|Minorities Development Department
Functioning of Minorities Development Department
The Minorities Development Department (MDD), Government of Maharashtra (GoM) was formed as a separate Department in February 2008 in pursuance to the recommendations of the Sachar Committee appointed by Government of India (GoI) to study the social, educational and financial backwardness of the minority communities. MDD was established to implement and monitor schemes for overall development of minorities.
MDD does not have any district/regional offices and therefore, the schemes/programmes are being implemented through District Collectors, Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils, Directorate of Vocational Education, Mumbai and Directorate of Minority and Adult Education, Pune. During 2013-18, MDD provided funds of ` 1,936.60 crore for implementation of various schemes. Against which, expenditure incurred on the schemes was ` 1,475.98 crore, leaving saving of ` 460.63 crore (24 per cent).
The Performance Audit on ‘Functioning of Minorities Development Department’ was conducted covering the period 2013-18. The deficiencies/irregularities noticed are discussed below:
- Non-preparation of Strategic long term plan and non-conducting of baseline surveys
Though MDD was formed in February 2008, it did not prepare a strategic long term plan encompassing needs/gaps analysis, integrated programmes/schemes to be implemented for the development of minorities in the State based on the social, educational and economic status of minority communities. The schemes undertaken by MDD, nonetheless, did cater to some of the needs/gaps. However, a strategic plan could have helped to understand the extent of problem and provided a focused direction to the efforts of MDD. Besides, baseline surveys for identifying the infrastructural gaps were not conducted.
- Implementation of Government direction for bringing the youth belonging to minority communities to the mainstream of society
MDD had issued direction to various departments in order to bring the youth of minority communities to the mainstream of the society, to bring economic, social and educational progress and to create a trustworthy and cordial environment among the minority communities.
Though departments had taken action on some of the directions issued such as commencement of 2nd shift for minority students in Government ITIs, action on some of the directions was pending such as reducing dropout rate to zero for minority students studying in standard V to VII in five years in the minority dominated areas, implementing schemes which would facilitate exchange of views between minority and non-minority students, etc.
- Implementation of Schemes
- Education cum Development Schemes
- Introduction of 2nd and 3rd shift for minority students in ITIs
GoM in August 2009 approved opening of 248 additional shifts for various trades in 42 ITIs in the areas concentrated by minorities with a view to increase the employment and self-employment opportunities for the minorities in the State. Against this, during 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18, only 128, 168 and 140 shifts/trades respectively were operated.
A minimum of 70 per cent seats were required to be reserved for minority students in these additional shifts. In eight test-check districts, 33 additional shifts/trades were operated in 12 ITIs during 2017-18. Of these, in 11 shifts/trades the minority students were less than 20 per cent, in 20 shifts/trades the minority students were between 20 and 50 per cent while in remaining two shifts/trades the minority students were between 50 and 70 per cent. MDD did not carry out evaluation to ascertain the reasons for below target performance of the Scheme.
The objective of the Scheme was to increase the employment and self-employment opportunities. However, there was no mechanism in MDD to assess whether the trained students were gainfully employed.
- Modernisation of Madrasas
Dr. Zakir Hussain Madrasas Modernisation Scheme was introduced in October 2013 in order to bring the students studying in madrasas to the mainstream of the society and to improve the quality of education thereby enhancing the employment and financial status of minorities. Under the Scheme, education in Science, Mathematics, Sociology, Hindi, Marathi, English and Urdu subjects was to be imparted along with the religious studies undertaken in madrasas.
MDD did not have any data of the total madrasas in the State and the number of students studying in those madrasas. Further, madrasas to which funds were disbursed reduced from 536 in 2014-15 to 144 in 2017-18. The Scheme did not stipulate post assistance monitoring by conducting periodical inspections/survey of the madrasas. Also, Education Officers of Zilla Parishads had not done quarterly evaluation of the students through written and oral test though envisaged in the Scheme.
