Indore: DAVV told to refund Rs 60 cr grant allocated to Sugni Devi College

Indore: Doing hand-holding of Maheshwari Sugni Devi Girls’ College may cost Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV) heftily.  Citing its association with the college, Department of Higher Education (DHE) has asked the DAVV to refund Rs 60 crore grant allocated to the college in past 14 years. “The DHE has been informed that Maheshwari Sugni Devi Girls’ College is a constituent college of DAVV which receives grant from the state government. The college is an aided institute so it also receives grants from the government. A university and its constituent college, both can’t avail, government grant separately. If the university is getting grant from the government, its constituent college can’t claim grant separately,” a letter issued by the DHE to DAVV said.

The DHE informed the university that it allocated about Rs 60 crore grants to the college since 2003 and sought refund.  “As the college is an entity of the university it is the responsibility of the university to refund the grant availed wrongly by its college,” the DHE said. The DHE’s letter has sent ripples through the DAVV which now trying to figure out ways to come out of the problem without paying a penny to the DHE.  “There seems to be some confusion on Sugni Devi College issue. We will clarify to the DHE our position in the matter,” said incharge registrar Ajay Verma. He did not speak much on the issue stating that he did not come across the letter as yet. “I was just told that such a letter had come to the university. I can’t comment further on the letter until I go through its contents,” Verma said.  Sugni Devi College has been a headache to the DAVV ever since it became a constituent college of the university.

Many times, the DAVV thought of disassociating itself from the college but due to some or other reason the idea was dropped every time it was conceived. Last year, the two had come very close to a ‘divorce’ over a financial dispute but local political leaders ensured reconciliation.  Finance has always been the main bone of contention between the college and the university especially over government grant issue.

As per agreement between the DAVV and the college nearly 15 years ago, the DAVV would do hand-holding of the college and a joint account would be opened in banks through which all transactions will be done. The DAVV registrar and the principal of the college would sign bills and cheques required for maintenance and salary disbursement. But the college has been violating this agreement for long, sources claimed.  Though the bills and cheques are jointly signed by the registrar and the principal, the funds are not deposited in the joint account.  There were some other conditions which the college is not following.

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