Devbrat Patnaik

Berhampur: It somehow seems the probe into the alleged irregularities in Berhampur University has lost steam and the matter suppressed as several sections of people have questioned why the Higher Education Department is yet to initiate an inquiry into the plaints even after instructions from the Governor.

As per sources, the Chancellor had shot a letter to the Higher Education department on June 27 asking to immediately probe into the alleged irregularities in Berhampur University as well as Ravenshaw University and submit report within 60 days. Acting on the letter, the HE department then directed Additional Secretary of Higher Education Prasanta Kumar Das for the inquiry through a letter issued on August 8, 2018.

While a high-level probe by PK Das on August 21 detected massive irregularities and corruption in Ravenshaw University, questions have now been raised on whether there will be a free and fair investigation into the alleged corruption in Berhampur varsity, with hardly 15 days left for submission of probe report.

Berhampur varsity came under the government scanner after allegations of irregularities including appointment of staff and lecturers, discrepancies in teaching and evaluation of answer sheets, management and infrastructure development, and funds mismanagement in the varsity surfaced at regular intervals.

Not only this, the varsity Students’ Union had leveled allegations of serious irregularities in funds released under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (Rusa) and UGC claiming that these funds are being mismanaged and spent lavishly by the VC Rajendra Prasad Das.

The Odisha finance department had also ordered an inspection of the accounts of Berhampur University after finding a mismatch between bank deposits and expenditure of the varsity to the tune of Rs 19.64 crores.

According to sources, the director of the local fund audit was asked to to look into the financial irregularities and the process is already completed.

Meanwhile, student leader and ex-president of the varsity Bhabani Kanta Sahu has been demanding to hand over the responsibility of the university to an RDC.

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