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UK probing misuse of education aid to India

London, June 14
Britain has launched an inquiry into reports that millions of pounds of aid for education and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has disappeared into the depths of corruption without any benefit to the poor children.

Shocked by reports based on findings by the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell said: “These are shocking allegations. I have launched an immediate inquiry to ensure that British aid has not been misused. The new British Government will have zero tolerance to corruption.”

Reports in the British media about the corruption mentioned a figure of £340 million in aid to a schools project for children under the age of 14. An audit of money earmarked for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan project found that £70 million had reportedly vanished.

Mitchell said: “When I took up this job a month ago I made a pledge to taxpayers that they must know that for every pound of their money, we will get 100 pence of value. Now I’m reviewing every single one of the Department for International Development’s country programmes to ensure we are giving aid to where it’s most needed - to help the world’s poorest.” “The News of the World” quoted a report by India’s Auditor General that almost 14 million pounds had been spent on items and luxuries that had nothing to do with schools.

The investigation said: “Cash meant for kids’ education has been blown on luxuries. We discovered that officials throughout the country had used it to buy new cars and in one instance aid was spent on four luxury beds costing £17,754 as well as a £3,803 computer.” Large amounts of money were shown to have been spent on schools that reportedly did not exist, while in some cases ACs, faxes, photocopiers and 7,531 colour television sets were reportedly bought despite there being no electricity supply. — PTI





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