Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Almost 10 years after registering around 100 cases, the Special Police Establishment (SPE) of the State Lokayukta is yet to complete its probe into a scam involving private colleges gobbling up the scholarships meant for students from the socially weaker sections. Sources in the know say that SPE is dragging its feet due to political pressure and also they are not able to trace more than 25 colleges involved in the scam.
The idea, apparently, is to drag on the enquiry indefinitely and thus protect the guilty.
Scholarships and tuition fees of SC-ST students enrolled in colleges are paid by the Central Government. In case of OBC students, the state government makes the twin payouts. The tuition fee is paid to the college concerned while the scholarship amount is credited to the bank account of the student. In the years 2013 and 2014, it came to light that several colleges and students had embezzled the scholarship and tuition fee amounts.
The SPE, after a preliminary probe, registered cases in the scam. Around 100 cases were registered in different units of the SPE in the state. In Bhopal alone, around 18 cases were registered against students and college managements.
"It was discovered that most of the colleges involved were running paramedical courses like nursing, radiography and X-Ray technology," said a source pleading anonymity.
Two kinds of irregularities were discovered. Some colleges existed only on papers and were mere conduits for gobbling up the tuition fees paid by the government, the sources said. Second, some students took admission in two or three institutions at the same time and embezzled the amount paid as scholarships and tuition fees. This was done in connivance with the college management.
Applications were made through a portal, managed by the NIC. Once soft copies of necessary documents including transfer certificate, caste certificate, income certificate and domicile certificate were uploaded, the college granted the admission and forwarded details to the government, following which the scholarship was sanctioned. By repeating this process, the students took admission in two or even three colleges. After the baring of the scam, the NIC has made changes in its software to obviate such a possibility.
Some of the colleges which are still untraceable in past 10 years, among them RRM para medical institute Itarsi, PNS para medical institute Sehore, Bhopal institute of paramedical sciences Bhopal, Vision college of nursing Betul, Mamleshwar institute of paramedical Betul, Narmada paramedical institute Betul, Diviya Deep college of nursing Bhopal, Vinayak paramedical institute Rajgarh, Medicare paramedical institute Sarangpur and many others.
Director general Lokayukta, Yogesh Choudhary said “The colleges which are not found during the investigations. The cases are handed to the local police of the district and have also submitted the charge sheet to the Court. Many charge sheets of the case have been submitted into the Courts respectively and the rest are under investigations”.
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