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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 July 2024

Government seeks bank details from colleges: Data upload on portal cited as reason

Asked what prompted the government to seek bank details from the colleges, an official in the education department said: 'The bank details have been sought to store the data in our higher education portal'

Subhankar Chowdhury Calcutta Published 18.06.24, 07:22 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image

The education department has sought from the government and aided colleges the details of fixed/ term deposits and the source of funds for such deposits.

The department had on Friday asked the colleges to share the details through a Google form by Tuesday afternoon on “an urgent basis”.

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The heads of the institutions were told to fill up the Google form and submit the same by 2pm on Tuesday.

Asked what prompted the government to seek bank details from the colleges, an official in the education department said: “The bank details have been sought to store the data in our higher education portal”.

Several heads of the colleges wondered why the government was interested in details of the deposits which, they said, “should remain restricted between the college and those who have helped raise the corpus”.

The joint director of public instructions has asked the colleges to share details as part of the “Deposit Fund Survey 2024”.

In the Google form against the designated columns, the heads of the colleges have to state the number of Fixed/Term Deposit, amount of deposit (in lakh), year of commencement (of deposit), name of the bank branch or IFSC along with source of funds for fixed/ term deposit.

However, the state government’s decision to carry out the survey has left principals worried.

“The colleges through their resources create coffers which are called fixed deposits or term deposits,” said Syamalendu Chatterjee, the president of the All Bengal Principals’ Council.

“In some cases, donations lead to the development of the coffer. Earnings from what is collected as student fees are also added to the funds. This is spent to pay the casual workers or paint the college buildings. We fail to understand why these confidential facts have to be shared with the government,” Chatterjee told Metro.

Colleges generate funds mostly through tuition and other fees.

While they can use half the funds, the other half goes to the state exchequer.

Purna Chandra Maity, the secretary of the council, said they could not understand in the absence of a government order how could the joint DPI seek confidential details.

“Colleges are governed by the governing bodies, which are the highest decision-making bodies. Without any discussions at the highest forums, we cannot share such confidential details. Besides, where is the government order? We just cannot feed details on the Google form,” said Maity.

The forum has called an emergency meeting on Monday evening to decide on their stance on the issue.

Siuli Sarkar, the principal of the Lady Brabourne College, said: “Although as a government college, we are bound to share whatever details sought by the department, the department’s fund survey has raised questions among the teachers. They are wondering whether details on Fixed deposits which are created following an endowment from a benevolent, could be
shared”.

Calls and text messages to the education minister Bratya Basu failed to elicit any
response.

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