CIAA raids 13 TU departments

  • - HSEB and CTEVT also under investigation for corruption - Two truckloads of documents confiscated
- BHADRA SHARMA, BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Aug 24, 2014-

In a major crackdown on corruption in education sector, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Sunday raided 13 central departments under the Tribhuvan University (TU) and other key education bodies, and seized two truckloads of documents related to the procurements, college affiliations, student admission, and lecturer/employee appointments.

More than 100 security personnel and government officials were deployed by the anti-graft body to raid the TU Central Department, Higher Secondary Education Board and Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT).

 “We raided these institutions following the complaints that millions of rupees from the state coffer was misused while providing affiliation, hiring employees and procurements.” said a CIAA source.

This is the third university raided by the CIAA  on graft allegation. Earlier, it had raided Purbanchal University and Mid-Western University. Mid-Western University officials, including Vice-chancellor Prof Padam Lal Devkota, are under CIAA scanner, while Purbanchal University Vice-chancellor Maheshwor Man Shrestha and other top officials from the varsity have been dragged to the court on corruption charge.

Similarly, some of the HSEB officials have been embroiled in controversy after Devi Prasad Barakoti, chief at the Department of Affiliation of the HSEB, was caught red-handed taking Rs 40,000 bribe from a Janakpur-based school seeking affiliation.

During the interrogation, Barakoti had claimed that the HSEB authority had asked him to accept the bribe and revealed that it was not the first instance.

Bypassing the HSEB Act 1989, the education board is operating without even endorsing its yearly budget and policies for the last two years. The Act makes it mandatory for HSEB to hold its assembly at least once a year, but it had not organised the gathering since June 30, 2012. The HSEB assembly is responsible for endorsing the fiscal budget and programmes.

CIAA had been receiving a spate of complaints against HSEB and its officials. Twenty-seven HSEB employees resigned recently, protesting the promotion of former under-secretary Durga Prasad Aryal to the post of joint-secretary. The disgruntled side has been claiming that Aryal, a junior official, was promoted even though there were other senior candidates. The HSEB authority had been favouring Aryal and entrusted him the responsibility of the Examination Controller.

Similarly, the TU Executive Council, has been accused of working on the behest of the student unions to call for internal vacancies to give permanent status to contract teachers who were political appointees. The council had generated some 900 positions to appoint the contract lecturers permanently.  A case has been filed at the Supreme Court against the decision and it is sub judice at the present.

The TU authorities were also accused of gobbling millions of rupees meant for the salary of temporary lecturers in the various constituent colleges. The government has been releasing budget to cover the salary of 1,380 temporary lecturers since 2009, though many of lecturers have already quit their job.

The TU authorities have been ignoring the direction of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to provide the actual number of temporary lecturers.

The UGC says although more than 300 temporary lecturers have quit the job, the TU has been receiving millions of rupees for their salary.

CTEVT officials have also been accused of irregularities. Jaya Bahadur Tandan, the then CTEVT member-secretary, was accused of financial irregularities while providing affiliation to nursing colleges.  Other CTEVT officials, including Tandan, have also been accused of leaking entrance question papers for Diploma programmes.  

14 Mid-western Univ officials arrested

The CIAA arrested 14 officials, including suspended Vice-chancellor of the Mid-western University, for their alleged involvement in financial irregularities.  Following the complaints that the university officials embezzled millions of rupees in building constructions and logistic procurement, and abused their authorities while appointing lecturer/employee, CIAA detained  VC Prof Padam Lal Devkota, Registrar Dr Thekendra Prakash Giri, Service Commission Chairman Prof Nabaraj Kandel and Service Commission member Prof Shree Ram Prasad Upadhyay. Dean of Science and Technology Keshar Singh Rana, Dean of Humanities and Social Science Pitambar Dhakal, Dean of Management Studies Masta Bahadur Garanja, Dean of Education Science Lal Mani Sudhan Gauli, and monitoring officer Paras Ram Giri were also held.  

Meanwhile, Assistant administrators Jeevan Kumar Thapa and Gagan Singh Bohara, and senior assistant Ganesh Babadur KC were suspended to facilitate the investigation, CIAA said.

Published: 25-08-2014 09:24

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