- Marathi Bhasha Foundation
State Government in September 2006 launched a Scheme to train minority students of standard VIII to X studying in non-Marathi schools in Marathi language in order to give sufficient opportunity in clearing various competitive examinations conducted in Marathi language. As per Scheme norms, one teacher for 180-200 students, two teachers for 300 students and thereafter one teacher for every additional 150 students was to be appointed on honorarium basis. Besides, the Education Officer of each district was to conduct level gauging test every quarter for the Marathi language through Maharashtra State Council for Educational and Training.
Test- check of 171 schools of selected districts showed average shortfall in deployment of teachers ranged from one to six. Thus, the impact of adverse student-teacher ratio on the quality of teaching could not be ruled out. It was also noticed that the level gauging test was not conducted during 2013-18.
- Maulana Azad free coaching and allied Scheme
MDD introduced Maulana Azad free coaching and allied schemes in June 2013, in order to increase the representation of minorities in Government, Semi-Government and Public Sector services. Under the Scheme, training was to be provided to the candidates preparing for competitive examinations, Common Entrance Test for admission to various vocational courses and failed students of standard X and XII in selected training centres in seven districts covering students of entire State. The institutes were to be selected based on the eligibility conditions prescribed in the Scheme and the institutes providing training were to be paid a fixed amount per candidate or the fee levied by the institute whichever was less. The number of candidates to be trained each year was fixed by MDD at 4,000 candidates.
It was noticed that the responsibility of selection of candidates was given to the selected institutions instead of Government/nodal agency. Further, as against the target of 4,000 candidates to be trained annually the number of candidates trained ranged between 1,370 (2014-15) and 4,000 (2017-18) during 2013-18. The Scheme neither prescribed any surprise verification of the attendance of the students attending the coaching institutes nor was any periodical inspection done to ensure that no ghost candidates were included by the institutes.
- Cyber Gram under MSDP
The Multi-Sectoral Development Programme is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which has a component called Cyber Gram initiative, under which students of minority communities of standard VI to X were to be provided hands-on training in computers to enable them to acquire basic Information and Communication Technology skills to become digitally literate.
During December 2017 to February 2018, out of 26,860 candidates registered 15,791 candidates were trained. However, the Basic Computer Course certification examination was not conducted.
- Infrastructural Schemes
- Multi-sectoral Development Programme–Infrastructure works
Ministry of Minority Affairs, GoI sanctioned (December 2015) 649 infrastructural works such as construction of additional classrooms, toilets in schools, computer labs, anganwadi, hostel buildings, and public health centres etc. GoM accorded Administrative Approval (AA) to 644 works (AA to five works was not granted due to non-availability of land).
Out of 644 works approved only five works were completed, while 325 works were in progress and 314 works had not commenced as of June 2018. The major reasons for non-commencement of works were non-availability of land (38 works), lack of response to tenders (135 works) etc. The delay in completion of works undermines the purpose of providing tangible benefits by bridging the infrastructural gap in the minority concentrated blocks/towns.
- Area Development Programme of minority concentrated-areas (Rural)
Area Development Programme was launched in order to improve the quality of life of the minority communities living in the Gram Panchayat (GP) area. The Scheme envisaged providing basic infrastructure facilities such as construction of roads, drinking water facility, construction of drainage, pavement, public toilets, anganwadi, balwadis, construction of meeting hall, installation of solar light etc., in the minority concentrated areas with a minimum minority population of 100.
MDD did not have data of works for which AA was granted by ZPs, works commenced, works in progress and works completed under the Scheme in the State. As per the Scheme, the District Collector should visit ongoing and completed works to monitor the progress and quality of work done and submit a report to MDD. However, such reports were neither furnished to MDD nor did MDD take any action to obtain the reports for effective monitoring.
- Area Development Programme of minority concentrated areas (Urban)
Area Development Programme was launched in February 2009 in order to improve the quality of life of the minority communities living in the Municipal Corporation/Municipal Council area by providing basic infrastructure facilities.
MDD did not have any data relating to works for which AA was granted by District Collectors, works commenced, works in progress and works completed under the Scheme in the State.
