Following this week’s successful three-day drive for checking bogus students and schools across the state, the state government may conduct a similar exercise for senior colleges.
The schools – government-owned and private, aided and non-aided -- were checked to assess the strength of students based on which managements seek salary and other grants from the government. The drive, conducted between October 3 and 5, revealed that 1,700 schools had only nine students each but they claimed grants by tweaking numbers.
Non-aided private schools, aided ashram (tribal) schools and hostels were also checked simultaneously so that the students from these schools were not seated in the other schools.
The need for such a drive was felt when the administration of Nanded in Marathwada found around 1.2 lakh bogus students enrolled in the district last week. The loss to the exchequer in Nanded district alone was pegged at Rs150 crore per year. And going by the state government’s annual expenditure on school education – it spends around Rs1,000 on each student – the aggregated annual loss could be Rs2,500-2,600 crore, said a senior education department official, on condition of anonymity.
Officials in Mantralaya suspect that the scam in degree colleges could be even bigger because college teachers’ salaries are much higher than their counterparts in schools. Other grants are also higher.
Higher and technical education minister Rajesh Tope, therefore, wants to verify the colleges governed by his department. “We will come out with our own plan after discussing it with UGC (University Grants Commission),” Tope said from Aurangabad.
Officials said the UGC needs to be involved in this because it contributes significantly to college grants. Meanwhile, school education minister Rajendra Darda is expected to get a final report on drive conducted in schools by October 10.