Published: 25th March 2022
Rajasthan gov't announces probe into 'fake infrastructure' of proposed university after being caught red-faced in Assembly
A committee member claimed that officials of the Gurukul Shikshan Sansthan had shown them the infrastructure and that they also captured its videos and photographs for veracity
The Rajasthan government has decided to conduct a high-level inquiry after facing embarrassment over the withdrawal of a Bill that carried false details on the infrastructure of a proposed university, PTI reported. The state government had, on March 22, withdrawn the Gurukul University (Sikar) Bill, 2022, after it came to light that the details mentioned in the Bill regarding the infrastructure existed only on paper.
"A high-level probe will be conducted and action will be taken against those found guilty," the state's higher education minister Rajendra Singh Yadav told PTI, on March 24. The Bill for the establishment of Gurukul University in Sikar was introduced on February 24 and it was scheduled to be passed earlier this week.
In Schedule-I of the Bill, the details of the infrastructure, as mentioned, comprised administrative blocks (28), academic blocks (155 units) and residential blocks with a total built-up area of 24,811.46 square metres.
Deputy leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore had alleged that the entire infrastructure mentioned in the Bill existed only on paper, following which Speaker CP Joshi had sought an immediate factual report from the Sikar collector. The collector's report confirmed that there was no infrastructure on the said land, following which the higher education minister moved a proposal in the House on March 22 and the Bill was subsequently withdrawn.
The university was proposed to be set up by Sikar-based trust Gurukul Shikshan Sansthan. It was said in the Bill that the trust had set up educational infrastructure as specified in Schedule-I on Jaipur Road, Sikar, and had agreed to invest the said infrastructure in a university for research and studies.
A committee appointed by the state government consisting of Amarika Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur; a dean of the same university, associate professor, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur and associate professor, Government Law College, Alwar had earlier physically "verified" the infrastructure mentioned in the Bill.
However, after the truth came to light, a committee member claimed that officials of the Gurukul Shikshan Sansthan had indeed shown them the infrastructure and that they also captured its videos and photographs for veracity. "We reached the address given to us where the authorities of the Trust showed us infrastructure. Photos and videos were also taken, which we have submitted as records. Since there was no revenue official with us, it cannot be said whether it was the same land as mentioned in the Bill. A revenue official can tell this better. We gave a report as per the visit," Jayant Singh, Associate Professor, University of Rajasthan, told PTI.
A Letter of Intent committee had first checked the credentials and submitted a report, only after which it was referred to the four-member panel for physical verification of the infrastructure, he said. The deputy leader of Opposition, who had first made the allegation, said that he had on March 19 visited the site where the proposed university was said to be built but found that there was no construction.
"As per my experience, this is the first time that a Bill tabled in the State Assembly, which was cleared in a cabinet meeting, has been withdrawn. Serious irregularity has been committed," Rathore said.