- Construction of hostels for girl students
MDD decided to construct hostels for minority girl students pursuing higher education in all districts of Maharashtra to bring them in the mainstream. The priority was to be given to 25 minority concentrated districts. The hostels were to be operated by nominating a non-governmental organisations selected by MDD and 70 seats out of 100 seats were to be reserved for minority girls.
Out of eight hostels approved during 2013-16, works in seven hostels were in progress while work had not started in case of one hostel at Nagpur even after a lapse of two years due to change in plans to construct hostel having capacity for 200 students instead of 100 students.
The minority students admitted during 2017-18 in the nine girls’ hostels constructed till date under the Scheme, for which AA was given prior to
2013-14, did not have 70 per cent minority students except for Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada Vidyapeeth, Aurangabad. The low percentage of students from minority communities utilising the hostels which were created basically to cater to the needs of such students was attributed to non-provision of meals in hostels.
- Disbursement of educational and business loan to minority communities by Maulana Azad Alpsankhyak Arthik Vikas Mahamandal
The Maulana Azad Alpsankhyak Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAAAVM) was established with the main objective of economic upliftment of the economically backward section of the minority communities. The MAAAVM implements two GoM loan schemes (i) Maulana Azad Direct Loan scheme in which, loan is disbursed at a nominal interest rate of six per cent for setting up a new business and (ii) Maulana Azad Education Loan scheme in which, loan is disbursed to students for pursuing professional and technical courses at a nominal interest rate of three per cent.
Test-check of 533 disbursement cases sanctioned by the MAAAVM during 2013-18 in the nine test-checked districts revealed deficiencies such as records indicating verification of site/premises before disbursement of loans were not available (358 cases); disbursement of loans without obtaining income certificate/self-declaration of income (11 cases); agreement executed with beneficiaries before sanction of loans (240 cases); actual amount of loan disbursed was not correctly mentioned in the agreement and difference in loan amount shown in agreement and actual loan disbursed (45 cases); date was not mentioned in the agreement (73 cases); agreement not notorised (107 cases) and agreement not available on records (four cases). Further, post-dated cheques obtained as security, when deposited in the banks on default by the beneficiaries bounced in 304 cases while in 90 cases the cheques were not deposited in banks. No legal notices were issued to the beneficiaries. The MAAAVM did not have a system of carrying out post-disbursement inspection to ascertain whether the loans were utilised for the intended purpose
- Issues in planning and implementation of schemes
The inherent objective of schemes is to provide intervention to address specific gaps/needs. There was no scientific assessment of the extent of problem and the response required. The schemes were undertaken on a standalone basis rather than having an integrated approach. In the absence of district/regional offices under MDD, the schemes are being executed by MDD through various implementing agencies such as District Collectors, Zilla Parishads and Municipal Corporations etc. The implementation of schemes of MDD by these implementing agencies who are implementing various other schemes of Government only adds to their workload thereby impacting effective implementation of the schemes of MDD. Acknowledging this fact, the Vision 2030 document approved by GoM envisages constitution of regional field offices of MDD for effective implementation of various schemes. Thus, the lacunae in the present organisational set-up which is not conducive for effective implementation of the schemes of MDD needs to be addressed by the Government.
Administration of Prison and Correctional Centers in Maharashtra
Prisons and Correctional Centers (P&CC) in Maharashtra are established under the Prison Act, 1894. The objective of establishment of P&CC was to segregate the offenders who endanger public safety, from the mainstream by way of imprisonment, reformation and rehabilitation of offenders. The P&CC administration was responsible for the safe and secure custody of prisoners to ensure that the assured privileges and facilities are being provided to prisoners and to undertake the reforms and rehabilitation process.
The Performance Audit on ‘Administration of Prison and Correctional Centers in Maharashtra’ was conducted covering the period 2013-18. Some of the deficiencies/irregularities noticed are discussed below:
- Audit observed that in the 54 prisons of the State, as against the overall authorised capacity of 23,942 inmates, 32,810 were housed in prisons as of March 2018, i.e., 37 per cent more than the authorised capacity of the prisons. The prisoners were deprived of adequate space for sleeping as was prescribed in the norms.
