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CAG slams Mizoram over wasteful expenditure on 3 new polytehnic buildings

Aizawl: Comptroller and Auditor General of India slammed Mizoram government of incurring wasteful expenditure to the tune of Rs 24 crore on construction of 3 new polytechnic buildings while failing to create sanctioned posts to man the polytechnics.

Under the Scheme of Sub-mission on Polytechnics under Coordinated Action for Skill Development, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Higher Education Department approved financial assistance of Rs. 36.90 crore for setting up of new polytechnics in the three 8 districts in Mizoram, not having the institution, during the period December 2008 to August 2009, the audit report for the year ending March 31, 2022 said. 

“The aim of the polytechnic education is to create a pool of skill-based manpower by imparting Diploma courses in Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, etc., to support shop floor and field operations as a middle level link between technicians and engineers,” the report said.

Mizoram government proposed to establish polytechnics in Myanmar border Champhai district, Assam border Kolasib district and Tripura border Mamit district.

As per the project proposal submission, the Government of Mizoram stated in July 2007 that it has no objection to provide the land and the required expenditure for setting up of the polytechnics and that it would adhere to the guidelines of the Ministry.

The construction of the three polytechnics in the three districts was taken up by the State Public Works Department (PWD) and an amount of Rs. 24 crore meant for civil works was transferred and placed at the disposal of the Engineer-in-Chief, PWD during the period August 2010 to October 2011. 

The balance Rs. 9.27 crore meant for the components on equipment, machinery, library books, etc., was not released by the Finance Department and as such equipment, machinery, library books, etc., required for the functioning of the polytechnic was not purchased. 

Non-release of Rs. 9.27 crore was due to the non-creation of the posts to run the polytechnics, owing to which the requirements of machinery and equipment, library, furniture, etc., were not assessed and no proposal was submitted to the Finance Department to release the fund.

The matter was brought to the notice of the Department/ Government in August 2022 by the auditors and the Government, while agreeing to the audit observation, stated in October 2022 that in an attempt to operate the three newly constructed Polytechnics, a proposal was submitted for creation of 113 posts10 in the meeting of the Council of Ministers in March 2018, however, the same was deferred. 

It was also stated that another proposal submitted to the Government in June 2018 to conduct short-term skill development courses by creating 18 posts, six posts for each polytechnic, also could not materialise.

Thus, due to the failure of the State Government to create sanctioned posts, the polytechnic infrastructure remained unutilised resulting in wasteful expenditure of Rs. 24 crore. As such, the objective of establishing the polytechnic institutes to create a pool of skill-based manpower in the State through polytechnic education was not achieved, the CAG report added. 

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