Anomalies in stipend disbursement surfaces as Kamle bandh ends

[ Amar Sangno ]

ITANAGAR, Jun 22: Serious anomalies on the part of Kamle Deputy Commissioner Moki Loyi and Deputy Director of School Education (DDSE) Likha Tugor are beginning to surface even as the 48-hour district bandh imposed by the All Kamle District Students’ Union (AKDSU) came to an end on Saturday.
The union had imposed the bandh alleging, inter alia, that the DDSE had held back 10 months of student stipends – an amount of Rs 73,57,000 – and later deviated from the norm by disbursing the stipends in cash through a teacher in-charge and the stipend coordinator in-charge.
The DC is the chairman of the District Level Executive Committee, and the DDSE is its member secretary.
The Arunachal Times has learnt that the DDSE started disbursing the stipends in cash after the furore created by the AKDSU, accusing the DDSE and the DC of mismanaging funds under the Chief Minister’s Samast Shiksha Yojna (CMSSY) and the Integrated Scheme for School Education (ISSE), including student stipends.
Sources informed that the DDSE secretly summoned the stipend coordinator in-charge to Lower Subansiri HQ Ziro and handed over a total amount of Rs 21.50 lakhs in cash on different occasions. (He reportedly gave Rs 6 lakhs on 8 June, Rs 5.50 lakhs on 9 June, and Rs 10 lakhs on 14 June, all in cash, instructing the stipend coordinator to disburse the amounts among the schools in Raga, Tamin and Baosimla.)
On being contacted, stipend coordinator (in-charge) Jipak Lomdak confirmed the report, and stated that he disbursed the amounts at the DDSE’s instruction.
At the DDSE’s instruction, the stipend coordinator also handed over the stipends of 41 students of the upper primary school in Tamin in cash to its teacher in-charge, which the teacher in-charge has confirmed.
When queried by The Arunachal Times, the DDSE was terse in his reply. “Let the inquiry committee inquire into the facts first,” he said.
He did not offer any comment on the parking of the stipends and disbursing them in cash when the norm is to transfer such benefits through the direct benefit transfer (DBT) mode. Most of the students of the district have Aadhaar-seeded savings accounts for facilitating such transfers.
The DC also did not issue a comment when he was asked about the anomalies.
On learning about the DDSE’s deviating from the norm, Education Secretary Madhu Rani Teotia said: “DBT is the settled norm. In case of any deviation, necessary action will be taken.”
The education secretary added that the department would initiate action once it gets the report in the matter.
Meanwhile, the stipend in-charge in the school education directorate informed that the stipends against the schools in Kamle district were released in three installments. The first installment was released in September last year, the second in January this year, and the third in March this year.
Taking cognizance of the AKDSU’s allegation against the DC and the DDSE, The education secretary constituted an inquiry committee and appointed Headquarters DDSE Tani Talom as the investigating officer on 8 May, directing him to submit the report on the allegation of improper implementation of the CMSSY in the district.
However, Talom requested the education secretary that he be recused from conducting the inquiry, saying it is improper for an officer of a lower rank to conduct an inquiry against the DC. Teotia has nevertheless turned down Talom’s application and directed him to verify the allegation at the earliest.
Citing the CCA Rules, 1965, Talom requested the secretary to appoint an officer of the administrative level to ensure more effective and efficient conduct of the inquiry.
“He is supposed to verify the facts on ground and not give any excuses. In case anything wrong is reported after verification, further action will be taken,” Teotia said.
She denied that appointing a DDSE to inquire against a DC was improper or untenable.