- The data on incidence of crimes, conviction rates and inmate population was readily available. The Home Department could have drawn up a long-term perspective plan and annual plans for expanding the prison network, augmenting inmate capacity within existing prisons and modernising and strengthening the infrastructure and facilities.
- The Committee appointed in June 2017 for suggesting measures to deal with the problems of overcrowding of prisons, construction of new prison and increasing the capacity of the existing prisons considering the future requirement of 25-30 years had not submitted report till December 2018.
- As against the budget provisions of ` 81.96 crore, GoM released only ` 58.04 crore (71 per cent) during 2013-18. Of which, the expenditure incurred for the said period was ` 35.45 crore. This impacted adversely the creation of infrastructure of the prisons. Besides, funds amounting to ` 45.41 crore released directly to the Public Works Department for upgradation of facilities in prisons was utilised only to the extent of ` 32.60 crore.
- District Prison constructed in December 2011 at Gadchiroli at a cost of ` 14.95 crore could not be made operational due to security considerations. Further, due to non-identification of alternate land for construction of district prison at Palgarh fund amounting to ` five crore was blocked for more than ten years. Besides, of the total fund of ` 2.63 crore received under Modernisation of Prison for construction of barrack at Yard No.1 of Central Prison, Mumbai, ` 0.78 crore was diverted for construction of barrack at Yard No. 12 of the said Prison which resulted in the incomplete of electrification work of Yard No. 1.
- The mandatory structural audit of three out of 32 Prison buildings was only carried out.
- The entry of prohibited items such as steel rods, knives, choppers, narcotic substances, mobile phones, chargers and sim cards into prisons was possible due to lack of proper security equipment to prevent the entry of prohibited articles in the prison premises.
- 117 prisoners on parole and furlough were still absconding as of May 2018.
- Audit found that during the period 2013-18, out of the average convicts of 8,300 per year eligible for employment, the prisons were employing only 6,600 prisoners and the remaining 1,700 prisoners remained unemployed.
- As per norms for every six prisoners one security guard is to be provided. As against 4,194 sanctioned posts of security guards in 54 prisons of the State, only 3,859 security guards were posted leaving vacancies of 335 security guards as of March 2018. Of the selected four Central Prison and Correction Centre (CP&CC), the post of Superintendent was filled up only in respect of CP&CC at Yarwarda. Similarly, out of 21 district prisons, the post of Superintendent was filled up only in respect of three district prisons and remaining prisons were managed by Jailor (Group I).
- As of March 2018, though there were 496 Officers and 3,697 guarding staff functioning, 192 and 2,148 weapons respectively were provided to Officers and guarding staff. Further, as against the requirement of 3,697 self-loading rifles (SLRs), only 618 SLRs are presently available with the Department.
- The Advisory Board constituted under the Code of the Criminal Procedure, 1973 was to review sentences awarded to prisoners undergoing sentences of more than five years and to recommend premature release. However, in the absence of comprehensive review of sentences of all the eligible prisoners by Advisory Board, premature release of prisoners by commuting their sentences on the basis of their reformation could not be undertaken.
- The process of after-care and rehabilitation of offenders is an integral part of institutional care and treatment. Audit observed that the Department did not have a comprehensive rehabilitation policy for the convict prisoners after their release except the scheme implemented by Social and Welfare Department for providing financial assistance to prisoners towards the rehabilitation after release from Prison.
|Medical Education and Drugs Department
Implementation of Healthcare and Academics Management Information System
Medical Education and Drugs Department, GoM decided (May 2003) to computerise operations of government medical colleges and hospitals. The aim was to capture into the system all the data right from admission of a patient to his discharge, codify diseases and build a comprehensive database of healthcare to aid in the decision making/interventions. The system was also envisaged to cater to ancillary activities like procurement of medicine, diet etc.
