Rs 89,184 from “pensioners”, and the rest from contributions by teaching and non-teaching staff.
In IIT-Kanpur’s contribution of Rs 47.71 lakh, Rs 15 lakh came from pensioners, Rs 36,800 from students and the rest from staff. IIT-Roorkee contributed over Rs 59.45 lakh, of which Rs 4,226 came from the Sponsored Industrial and Research Consultancy (SRIC) office and the rest from staff.
📌Kozhikode (Rs 33.53 lakh) topped the list of 10 IIMs that together contributed over Rs 66 lakh. IIM-Ahmedabad contributed over Rs 11.59 lakh, followed by IIM-Indore (Rs 6.91 lakh) and IIM-Kolkata (Rs 4.56 lakh). Apart from a contribution of Rs 25 lakh from IIM-Kozhikode’s “Corpus fund”, the rest came from staff.
📌9 NITs totalled Rs 1.01 crore, with MANIT-Bhopal on top with Rs 21.75 lakh, followed by NIT-Rourkela (Rs 19.36 lakh), NIT-Durgapur (Rs 13.72 lakh) and NIT-Calicut (Rs 12.94 lakh). All the contributions came from employees.
📌Among the premier science institutes, IISc-Bangalore contributed Rs 25.64 lakh, and seven IISERs together donated Rs 45.79 lakh.
📌From other key institutions, NCERT contributed Rs 35.22 lakh, AICTE Rs 13.80 lakh and the UGC Rs 7.41 lakh.