Panjab University

University Grants Commission (UGC) wants to conduct an independent audit of Panjab University (PU) records of the last three years, for which the commission has sought permission from the Union ministry of human resource development (MHRD).

The ministry is yet to take any decision in the matter. The information was provided to the court by MHRD counsel on May 15.

When PU vice-chancellor professor Arun Kumar Grover was asked wether the audit can be carried out after the May 14 fire incident, which had destroyed the records of accounts department, he replied that the process can be undertaken. He added, “UGC has not sought anything from us, they suggested this (audit) to MHRD, and we have not been asked by MHRD to do anything to this effect.”

Finance and Development Officer (FDO) of PU Vikram Nayyar said, “Two external agencies have already been auditing PU records (CAG and Chandigarh administration through resident audit officer). The audit for 2015-16 have already been completed. But even if audit is to be undertaken again it can be done as we have not lost transactional data. It can be retrieved.”

Why UGC wants an external audit

PU had submitted feasible expenditure and income details along with a plan mentioning how PU will reduce the non-teaching staff to UGC.

The UGC says, “In view of the contradictory statement about the sanctioned strength and filled up positions, the projected expenditure and worked out deficit submitted by Panjab University cannot be relied upon. The fees realised for examination and the expenditure incurred for conducting examination have not been correctly exhibited.”

It adds, “It will be appropriate, if the audit of the University be got done from an independent audit entity for the past three years.”

These issues were also flagged in minutes of meeting of April 26 which took place between UGC, MHRD and PU. V-C had then submitted before the high court that minutes of meeting were not agreed to them. He had added that the minutes said that there were discrepancies in PU reply dated March 13 on non-teaching staff strength, he said that no such thing got discussed in the meeting. He had said that the only deficiency pointed out to PU was that the year wise break up of reduction in non-teaching employees during the next five years was not provided.