| Patna University vice-chancellor Shambhu Nath Singh makes a point at the news meet on the varsity premises on Tuesday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Patna University will soon send a report to the principal accountant-general’s office clarifying the charges of financial irregularities levelled on its vice-chancellor.
The vice-chancellor, Shambhu Nath Singh, on Tuesday claimed that putting him in the dock on the basis of an interim report of the principal accountant-general (PAG) was not fair. Singh said: “The PAG report is just an interim one and the university is preparing its reply that we will submit to the PAG office soon.”
The PAG interim report claims serious financial irregularities at Patna University in its account.
The report was framed on the basis of Patna University accounts verification, which was from April 2007 to March 2012, while the date of accounts verification by PAG was from March 3, 2012, to July 27, 2012. The PAG report further claimed that misusing his position, the Patna University vice-chancellor had undertaken renovation of his official residence and hostels, construction of academic hall and senate building and the university main administrative building.
However, the vice-chancellor, refuting the charges, said: “Any construction on the campus is being executed by the university’s engineering section and the work is being executed by various statutory committees. Renovation of hostels and the vice-chancellor’s residence, construction of academic council hall and syndicate hall were completed during the tenure of former vice-chancellors.”
Singh was appointed Patna University vice-chancellor in August last year.
According to the PAG report, there have been charges of financial irregularities in the examination reforms policy as the university had outsourced a Bangalore-based company for examination reforms but the vice-chancellor claimed that the report about financial irregularities was baseless as till now the university had not paid any money to the executing agency for examination reforms policy.
The PAG report also claimed that Singh had gone on tour to Mahabalipuram on a trip sponsored by the agency that submitted the tender for examination reforms. The vice-chancellor said: “I had visited Mahabalipuram on the invitation of Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi, to attend the vice-chancellors’ meet and not on a sponsored tour of some private agency.”
This year, Patna University has outsourced some private agencies for computerised evaluation of answer papers and the Bangalore firm was picked up for this also.
All senior officials of the university were present at Tuesday’s media conference. The vice-chancellor claimed that he had joined the university with a plan for academic development of students and during his one-year tenure he had initiated various steps, including introduction of entrance tests in undergraduate courses, introduction of semester system, appointment of faculty at College of Arts and Craft, decision to honour the topper in undergraduate programmes, revised old syllabus and others.
Controversy regarding Singh has been going on for quite some time now. Last month, the state government had asked the vigilance bureau to investigate charges of financial irregularities against Singh. Vigilance department principal secretary Ashok Kumar Chauhan said: “We have been asked to institute a vigilance probe against Patna University VC Shambu Nath Singh on the charges of financial irregularities.”
A senior education department official also said that it had asked the vigilance department to investigate charges regarding vigilance inquiry but he refused to share more details.