An allegation of fraud has been found in the purchase of a Tk 10 lakh book from the Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET). The original book had to be purchased. But photocopies were secretly bought from the printing house. The price of the photocopied book itself turns out to be several times higher than the actual price of the original book. In the name of buying books, some professors and university officials made this irregularity together. Despite these complaints, the Audit Committee also gave the Purchasing Committee a clean bill after paying the bill.
It is known as Dr. S. Chand Publications of India. The printed price of the original book ‘Modern Inorganic Chemistry’ by RD Madan is Tk 11280. It is sold in Bangladesh for just over two thousand rupees. Abu Musa, the owner of Sabuj library at Sonadighi intersection in Rajshahi town, says they are selling photocopies of the book for Tk 150. But the Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET) bought the photocopy of the book for 5 thousand 180 taka. Two copies of this book were purchased for 10,000,360 taka.
The investigation showed that on June 16, 2021, Mahbubul Alam, the Acting Librarian of Ruet Central Library, requested the Vice Chancellor to urgently purchase books worth around three lakh rupees. In the request, he mentioned that the original books will be procured urgently through the standard request for quotation-SRFQ. The then Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rafiqul Alam Sheikh, accepted the request and approved the purchase of books. Later, a company named Comtech Computer and Printers-2 of Rangpur was ordered to supply books to ETE, IPE, GCE, URP and MTE departments. But the institution provided photocopies and not original books.
It is known that the institution called Comtech Computer and Printers-2 is not a library. The printing press belongs to them. Also visible in the business license obtained from Rangpur City Corporation, the company description reads “Chapkhana”. The Acting Librarian of RUET Mahbubul Alam, with the connivance of some professors and officials of the engineering department, purchased the photocopies excluding the original books. But the price turns out to be several times higher than the original book.
Likewise, the Vice Chancellor has approved the purchase of books worth around two lakh rupees from the Revenue Department in the financial year 2020-21. Later on June 27, an order was given to another printing company named Hitech Digital Sign in Rangpur to supply books. They provided books for the MSE, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Economics departments. Photocopy books are also purchased from here. The price paid is several times higher than that of the original book. Thus, 9 lakh 97,000,377 Taka pounds were withdrawn from these two institutions in four batches.
Professor Farooq Hossain, Chairman of RUET’s Central Library Development Committee, said: “When the books were purchased, many complaints spread across campus. I protested that you couldn’t buy photocopied books for the library. The original book must be purchased. But instead of an open bidding process for the purchase of four-lot books through SRFQ’. They secretly bought photocopied books and filled the library without telling me. Photocopies can only be understood by taking the books in hand. Such irregularities and corruption cannot be accepted in a place like a university.
Meanwhile, it was found that after the purchase of books, a score sheet was handed over to the vice chancellor of the central bank for the appointment of officers on February 8 for quality control. Professor Abu Sufian the next day. The vice-chancellor has formed a three-member audit committee headed by Zia Hasan. The other members of this committee are Professor Ali Hossain and engineer Noman Parvez.
Teacher. Abu Sufian, head of the audit committee to discover serious irregularities in the purchase of books and the purchase of photocopy books. Zia Hasan was met but refused to speak. Professor Ali Hossain, another member of the committee, did not answer the question of whether he had noticed any irregularities in the purchase of the book and the quality control.
By going to the central library of Ruet last Wednesday afternoon, we can see that several books are kept on a locker in a room of the old building. The room is under renovation. Evidence of photocopies of pages from several books was found there. The graphics and images in the book are unclear. The writing isn’t clear either. At that time, Acting Librarian Mahbubul Alam was also present with this reporter. When asked, he said, “The two contractors provided us with several photocopied books in the name of original books. Later, some modifications were made selectively from them. But perhaps photocopied books still exist.”
When contacted, AKM Khurshid Alam, owner of Comtech Computer and Printers-2, a book supplier, said, “Our business is printing. No library. Nor is there a separate license for the supply of books. But we supplied the books to Ruet by buying them from other parties. The then Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rafiqul Islam Sheikh, said: “I don’t know if there was corruption or fraud in the purchase of books.”
Prof. Deepkendranath Das, Chairman of the Rajshahi branch of the TIB-Aware Citizens Committee (SANAK), said that if teachers also sell their conscience and self-esteem for money, then where else will the nation go! It is a shame for the nation. ACC will be formally notified of corruption in the purchase of books at Le Rouet.