42 Madrasas in Jammu refuse to accept GoI assistance, Rs 7.37 cr remain untilised

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An amount of Rs 7.37 crore released by the Government of India (GoI) under Scheme for providing quality education in Madrasas” (SPQEM) remained untilised in the Jammu and Kashmir, where Chief Education Officers (CEOs) withdraw funds worth crores of rupees without ascertaining existence, status of registration and willingness to receive funds assistance of madrasas.

Out of Rs 8.86 crore  released by GoI for 372 Madrasas  only Rs 1.49 crore was disbursed among 103 Madrasas  and that Rs 7.37 crore was lying unutilized, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India said in its report for the year ended March 2015.

The Centrally Sponsored SPQEM was aimed at encouraging traditional institutions like Madrasas and Maktabs by giving financial assistance” for introducing science, mathematics, social studies, Hindi and English in their curriculum so that academic proficiency for classes I-XII was to be attainable for children studying  in these institutions.

The action of CEOs to withdraw funds without ascertaining existence, status of registration and willingness to receive financial assistance of the Madrasas under the “Scheme for providing quality education in Madrasas” followed by subsequent credit of advanced amount to the Current Bank accounts resulted in blockade of funds to the extent of Rs 1.09 crore for over three years, the CAG report said.

The process of modernization of traditional Madrasas and Maktabs was to be voluntary . The Madrasas which were in existence at least for three years and registered under Central or State Government Acts of Madrasa Boards or with Waqaf Boards or National Institute of Open Schooling were eligible for assistance under the programme.

Under the Scheme, the Government releases funds in favour of the directors of School Education Jammu and Kashmir for further release to Madrasas through concerned CEOs of various districts of the state.

Audit check (March 2013 and June 2013) of records of CEOs Jammu , Doda and Ramban showed that despite the fact that the CEOs had knowledge that majority of the Madrasas were either non-existent, had refused to accept the assistance or were not recognized they withdrew  in January 2012 and 2013, Rs 1.25 crore from the treasuries for payment to 65 madrasas.

The funds were released by the Government and Director Education , Jammu, in favour of these CEOs. However, out of the amount so withdrawan, only Rs 15.94  lakh was disbursed to 15 Madrasas . The report said as 42 Madrasas  had refused to take the financial assistance and seven  Madrasas were found to be non-existent. The balance Rs 1.09 crore was credited to Current Bank accounts by the CEOs resulting in their blockade for over three years March 2015.

After being pointed out by Audit, the CEOs stated in January 2015 that the Madrasas had refused to receive the assistance and the matter relating to the amounts lying in the Bank accounts had been taken up with the higher authorities.

The CAG said the reply was not acceptable as the CEOs  were required to ascertain the existence and willingness to receive the financial assistance of Madrasas before withdrawing the funds from the Government account.

Thus , the CAG said the action of CEOs to withdraw funds without ascertaining existence, status or registration and willingness to receive financial assistance of Madrasas under the scheme followed by subsequent credit of advanced amount to the Current Bank accounts resulted in blockade of funds to the extent of Rs  1.09 crore for over three years.

The matter was referred to the Government in May 2015 , Director Finance of the Department stated  in August 2015 that out of Rs 8.86 crore  released by GoI for 372 Madrasas  only Rs 1.49 crore was disbursed among 103 Madrasas  and that Rs 7.37 crore was lying unutilised  .

The reply was however silent about audit contention  that the financial assistance was not paid to 48 Madrasas by three CEOs of Jammu region who had credited  Rs 1.09 crore to current bank accounts resulting in their blockade for over three years, the report said.

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