RTI query uncovers 'embezzlement'
MADRASSA FUNDING ROW
Srinagar, Apr 15: Large-scale embezzlement of funds provided by Central Government as financial aid to various Madrassas in Jammu and Kashmir has come to fore.
The official data made available in response to a RTI application reveal that Rs 68.03 lakh were released by the Education Department in favor of 30 Madrassas in central Kashmir’s Budgam district and 14 Madrassas in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. However, the Chief Education Officers (CEOs) of the rest of the districts in the valley clearly state that no Madrassa or NGO has so far received any financial aid from the department, the reply states.
Pertinently, the Government had claimed that Rs 3.47 crore were released by the Central Government under the Madrassa-funding scheme for JK in 2011-12.
The district officials reiterated that no assistance prior to the 2011-12 was received by their offices for any of Madrassas.
At a time when current financial year has already ended on March 31, the fresh revelation clearly vindicates the misappropriation of funds allocated by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for providing quality education in Madrasas of the state.
As per the reply, no fund was released to the concerned CEO nor did any Madarsa receive the assistance in five districts: Shopian, Ganderbal, Pulwama, Bandipore and Baramulla. The amount meant for the Madrasas in these districts also seemed to be embezzled as there is no mention of its utilization in the reply.
The documents received in the reply state that Srinagar district had already refunded Rs 76.528 lakhs to the Directorate of School Education (DSEK). And in Kupwara, “The management Committee of seven Madrasas (which were previously identified) refused to accept the assistance of Rs 1.05 lakh released by the directorate vide order no. 4234-DSEK (Acctts) of- dated March 13, 2012, to the concerned CEO,” the documents reads.
It states the concerned CEOs of district Srinagar and Islamabad (Anantnag) have admitted they received funds for the already identified Madrasas. But, they maintained, no funds were given to any of the Madrassas except one in Islamabad (Anantnag).
High Court advocates Muddasir Naqshbandi and Firdous Ahmad Parray had filed an RTI application asking the Education Directorate for the list of NGOs and Madrassas which have received money from the central government under various financial aid schemes over the years. The application had also sought the account details of these Madrassas and other organizations. However, the DSEK didn’t give the names and account details of the Madrassas that received funds.
Among the beneficiaries, 45 Madrassas in Jammu’s Rajouri district top the list followed by south Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag) district with 44 Madrassas. Doda has 32 Madrassas while Budgam district 30, Baramulla and Ramban districts have 24 each and Reasi district two Madrassas.
As per officials figure, of 362 Madrassas, 197 are in Kashmir Valley and rest in Jammu.
Education Department’s role had come under scanner after MHRD disclosed last December that it had allocated Rs 5.39 crore to state in 2010 under centrally sponsored Scheme for Providing Quality Education (SPQEM) in Madrassas. Besides, MHRD had revealed that another Rs 7 crore were allotted to JK for 372 Madrassas this year.
However, after Union Ministry released the list of 372 Madrassas receiving financial aid. The list had been forwarded to it by the state government. A conglomerate of more than 30 religious organizations- Muttahida Ulema Ahli Sunnat - operating dozens of schools in the Valley, had categorically refused having applied for or received any kind of funding under SPQEM. They had accused the Education Department of “fraud and embezzling” funds using their name.
Under fire the Education Department had ordered release of more than Rs 3 crore to 362 institutes while it had received funding for 372 Madrassas.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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