The head of India’s controversial regulator of private engineering and business schools, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), who faced questions over drawing a pension and a salary from two different government institutions, has returned a chunk of the pension to his office after drawing it for three years, according to an AICTE official.
Mint had reported on 17 December that the vigilance officer of the ministry of human resource development had asked AICTE to respond to data that showed its acting chairman and also vice-chairman Ram Avtar Yadav was claiming a monthly salary from AICTE even as he drew a monthly pension from the University of Delhi. The claims were based on an anonymous complaint.
Such dual compensations are not allowed under Indian government rules. An official of the finance section of the registrar’s office of Delhi University said on Thursday that Yadav should have informed AICTE of the dual compensation. “The pension amount should be deducted from his current salary,” said the official who did not wish to be identified.
The official confirmed that Yadav had drawn Rs8,829 as monthly pension and Rs6,033 as monthly inflation-linked pension benefit, from his retirement in 2004 to December 2007, the same month Mint reported on Yadav. The official said the pension had not been claimed in January this year.
Yadav, who is widely seen as having the backing of education minister Arjun Singh, has been actively lobbying forpromotion as AICTE chairman as his term as vice-chairman ends soon. On Thursday, AICTE advertised in newspapers to fill the post of vice-chairman. Requesting anonymity, the AICTE official said Yadav gave it a cheque for Rs4.5 lakh in February, drawn on State Bank of India’s Delhi University branch, where the pension of all employees of the university are deposited.
Yadav did not return calls seeking comment. The vigilance officer who spoke to Mint in December did not return calls to his mobile phone. In reply to a text message, he referred Mint to another official in the ministry of human resource development, which oversees education.
Calls to D. Purandeswari, minister of state for higher education, who had promised action if the charges of dual compensation are proved, were not returned. Her office said she was attending a workshop at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.
A recent report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry goes as far as to say the regulator should be abolished.