Hyderabad: Some coaching institutes in Telangana state have swindled crores of rupees in collusion with government officials under the guise of imparting free training to six notified minority communities under a scheme of the ministry of minority affairs.
The ministry of minority affairs is implementing Naya Savera, a free coaching scheme for candidates/ students belonging to six notified minority communities.
The scheme is meant to empower students from the minority communities by preparing them for competitive examinations, so that their participation in government and private jobs improves.
According to information posted on the website of the ministry, 11 organisations were selected to impart the free coaching in TS for 2017-2018 and 2018-19 sessions. Nine of them are based in Hyderabad.
Astonishingly, six of the nine coaching institutions work from the same UNI building situated at AC Guards. Moreover, all six are interlinked. It is obvious that they are run by a single syndicate under different names.
This correspondent visited the UNI building but could find no sign of the organisations mentioned on the ministry’s website as being the designated organisations. There were two locked and shuttered doors side by side, indicate remnants of two institutions with signboards indicating that one was the Amina Institute of Technology and the other the Symbiosis Group of Institutions.
According to information provided by the ministry of minority affairs, during the year 2017-18, under Regular Component of Free Coaching and Allied Scheme, the following amounts were released:
Rs 66,70,000 as the second instalment for 2015-16 to SUPPORT-Charity Organisation.
Rs 6,50,000 as first instalment (Eamcet) for the year 2016-17 to Society for Health Awareness and Rural Enlightenment (SHARE), Khammam.
Rs 7,80,000 as first instalment (PET) for 2016-17 to AIM Education & Research Society.
Rs 71, 67,000 as second instalment for the year 2014-15 to Yamini Softech Private Limited, Amrutha Arkade, Gayathri Nagar, Ameerpet, Hyderabad.
Rs 80,03,000 as first instalment (PMT/PET) for 2016-17 to Jagruthi Educational Society, H. No. 11-4-637/1, 1st Floor, Moghal Chambers, Opp. IT Towers, A.C. Guards, Hyd (Functional centre at:-Jagruthi Study Circle, Hussaini Alam, Yakutpura, Charminar, Hyderabad).
Rs 67,56,000 as first instalment (Medical/Engg) for the year 2016-17 to Yamini Softech Pvt Ltd.
Rs 72,07,000 as first instalment (Medical/Engg) for the year 2016-17 to Support-Charity Organisation, Regd. Off: #202, NCL-Kaveri-I, Above Food World, Shanthi Nagar, Masab Tank, Hyd. (Functional centre at:- SBH Colony, Gudimalkapur, Hyd and Ground Floor, UNI Building).
Under New Component of Free Coaching and Allied Scheme, the following amounts were released:
Rs 91,66,666 as first and second instalments for the year 2016-17 for Medical/ Engg.
Rs 1,00,00,000 as second instalment for Class XII for 2015-16 and Rs 47,03,800 as balance amount for Class XI for 2015-16 to Seva Bharathi (Sri Chaitanya Junior College), H. No. 5- 30/30/A, Singareddy Palem, Nelakondapally (V&M), Khammam, Rs 1,00,00,000 as second instalment for Class XII for 2015-16 to Support-Charity Organisation (Sri Chaitanya Junior College), Shanthi Nagar, Masab Tank, Hyd.
Rs 48,68,800 as balance amount for Class XI for 2015-16 to Support-Charity Organisation (Sri Chaitanya Junior College), Dharur (V&M), Ranga Reddy District and Nizamabad.
According to a statement provided by the ministry in the year 2017-18, under regular and new components, Rs 7.59 crore was given to institutions in Telangana state, out of which one syndicate which runs colleges in the name of Sri Chaitanya swallowed Rs 6.06 crore.
Likewise, Rs 5,55,52,000 was paid as first instalment and Rs 4,74,97,000 as second instalment (total Rs 10.30 crore) for 2016-17 to institutions in TS.
Gowthama Buddah Educational Society, J. Foundation, Seva Bharathi, Mother Theresa Mahila Mandali, Support-Charity Organisation and Jagruthi Educational Society together got Rs 11.93 crore.
While the objectives of Naya Savera free coaching and allied scheme for candidates/ students belonging to minority communities is to assist them so that they can qualify for examinations for admission in technical/ professional courses such as engineering, medical, law, management, information technology etc. as well as for competitive examinations for recruitment to Group ‘A’ , ‘B’ and ‘C’ services and other equivalent posts under the Central and state governments, students have not benefited as they should have because of the misappropriation of funds.
