Business Today

CAG pulls up HRD Ministry on Aakash tablet project

CAG raised questions over "arbitrary" selection of IIT, Rajasthan to launch the scheme without carrying out an assessment of its capacity to undertake the work.

Mail Today Bureau | September 7, 2013 | Updated 10:36 IST
CAG finds many bugs in Aakash project

While the ministry of human resource development launched the Aakash tablet with much fanfare , the country's supreme audit authority has found several flaws in the project.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India's latest report points out that the project was launched in haste and the agency selected for execution lacked capacity for carrying out the work. Without any prudent assessment, funds to the tune of Rs 47.42 crore were put at the dis-posal of Indian Institute of Technology-Rajasthan (IIT-R).

The first round of tendering found only one technically suitable bidder. In March 2011, IIT-R decided to go for a second round of tendering and selected DataWind. But against 1 lakh tablets ordered, DataWind could supply only 6,440 devices till Novem-ber 2011. Out of these, 5,790 were rejected by IIT-R and even the rest were accepted conditionally for testing.

The dispute between IIT-R and DataWind could not be sorted out and finally in February 2012, the institute requested the project to be transferred from them. Now, the ministry is trying to execute the project through IIT-Bombay.

The audit report has questioned the selec-tion of IIT-R for carrying out a project of this kind. The report indicates that the selection was done in a non-transparent manner and the preparedness on the part of IIT-R was insufficient leading to the bad performance subsequently.

Interestingly, the CAG report highlights that while IIT-R could not implement the project, it did spend money in sending the ministry's representatives to a foreign jaunt in Canada and its own officials for a trip to China and Taiwan.

The report points out that "unfruitful expenditure" of Rs 1.05 crore was made for these foreign trips.

Courtesy: Mail Today 

  • Print

A    A   A