Massive scam worth crores suspected
BHUBANESWAR: The improvement of education is a priority of every Government. The Covid-19 pandemic had given the State Government the opportunity to think for investments in the education sector in name of the digitisation with some mollified intent.
During the pandemic, the Odisha Government had taken steps for setting up 3,199 Smart Classrooms with five years maintenance for the Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) under the 5T initiatives of the State Government for good governance in the State.
However, in the name of enabling digital infrastructure in the schools for Smart Class, some Government agencies are deviating from the 5T norms and using it to indulge in massive corruption by investing on the infrastructure without proper plans to get its benefits.
For example, the Odisha Computer Academic Centre (OCAC), the State nodal agency under the Electronics and Information Technology Department was assigned to select the agency through open tender. On November 18, 2021 it was awarded by OCAC for Rs 98,59,19,984 to New-Delhi based organisation Uneecops Technologies.
The same agency Uneecops was awarded by OCAC for Implementation of 694 Smart Classrooms in Adarsh Vidyalayas under the School and Mass Education Department on February 2, 2022 for Rs 203,911,080. It is alleged that all the open tender norms were flouted by OCAC for selecting Uneecop.
The agency was selected on the basis of their State representatives’ proximity to the higher authorities of the OCAC.
Reliable sources said the same agency was awarded with Odisha One portal for Rs 8,00,70,106 and State portal website for Rs 7,68,39,592 by the OCAC on nomination from National Informatics Centre Service Inc on July 7,2019.
However, these contracts worth Rs 16 crore were awarded to Uneecop by the OCAC without floating a tender. Interestingly, the award through the tender process by OCAC has the same committee, same nodal officer and same member to draft the tender.
It might be mentioned here that basic infrastructure and adequate technical manpower has not been no provided for the Smart Class and Adarsh Vidayalas.