Gold coins offered to employees and alleged violations of government rules by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras were “human” gestures and did not involve any corruption, IIT Director MS Ananth said on Friday.
“The gold coins were financed through the IIT’s corpus fund and we did not use government funds,” Ananth told HT, responding to protests by a section of the institute faculty over the IIT’s decision to award all 1500 employees gold coins at a time it is struggling to pay salaries and scholarships. “There was no hanky panky,” he claimed.
Many within the IIT have questioned the move — reported first by HT on April 21 — calling the award a “waste of funds” the IIT could instead use to get financial autonomy.
Documents accessed by HT show that the Principal Auditor General of Tamil Nadu has found the IIT responsible for causing the public a loss of R7 crore by violating government pension rules and illegally subsidising power supply to faculty.
But Ananth on Friday said both the alleged pension violations and move to award gold coins were based on past precedents set by IITs. When told that IIT Bombay and Kharagpur were pulled up for audit queries, Ananth accepted that government had raised concerns over such moves in the past.
Ananth found “unique” ways to repeatedly allow faculty to benefit from both the Central Provident Fund Scheme and a Pension Scheme — when all government employees can benefit from only one, the auditor has said, slamming the IIT.