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Stipend swindled, ITI Trainees left dry

The Sprawling ITI campus at Kasomtang Ukhrul. The Sprawling ITI campus at Kasomtang Ukhrul.

Least of all expectations and in a clear case of taking advantage of the simple and ignorant, three years stipends of more than 150 trainees of the government run Industrial Training Institute (ITI) Ukhrul amounting to Rs. 3, 86,110 has been found seemingly swindled as the stipend never reached the trainees even after Manipur Government accorded sanction of the stipend last October.
The issue came to light after media persons unearthed a copy of Manipur Government’s Sanction Order dated 19th October 2011. The Order issued in the name of the Governor signed by the Addl. Secretary, Labour & Employment, Govt of Manipur, Bobby Waikhom stated that ‘The Governor of Manipur is pleased to accord Administrative approval and expenditure sanction to an amount not exceeding Rs.3,86,110 (Rs. Three lacs eighty six thousand one hundred ten) only for payment of stipend to the Trainees of ITI Ukhrul for the period from 2008-09 to 2010-11’.
The Order further stated that ‘the expenditure is debitable to major head 2230 Labour & Employment (Plan) 03-Training, 101-ITI, 11-ITI, Detailed Expenses for the year 2011-12. The Order also clearly stated that it is issued with the concurrence of Finance Department Govt of Manipur vide their U.O.No 2/2011-12/FD(13-p/14) dated 10-10-2011’.
When members of Ukhrul District Journalist Association enquired on the matter to the trainees and staff of ITI Ukhrul they were found surprisingly not aware of any Govt. Order in the matter of payment of stipend. The Superintendent in charge of Ukhrul ITI R.S Shaiza said he was quite unaware of the Government Order. He categorically stated “We are totally in the dark. ITI Office Ukhrul never received any information about the Govt’s Order nor does any stipend distributed to its Trainees since 2007”.
Some past trainees of 2008-10 when contacted said they had never received any stipend nor were any information received from the Institute about the possibility of payment of their due stipend.
Ukhrul’s ITI Trainees launched series of agitation in 2008 and 2009 regarding non payment of their stipend.
Established in 1973 Industrial Training Institute Ukhrul is the oldest in Manipur. It started with just three trades in a rented room at Alungtang but was later upgraded to 10 Trades along with the construction of a sprawling campus at Kasomtang in 2008.
Almost all the trainees of ITI are from the economically poor background looking for jobs as soon as the course is over. Deprivation of basic student stipends and short supply of basic equipments to the Institute by the Government for learning has also taken its toll to the reputation of the Institute with student trainees showing non-challant in seeking admission to the one most popular institute of the District.

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