Bharathiar University has spent over ₹1.5 lakh on travel expenses under the Glue Grant scheme which was taken from the centrally-funded Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), claimed teacher associations.
The State President of Association of University Teachers (AUT) P. Thirunavukarasu claimed that Bharathiar University misused government funds under RUSA and urged the Higher Education department to look into the issue.
Glue Grant is a Union government-proposed scheme under which research and development institutions across nine cities could encourage innovations among students and enterprises.
Vice-Chancellor P. Kaliraj said, “Dr. Sankaran is an expert from Anna University (in Chennai)... he is helping us prepare the Glue Grant (report). We call experts and people from other institutions even to affiliated colleges for many initiatives.”
Over 150 entrepreneurs from across 12 sectors including textiles, engineering, agriculture, healthcare, nano-technology and several university faculties are involved in the final leg of framing the report for roughly three months now, said T. Rajendra Kumar, a professor at the institute.
Registrar in-charge K. Murugavel mentioned that five to six meetings with several stakeholders were held so far and expenditure for refreshments and lunch were incurred.
The Bharathiar University Teachers Association (BHUTA) alleged, even before the scheme was materialised, the varsity had taken about ₹1,80,000 as travel charges for experts, from the funds allotted under RUSA. Further, sources claimed that over ₹10 lakh were utilised from the RUSA funds for Glue Grant.
Rupa Gunaseelan, Glue Grant Coordinator at the university did not disclose the expenditure details — total bill and where the funds were availed of — when asked.
BHUTA President K. Vasanth further claimed that nine to ten post-doctoral graduates under the RUSA fellowship in the university, for which ₹50 crore has been set aside, were not appointed based on seniority or the number of research publications.
The institute spent ₹35 crore for the Bharathiar Cancer Theranostic Research Centre under RUSA, according to the reply from the Bharathiar University to a query raised during the 83rd Council Meeting held on July 29, 2022, of which ₹2,18,86,000 were for project fellows.