In December 2006, the contract was awarded to the Service Provider, Hewlett- Packard Enterprise India Private Limited (from March 2017 known as EIT Services India Private Limited) for implementation of Healthcare and Academics Management Information System (HMIS). The expenditure incurred on the HMIS project for 16 locations for the year 2008-09 to July 2018 was ` 180.79 crore. Audit test checked the records between February 2018 and August 2018 covering the period since inception to March 2018. Some of the deficiencies/irregularities noticed are discussed below:
- The HMIS system envisaged to provide health information infrastructure, which would help in daily operations of the hospitals and to facilitate decision making and thus to bring fundamental changes in healthcare and academic management in medical colleges and hospitals in the State. The vision remained largely under achieved due to ineffective implementation of the HMIS system.
- Out of the 16 core modules in the HMIS, mainly Outpatient Department module is implemented in all the 16 hospitals. Whereas, five modules viz., (i) Purchasing Drugs and Materials (ii) Human Resource Management (iii) Finance (iv) Linen Management
(v) Library Management were not implemented and the remaining 10 modules were partially used in all 16 locations.
- The system remained largely under used and manual system was continued even after 10 years in all the 16 locations where it was implemented. Further, non-availability of complete digital healthcare data centrally has been a major hindrance for disease surveillance in the state and may have restricted the State’s intervention to reduce the disease burden.
|Compliance Audit Paragraphs|
|Revenue and Forest Department
Preparedness for Disaster Management
Government of India enacted (December 2005) the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (Act). The Revenue and Forests Department, GoM through its Relief and Rehabilitation Division is responsible for the implementation of disaster management programme. At the State level, the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMU); At district level, District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMA) headed by the District Collectors (in areas other than those covered by the municipal corporations) and Regional Disaster Management Centres (RDMC) headed by the Municipal Commissioners in urban areas under their jurisdiction are responsible for implementation of the Act in their respective jurisdictions. As regards Mumbai City and Suburban district, Greater Mumbai Disaster Management Authority (GMDMA) of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai is responsible for implementation of the Act in their jurisdiction.
Audit was conducted covering the period 2013-18 with a view to assess the disaster preparedness of the government agencies and mitigation measures taken up. Some of the deficiencies/irregularities noticed are discussed below:
- The Disaster Management Plans were prepared and updated annually by the selected DDMAs. However, SDMU, GMDMA and RDMC Amravati did not prepare and update the DMPs annually. Flood Preparedness Plans/Guidelines were prepared by all the selected DDMAs, GMDMA and RDMCs except RDMC, Amravati.
- Though the State DMP clearly defined the actions to be taken to mitigate the risk of earthquakes, there were deficiencies in implementation at the DDMA, the GMDMA and the RDMC levels. Though the State had a past history of massive landslides, the State DMP did not prescribe any specific action to be taken by the line departments to mitigate the risk of landslides. Further, CBRN and Stampede were not identified as possible disasters in the State DMP.
- The State DMP did not contain consolidated position of dangerous and extremely dangerous buildings in the State in order to mitigate the loss on occurrence of earthquake. However, two out of six selected RDMCs and GMDMA has identified dangerous and extremely dangerous buildings.
- Equipment required for each type of disaster and minimum quantity of such equipment to be kept at the DDMAs and RDMCs was not clearly outlined in the State DMP as part of mitigation and preparedness measure.
- GMDMA has established Emergency Operation Centre at MCGM Headquarters for monitoring and communication to State and Central agencies such as Army, Coast Guards, Navy and Railways. Besides, a City Disaster Response Force and City Disaster Institution were established for rescue operations and providing trainings on disaster preparedness to various stakeholders respectively.
- Due to lack of co-ordination, instructions given by the district/regional disaster management authorities remained unattended. SDMA did not prepare and submit the Annual Report on the activities to the State Legislature.
|Social Justice and Special Assistance Department
Functioning of Hostels for Backward Class Students
Social Justice and Special Assistance Department (SJSAD), GoM is responsible for promoting the educational, social and economic interest of the Backward Class (BC) students and to protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation. Amongst the schemes implemented by SJSAD, establishment of government hostels for BC students was one of the schemes implemented since 1922. The Secretary, SJSAD is the administrative head and is assisted by Commissioner, Social Welfare (CSW), Pune. The schemes were implemented and monitored by CSW with the assistance of Additional Commissioner, Pune and Joint Commissioner, Pune.
