CAG: Fix responsibility for non-establishment of schools

Jammu: Taking a serious note of non-establishment of model schools in Jammu and Kashmir in the past 10 years despite availability of Rs 44.13 crore, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has asked the state government to refund the unspent funds and fix responsibility.

In its J-K report on Social, General, Economic and Revenue for the year ending March 31, 2019 tabled in Parliament recently, the CAG said the failure of the education department to take timely action for utilisation of funds received from the Centre deprived quality education to the intended beneficiaries.

The matter was referred to the department/government in May 2020; their replies were awaited (September 2020). The State Government may ensure that unspent amount along with interest accrued thereon may be refunded in accordance with conditions laid down in the sanction order of Ministry of Human Resources Development and responsibility fixed for non establishment of model schools, the CAG said.

It said the department of school education and literacy (DSEL), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), launched a scheme in November 2008 with the objective of having at least one good quality secondary school (Model School) in every educationally backward block (EBB).

The scheme was to be implemented from 2009-10 onwards. As the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J-K) was a special category State, the funding pattern through Grant-in-aid for implementation of the scheme was 90:10 for GoI and Government of Jammu and Kashmir (GoJ&K) respectively, the CAG said.

It said the GoJ&K submitted proposals (November 2009) to the Grant-in-aid Committee (GIAC) of DSEL, MHRD, for setting up of 24 (17 new schools and conversion of seven existing schools) for EBBs.

During its third meeting (November 2009) the GIAC observed that the projected unit cost of 6.18 crore was higher than the scheme norm of Rs 3.02 crore per Model School and therefore, the State Government was required to either revise the estimate or to meet the extra financial burden.

In the same meeting, the representative from the State of J-K informed the GIAC that the estimates will be revised so as to bring it within scheme norms.

The GIAC thereby recommended 19 new model schools (November 2009) to be set up in the State, the report said.

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