The Visva-Bharati University paid an honorarium of over Rs 1 crore from March 2013-17 in violation of norms, a CAG audit has pointed out. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) observed in its report tabled in Parliament earlier this week that the varsity paid the honorarium for “regular” work without taking prior approval from the HRD Ministry. “During the period from March 2013 to March 2017, Visva Bharati paid honorarium amounting to Rs 1.07 crore to 165 faculties or officers. “Since the varsity paid the amount for regular work which was neither occasional nor intermittent in character, the payment of such honorarium was not in consonance with the applicable rules,” it pointed out.
The university had told the ministry in July last year that though the amount was paid as honorarium, it was in nature of special allowance for shouldering additional responsibilities in interest of students and it had stopped payment of honorarium to the principals, heads of departments and proctor from April 2017. “The reply is not tenable as the payment of honorarium as special allowance is not covered under the provisions and the university did not take any approval from the ministry for the same,” the CAG report said.