The Audit was conducted covering the period 2013-18 with the objective to assess whether comprehensive plan based on identified needs was in place to create and operate hostel infrastructure for BC students, provision and utilisation of funds was adequate and in adherence to the financial rules and budgetary procedure and functioning of the government BC hostels, residential schools and aided hostels in the State was effective to enhance the educational level of the BC boys and girls. Some of the deficiencies/ irregularities noticed are discussed below:
- The scheme of opening new Government Hostels for BCs in all the taluka headquarters was envisaged in 2005-06. However, even after lapse of 10 years the Government hostels in 128 talukas were not opened. The population norms for opening of Government hostels in taluka headquarters were also not strictly followed. The intake capacity of the hostels shifted to new premises was also not revised and sanctioned resulting in deprival of benefit to students. As against 100 Government Residential Schools to be opened, only 83 schools were opened.
- There was short utilisation of funds against the grants released. Though, the expenditure under plan heads was not commensurate with the demand and funds released by SJSAD in the last five years, the SJSAD continued to place demands on higher side every year without analysing the reasons for short utilisation of funds. Failure to ensure the fulfilment of conditions resulted in unfruitful expenditure of ` 24.78 crore due to non-imparting of computer training to the students.
- The hostels at regional levels having capacity of 1,000 students taken up in Nagpur, Mumbai and Pune remained incomplete. One unit of girls hostel at Latur though constructed in 2011 remained un-utilised. There was shortfall in supply of basic amenities in the Government hostels and Government residential schools. 42 girls hostels opened on the eve of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Jayanti were found short of proper infrastructure. The structural audits of the hostels which were more than 30 years old were also not undertaken.
- The rate of ‘Pariposhan Aahar’ payable to aided hostels was not revised commensurate with consumer price index since 2012 onwards. There was discrimination in providing meals to the students residing in old Government hostels and in new Government hostels.
- Despite directions by the Government, lease agreements of 10 Gymkhanas were not renewed for a period of nearly 12 to 48 years and lease rent of ` 1.27 crore for the year 2017 remained unrealised.
- Failure of both the Women and Child Development Department and the Public Works Department to ensure clearances to the land before construction, resulted in idling of Government State Home Building constructed at a cost of ` 6.71 crore for more than five years apart from non-achievement of objectives of creating additional accommodation for women inmates.
- Due to non-obtaining of Occupancy Certificate from the Nagpur Municipal Corporation by the Nagpur Housing and Area Development Board the beneficiaries of two Housing Schemes at Nagpur were deprived of their homes even after three to four years since payment of sale price of ` 124.20 crore to the Board
- Incorrect approval of Redevelopment Scheme of cessed buildings by Mumbai Building Repairs & Reconstruction Board resulted in undue financial benefits of ` 8.64 crore to a Developer. Besides, Developer had not surrendered surplus area of 960.46 square meter valued at ` 59.76 crore.
- Due to delay in initiating action against developers for recovery of outstanding dues of ` 98.91 crore, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority/Mumbai Building Repairs and Reconstruction Board failed to safeguard its financial interests.
- Inaction on the part of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to execute lease deed in time with lessee, resulted in loss of ` 41.47 crore. Besides, MMRDA did not recover ` 23.49 crore for delay in construction within specified time limit.
- The Urban Development Department in contravention of the provisions of Development Control Regulations for Greater Mumbai released excess TDR valued at ` 49.01 crore to the Developer. Besides, 3,493 tenements valuing ` 147.40 crore were not handed over by the Developer to Slum Rehabilitation Authority.
- Construction of Ashram School building despite declaration of village under Wild Life Sanctuary resulted in avoidable expenditure of ` 3.94 crore.
- Payment of Electricity Duty of ` 1.14 crore was made by Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Nagpur during the period April 2014 to June 2016 although such payments by the Government were exempt from the provisions of the Maharashtra Electricity Duty Act, 1958.