Srinagar: The government has ordered a probe into the functioning of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) study centres established in J&K colleges.
The development comes after a multi-crore scam surfaced in the functioning of these IGNOU centres and a complaint was submitted to the office of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
Following this, the Higher Education Department (HED) ordered an inquiry.
As per the order issued by the then Secretary HED, the Director Finance HED has been appointed as Inquiry Officer to probe the functioning of the IGNOU centres in J&K colleges.
“Director Colleges J&K Yasmeen Ashai would assist the Inquiry Officer for conducting an inquiry into the functioning of IGNOU centers in various government degree colleges of J&K,” the order reads. “The Inquiry Officer should conduct an in-depth inquiry into the matter and submit a report within a month.”
Earlier, the then Secretary HED, Sushma Chauhan had also issued a circular focusing on the regular monitoring of IGNOU centers in J&K.
The then Secretary HED ordered that principals of the host institutions should monitor the academic and financial functioning of their study centres.
“The principal should be a co-signatory of all bills, including the conduct of term-end examination submitted to IGNOU,” the order said.
In the order, the HED also said that the term of the IGNOU coordinator should be restricted to only a year saying that the extension is given to the coordinators often gives rise to vested interests, leading to corruption and malpractices.
“The Principal and the Coordinator should ensure that only those academic counselors are engaged who fulfill the criteria of eligibility,” the order said.
The government directed that counseling schedules should be shared by the coordinator with the principal who should ensure that payments were claimed only for those counselors who figured in the schedule and conducted the sessions on the scheduled day and date.
“The coordinator and the principal should design a mechanism that ensures that assignment grades of only those learners are sent to the Regional Centre who submit the assignments,” the order said.
The government has also ordered that the coordinators should mandatorily submit the assignment grades online on the IGNOU module as the practice in other study centres in other parts of the country.
“The principals should ensure that the coordinators deposit the amount released by IGNOU for rent, seating arrangement, electricity, and water supply in the college chest,” the order said.
It has also been ordered that invigilators including the revolving invigilators and other supporting staff are appointed as per the IGNOU norms during the conduct of the examination.
“The Regional Director of IGNOU Centre should be asked to make the system of payments and academic monitoring transparent and not entertain any bills without the signature of the principal of the host institution,” the order reads.