The State government has shot down a proposal submitted by the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) for introducing state-of-the-art automation on the grounds that the project was mired in controversies, following complaints by Syndicate members that the cost was exorbitant and the project not necessary when the university did not have its own campus and an administrative building.

According to sources close to Minister of State for Medical Education Sharan Prakash Patil, university vice-chancellor Sriprakash launched the tender process for acquiring automation for the university in administration (Rs. 80 crore) and examination work (Rs. 60 crore) in January 2012.

The sources said that the vice-chancellor started tendering work without seeking government approval and had failed to reply to department Secretary Govindaraju in the matter. The Secretary, in turn, issued a notice to the university under Section 8 of the RGUHS Act, but the vice-chancellor argued that the Karnataka Transparency in Tender Process Act did not stipulate a reply.

Meanwhile, there were complaints by some university Syndicate members on various counts, including the prohibitive cost. The sources said that the Minister on Monday told representatives of a Pune-based company, which has won the tender, that the government was not interested in the project as the vice-chancellor was bringing pressure and wanted to somehow implement it.

“Where is the need for such high-cost automation when the university did not have a campus of its own and also an administrative building. Moreover, the hardware and the systems to be supplied by the company would become outdated after six years leading to loss to the university/government,” Dr. Patil is said to have told them.

Meanwhile, after the government issued him a notice, the vice-chancellor presented the proposal which has been sent to the NIC. The NIC is yet to furnish its opinion on the cost of the project.