The ministry fixed certain eligibility criteria for the implementing agencies. Among other things, the organisation must develop the management information system and upload the course-wise and location-wise details of students along with their photographs at the start of coaching programmes.
They have to mobilise the students within 30 days from the date the sanction order is issued and ensure minimum 30 per cent girls are enrolled in the coaching programme.
Organisations also had to ensure the programme was adequately advertised so that eligible students would hear of it.
Newspapers in Hindi, Urdu, English and the local language, cable TV networks and even hoardings were to be the publicity vehicles. The organisation had to take a photograph of each day with date indicated on it and upload it on their website; maintenance of a website was mandatory.
Most organisations provided wrong information, which was endorsed by the district minority welfare officer of the Telangana state government. For instance, in an inspection report pertaining to M/S Support Charity Organisation, the website address given was www.psrausiasstudycircle.com. When you visit the URL, the window opens but it asks you to enter the password. In the column asking for the coaching centre’s address, three places are given: ground floor of UNI Building, Masab Tank, Islamia College, SRT Colony, Yakutpura, and Rahmania College, Charminar. But when citizens of a minority community inquired at two of these addresses about the implementation of the coaching scheme, they were told by the staff of the two institutions in the old city that they were not offering or implementing any scheme as mentioned in the inspection report.
In 2017 the ministry diluted many of these criteria.
When a social worker and whistle-blower, Sadiq Hussain, started seeking information from the ministry and complaining about the embezzlement of funds meant for minority students, attempts were made to first bribe him, and when that didn’t work, a bogus letter purporting to withdraw the complaint was sent to the ministry on the letterhead of Hussain’s organisation, Citizens’ Association for Fundamental Duties, in June this year.
The fake letter stated: “In the beginning we thought that this Support Charity Organisation under the management of Sri Chaitanya Group was exploiting minority funds. We have made several complaints with many government Organisations including CBI. But we received excellent feedback from CBI and other government organisations that this Sri Chaitanya Group of Institutions doing extremely well to the minorities and funds were properly utilised as per norms of ministry of minority affairs under IFD rules. We have verified 70% available Students who took Free Coaching with Support Charity Organisation and other Sri Chaitanya Group of Organisations and got 99% accuracy in implementing the GIA scheme (sic).”
The ministry was informed that the complaint had been withdrawn. However, the joint director of the ministry had his doubts and asked officials to confirm with the complainant whether it was genuine. Sadiq Hussain said that it was only when he received a letter from the ministry that he came to know about the conspiracy against him.
Hussain said that the Sri Chiatanya Group and Support Charity Organisation, against whom the main accusation was made, went on the offensive. The CEO and chairman of Sri Chaitanya Group of Colleges and Support Charity Organisation lodged a complaint at the police station in Saifabad on June 26, 2018, and an FIR was filed under crime no. 297/2018 on the same date under sections 506, 384, 509, r/w 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
In the complaint she complained about the blackmailing by certain persons P. Prem Sagar, Bhaskar, Md Sadiq Hussain, Showkath Ali, Iftekhar Ahmed, and Azam Mohd who she said sent letters with a demand for money to avoid a complaint being made to the CBI.
According to the complainant she received five letters on different dates in which she was asked to pay Rs 10 lakh, Rs 50 lakh, Rs 50 lakh, Rs 1 crore and Rs 15 lakh, totalling Rs 2.5 crore and she had paid some part of this amount on behalf of the organisation: Rs 30 lakh on January 6, 2018, Rs 10 lakh on March 3, 2018 to Sadiq Hussain and Iftekhar Ahmed and Rs 4 lakh to P. Prem Sagar through D. Srinivasa Rao, advocate, and Rs 3 lakh directly to Prem Sagar, Iftekhar Ahmed and Sadiq Hussain.
Sadiq Hussain, who is a post-graduate in Law, said: “How stupid am I that I can be blackmailed by sending letters? Did the police verify the source of nearly `60 lakh, allegedly paid to me, and why did they pay? They think with this harassment, they will succeed in silencing me.”
Subverting government programmes that are meant for the welfare of the underprivileged is the bane of this country and here, it seems, is another example of it.