Proposal to open new colleges in J&K stonewalled

Finance department says colleges announced without fulfilling codal formalities

Syed Rizwan Geelani
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jul 20 2018 12:22AM | Updated Date: Jul 20 2018 12:22AM
Proposal to open new colleges in J&K stonewalledFile Photo

The state finance department has stonewalled a proposal to make newly announced 26 degree colleges functional in Kashmir, citing non-fulfilling of Codal formalities.

The state cabinet in PDP-led coalition government had approved 26 new colleges for J&K to be made functional during the current year. However, the finance department made certain observations about the proposal soon after J&K came under Governor Rule.

“It (the finance department) has in a letter to higher education department observed that these colleges have been announced without following codal formalities, asking the latter whether it would rectify it or not? Since then the file is pending with us,” an official of higher education department said wishing not be named as he was not authorised to talk to media.

He said the higher education department needs concurrence from the planning department for release of non-recurring grants and from the finance department for recurring grants for these colleges. “If there are no funds, the colleges cannot be made functional,” he said.

“The proposal was presented as ‘table agenda’ in the cabinet without taking approval from the planning and the finance departments,” he said.

The official said any proposal for opening of colleges “is approved by the planning and the finance departments first and then it is presented in the cabinet through General Administration Department (GAD).”

The official said in this case after the cabinet approval, the file for opening of new colleges was submitted to the planning department for release of grants for infrastructure and to the finance department to seek approval for creation of posts in colleges.”

“But the financed department has not raised queries that Codal formalities were not fulfilled,” he said.

The official said the cabinet approval in this case was given without first identifying the places where the proposed colleges had to be bet set up. “Even the feasibility of the area was not assessed,” he said.

“The cabinet approval is given only after assessing the feasibility of the area where the college is proposed to be set up, like whether this area has the road connectivity, etc. But in this case the approval was given without mentioning the proposed location,” the official said, adding that the approval was literally for the number of the colleges but not the location. 

The official said that after the cabinet approval, a proposal was submitted to the finance department for its approval to the creation of 66 posts including 30 posts of assistant professors in each degree college.

“The proposal would cost Rs 66 crore per annum for all colleges but the finance department didn’t approve it and asked to reduce the amount,” he said.

The official said the higher education department submitted a fresh proposal wherein the number of posts was curtailed bringing down the requirement of recurring grant to Rs 38 crore. “But the finance department raised fresh observations that Codal formalities have not been fulfilled due to which the process was halted,” he said.

Commissioner secretary, higher education department, Sarita Chauhan confirmed that the process for opening of the colleges has come to a halt because the concurrence of the finance department and the approval of the planning departments were not obtained.

“Such approval and concurrence are pre-requisite to chalk out a course of action for establishment of colleges. Now, what is to be done will be decided by the government. The matter is under consideration,” she said.

 

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