CAG finds irregularities in slot allocation by ICCR
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has found irregularities in the allocation of slots by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to countries with whom India has no valid cultural exchange programme.
In its report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, CAG has stated that the council allocated 25 per cent slots under Cultural Exchange Programme Scholarship scheme to countries with which no valid agreement for cultural exchange programme existed.
‘Audit noted that the council allocated 470 (25 per cent of total alloted slots) for the students of ten countries with which no valid cultural exchange programme existed,’ it said in its report.
‘The council may ensure that scholarships are awarded to students of those countries with whom valid agreement exists’, it said.
The CAG also termed the expenditure of Rs 8.15 crore which was incurred for the 34 delegations sent to 70 countries during 2009-10 to 2011-12 as ‘unautharised’ in the absence of approval of the competent authority which is the ICCR president.
It also stated that the council did not hold the prescribed number of General Assembly (GA) as well as the General Body (GB) meetings and did not place its budget for 2007-08 to 2009-10 before the finance committee, the GB and the GA for approval.
The report said that against the approval of opening 14 Indian Cultural Centres (ICCs) abroad, the council had opened 17 ICCs. The council was also in the process of opening eight additional ICCs without obtaining the required approval.