HED cracks whip on financial misconduct in colleges

Notifies revised rules for 'local fund' expenditure
HED cracks whip on financial misconduct in colleges
Representational Photo File/ GK

Srinagar: The Higher Education Department (HED) has cracked a whip on the degree colleges and has notified revised guidelines for utilisation and incurring the expenditure from the College Local Funds.

As per the fresh order issued by the principal secretary HED, Rohit Kansal the new guidelines will be called “Jammu and Kashmir Utilisation of Local Fund guidelines 2022.”

As per the new guidelines, all the payments other than college tuition fees which are paid by the students of the colleges at the time of admission and receipts from any source as per guidelines issued by the Higher Education Department will be determined as the fund.

“The rates of fees to be charged from the students at the time of admission shall be determined by the Higher Education Department from time to time and the subscription to the fund shall be charged from each student at the full rate prescribed by the department of irrespective of the fact that the student may have been granted a fee concession,” read the new guidelines.

It further states that the subscription to the fund shall not be charged from a student for a second time, if he/she has migrated from one college to another during the same financial year.

“However, the University component shall be charged from such students in case there is change of University,” it reads.

About the custody of the funds, the department has said that all the Local Funds collected from the students shall be deposited either in a Single Local Fund Account or in different Bank Accounts maintained in the nearest Branches of Jammu and Kashmir Bank.

“These Bank Accounts shall be operated by the concerned Principals of the Colleges. However, the details of each individual fund shall have to be reflected in separate Cash Books,” the order reads.

The entire Pool Fund as prescribed by the HED shall be credited into the Central Pool Fund Account NO.SB-0110040100000728 maintained in the J&K Bank Civil Secretariat, Srinagar/Jammu within one month of the close of the admission process, it reads.

As per the revised guidelines, the college principals are not authorized to utilize any amount out of pool fund. “Any deviation on this account shall be viewed seriously and the concerned Principal shall be held personally responsible,” the order reads.

The department has tightened its noose saying that any college that fails to remit its share of the pool fund within the prescribed time limit shall not be permitted the use of the Local Fund.

About the utilisation of the local funds, the department said the funds can be utilised to provide the Colleges with adequate amenities and facilities for optimal academic activities, Skill Development, Research and innovation besides creating facilities for promotion of Sports like Swimming pools, gymnasium,skating rinks and indoor courts.

“The fund can be utilized to make payments of legitimately earned wages to the academic arrangement staff/ teaching assistants, guest or visiting faculty engaged in the colleges provided all due processes have been followed before their engagement and prior written approval of the competent authority has been obtained,” the order reads.

The colleges have been further allowed to use the local fund for making the payment of legitimate wages to the outsourced staff or Local Fund employee(s) engaged before the imposition of the ban on recruitment/hiring and after completing all the codal formalities and GFR provisions.

“However, no payment what so ever shall be made to any employee engaged after the imposition of ban on the recruitment by the finance department,” it reads.

The local fund can also be utilised by the colleges for face-lifting out minor works, repairs, alterations and additions to the buildings where sufficient funds are not available under regular budget heads.

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