SGSITS suspends Gate 2020 training programme, violation in 1.5 crore tender

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INDORE: A Gate 2020 training programme, which was going on at SGSITS Indore, has been suspended because of violation of norms during tender process for selection of coaching institute for students. The World Bank-funded programme was being run under Technical Education Improvement programme, phase three, of the union government.

SGSITS stopped the programme as per instruction of MP state project implementation unit (SPIU) of ministry of human resources and development on October 9.

SPIU also informed the institute that expenditure incurred by it on the project would not be reimbursed. Before the project was suspended, SGSITS had paid Rs25 lakh to Engineer’s Circle Education Private Limited, the firm which had won contract for coaching the students.

The suspension came after SPIU’s three member probe committee comprising deputy director (technical education) Dr Subodh Pandey, SPIU nodal officer (academic) Dr Preeti Maheshwari and SPIU nodal officer Dr Anshuman Sharma found that all conditions were not met while approving tenders for Gate 2020 training programme. The committee, in its report of September 19, had also noted that the institute had negotiated with firms that had submitted tenders against the rules.

The probe panel had been set up after Kushal Agarwal, MD of Navigate Institute (a coaching institute) lodged a complaint with National Project Implementation Unit of HRD ministry on August 28. Agarwal, who had also submitted a tender for the training programme, alleged that SPIU norms were violated and tender was allotted to an L2 company (company with second lowest bid).

SGSITS had floated tender for Gate 2020 training programme on March 6 and issued work order to Engineer’s Circle Education Private Limited on July 25.

“We had formed a committee of three members for tendering process. The committee finalized four firms for final round and allotted tender to Engineer’s Circle Education Private Limited,” SGSITS director Rakesh Saxena said. “As per NPIU guidelines, a conflict of interest had arisen, so we had to opt for an L2 firm,” said Saxena.

“There was no fault on our end and firm was allotted tender in accordance with eligibility criteria. The payment was stopped as probe by NPIU was pending, ” Engineer’s Circle Education Private Limited director Manish Gupta said.

SPIU (MP) director Seema Saxena refused to comment on the issue.

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