Reported by Vaidehi More in Timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Sep 3, 2012
Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University registrar in travel allowance scam - The Times of India

AMRAVATI: There seems to be no end to the controversies and scams surrounding Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University (SGAU). Now, registrar of SGAU Dineshkumar Joshi is in the eye of a storm after a right to information (RTI) query revealed that he did not travel to his hometown Hardwar for which claimed and got travelling allowance.

This shocking fact came to light in response to a RTI query asked by Rajendra Prasad, a professor at chemical department of SGAU. Joshi got Rs13,360 as travelling allowance under Swagram Pravas Yojna though he did not at all go to his hometown during the period between December 24 and 28, 2010. He was very much in Amravati to attend the felicitation of Vilas Sapkal who was appointed vice-chancellor of Nagpur University.

University officials get allowance for travelling to their hometown once in three years under the scheme. Joshi had gone to Hardwar 'on paper' and submitted a bill for Rs21,350 for the trip. The finance department paid him Rs13,360 through voucher number 327 on January 28, 2011. The document was certified by the then finance officer and signed by acting vice-chancellor Praveen Singh Pardeshi, the RTI reply said.

Joshi said in the papers submitted to the university that he and his family members left for Nagpur at 5pm on December 24 and reached there at 8.15pm. He boarded a train at Nagpur and reached Delhi on December 25. He went to Hardwar from Delhi by bus the same day. On December 27, Joshi left Hardwar for Delhi by bus and reached Nagpur by train at 3pm on December 28. He returned to Amravati by bus at 7.30pm the same day.

The documents submitted by Joshi said he was in Delhi on December 25, 2010. But, in fact, he was in Amravati and attended the felicitation function organized at the guesthouse of SGAU to honour Vilas Sapkal on his appointment as VC of Nagpur University. The news and photographs of the programme were circulated by Vilas Nandurkar, public relations officer of the university, on December 26.

The question is how Joshi can claim the travel allowance under Swagram Pravas Yojna when he attended the felicitation function. Interestingly, finance officer R D Sikchi was also present at the function and knew about the presence of Joshi and still approved the travel allowance bill.

Sources said the university officials were busy in the election to various bodies. When those associated with the university learnt about Joshi episode, they sought information under RTI. Details in the log book of the university clearly mentioned that the vehicle of the registrar was on duty from 8am to 9.30pm on December 25. The car travelled to the registrar's bungalow, his residence, guesthouse and zoology department of SGAU, covering a distance of 36km. The RTI reply also revealed that Arjun Gunjkar was the driver of the registrar's vehicle on that day. The then examination controller B R Waghmare used the registrar's vehicle on December 27 and 28. The car was again used by the registrar on December 29.

When contacted, registrar Joshi did not comment on the issue. "My boss (vice-chancellor) is not in city. I will comment after he returns to city," he said.