Pay hike scam: How University Staff in Maharashtra orchestrated the corruption?


Savitribai Phule Pune University

With the noble thought, to spread education and knowledge, to excel in science research our government incepted several universities. Granted them with huge packages. Provided them with the executive and financial autonomy. But as we can see very few universities have contributed towards the science research. Rest universities are always surrounded by the allegations of wrongdoings. 

In last few years the universities in Maharashtra are only in the news for the frauds, rivalries of student organizations, extortion of students, paper checking frauds and so on. No one from the government has time for its regulations. Maharashtra Education Minister ‘Vinod Tawade’ himself facing allegations of holding a fake degree.

University Grant Commission has designed ruled and regulations for the universities. But have no any working body to keep a check whether these rules are being followed by universities or not. It has given an open ground for the university officials to function arbitrarily. So these university employees have devised a new way to get their salaries increased.

Usually, government employees get salary hikes with promotion, regular increments or Pay commissions. But university employees have figured out a new way to get their salaries doubled just by changing their designations. Without fulfilling any documents or doing extra work.

What is the fraud?

This started in the year 2010 when Congress-NCP government was in power. The office bearers of ‘Maharashtra University Employee Association’ joined forces with the corrupt officials in the ‘Higher and Technical Education Department’.

Then Registrar of ‘Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University’ wrote a letter to Secretary of ‘Higher and Technical Education Department’ stating

‘There are some discrepancies in the pay scales of the university employees. Hence their designations should be changed.”

(Letter no:- ‘संगाबाअवि/१/१०२/२-१३१३/२०११’ )

Role of Higher and Technical Education Department

‘Vikas Kadam’ Asst Section officer of the department with the reference to the received letter created a proposal of a GR stating,


” Minimal manpower at university is affecting its functionality. If we change the designations of the existing employees, then we can get the extra work done by them.”

And sent it to the approval of the department secretary. Then departmental secretary sent it back remarking,

 “does it require the approval of the finance department?”

On which he indeterminately wrote,

“We are not increasing the no of employees we are only changing their designations. As well as the government doesn’t have an extra burden on the finances. Hence according to m, it won’t require the approval of the finance department.”

And sent it back to the chief secretary and this proposal was validated by him.

Vikas Kadam then sent several GR’s to the universities. Which mentioned about a letter of consent from the finance department.

While replying to the RTI, Finance department clarified that they had not issued any such letter.

How did it affect?

The above payscale hike is applied retrospectively since 1996/2006 hence the university employees have received arrears in lacs.

In reply to our RTI, Pune University gave us the details of the arrears received and the hike in the salary. The numbers are shocking.

We are providing you with few examples

 

Name of employee Salary increased by Arrears
Kamalakar Prabhu Gaikwad 34000 2574020
Bhivsen Bhonjiba Thore 36000 2713000
Urmila Dilip Kulkarni Kale 53202 3800000

 

We have only taken the example of the three employees here; the total list exceeds over 600 names for one university. The same has happened in other state universities as well.


Vinod Tawade, Minister, (Higher and Technical Education) Photo: Indian Express

How exactly the racket worked?

Chairman of the Maharashtra university employee association, Asst Section officer of Higher and Technical Education Department, Registrar of Sant Gadgebaba Amravati University are the ones who decorated the scam.

Huge bribes were taken by the office bearers of Maharashtra university employee association. The amount is in crores. Shares of the same were shared with the officials of the Higher and technical education department.

Initially, GR’s were drawn to change the designations of only who paid the bribe. Hence they gained employees trust and attracted towards the scam.

All GR’s were issued between 2010 to 2013. These all were there on the official portal of Higher and Technical Education Department but were removed later.

Important Notes:-

1. Any type of Salary Increment is subject to consent from the finance department. This was completely overlooked.

2. All GR’s were issued between 2010 to 2013, but it was pretended as they were issued in 2009.

3. Educational Qualifications were overlooked, the bribe was only criteria for the designation change.

4. Out off 172 designations 102 were changed. Means out of 1235 employees 681 employees are the beneficiary of the scam.

5. As mentioned in the proposal no extra works were assigned to the employees.

6. Asst Section Officer Vikas Kadam had bluffed that there won’t be an extra burden on the government funds.

We wrote several letters and emails to Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis & Education Minister Vinod Tawade about the said scam but they refused to take any action against the corrupt officials.

In the same state employees of ‘Maharashtra State Road Transport Commision’ are working 8-10 hours for salaries as low as 5000 Rupees and on other hand university employees are looting lacs from the government funds

”We are having a dialogue with the government about the issue. We will take actions accordingly.”

Dr. Nitin Karmalkar

VC, Savitribai Phule Pune University


karmalkar-1.jpg

Nitin Karmalkar, VC, (Savitribai Phule Pune University) Photo: corporatecitizen.in


 

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