In a development that is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the country’s cooperative movement, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has issued an order delinking NCCT from NCUI. “Since NCCT is run on the govt grant why should a private body like NCUI control it”, is the kernel of the ministry’s argument.
The bombshell in the form of a letter dropped on 22nd February has unnerved cooperative leaders who are sure to close ranks to fight it out. The final call would be taken when the Governing Council meets on 10th of March in Bangaluru during the South Zone Co-op Conference.
The 5-6 page Ministry letter titled “Establishing National Council of Cooperative Training (NCCT) as an independent, Central and Professional entity-delinking from National Cooperative Union of India” contains issues from ambivalent status of NCCT to Lecturer scams to a grant of roughly Rs 5000 crore given to NCCT for it training programmes.
The letter says that the status of NCCT has been ambivalent right from its inception. Though it is a 100 per cent grantee organization of the govt of India, it is being controlled by NCUI, the letter argues. It also says that NCUI is a private body which neither comes under RTI nor is open to the govt audit.
Tracing the history of NCCT from it start and how MS Swamninathan as well as RBI were involved in its inception the letter refers to the eleventh five year plan till when NCCT used to get 100 per cent govt grant. It was after the 12th five year plan that its training began to be funded by the interest of Corpus of Education Fund with the shortage being supplied by the govt.
The letter says that due to control of NCUI, NCCT failed to achieve its distinction and was not able to achieve its target. The reputations of its premier institute VAMNICOM also suffered and its image got tarnished due to intense politicking and mismanagement.
The letter also says that the only official appointed by Ministry in NCCT is its Secretary and he is too junior to DG or Chairman to have his way. “There are several instances where the directives of the Ministry have not been adhered to by the NCCT”, the letter quotes.
The letter also mentions the Lecturer scam of 2010-11 when it says series of irregularities were committed in the appointment of 36 posts of lecturers. Chairman, NCCT is accountable for checking corruption and despite instruction for stringent action no action was taken.
Curiously, this letter has not been posted on the MSCS website so far. Due to the intervening festival of Holi cooperators were also not available for comment. But there will be fireworks sooner than later, said a senior cooperator to Indian Cooperative.