This has been revealed in documents obtained by Adv. Aires Rodrigues from the Directorate of Higher Education under the Right to Information Act.
Shruti Nayak is currently teaching at MES College at Vasco.
As per the documents obtained under RTI, for the year 2007-2008 the department of Higher Education had issued an advertisement on 10th April 2007 calling for applications by 30th April for the ‘Goa Scholars’ scheme.
Shruti Nayak had submitted her application on 30th April in which she stated that the course for which her admission is confirmed was M.Sc in Mathematics from Goa University. She did not however in the application form disclose that she had already commenced her M.Sc course in 2006. The ‘Goa Scholars’ award is for students who have obtained admission for post graduate studies and not for a course already done.
Interestingly in the note attached to her application on why she should be considered for the scholarship, Shruti Nayak stated that she proposed to do her research through either TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research), IISC (Indian Institute of Science} or IIT (India Institute of Technology) and that not to financially burden her parents she required the scholarship. Four years after receiving the four lakhs from the Goa Government Ms Shruti Nayak is yet to do her PhD. The records of IIT Bombay show that Shruti Nayak had on 4th & 5th June 2008 appeared for an entrance test and interview for PhD in Mathematics but was unsuccessful.
The documents obtained by Adv. Rodrigues reveals that in 2007 while the selection process for the ‘Goa Scholars’ award was on, a note was moved that as the daughter of Director of Higher Education Bhaskar Nayak had applied for the Goa Scholar Scheme that the selection committee be reconstituted with someone else as its Member Secretary. Accordingly Vivek Kamat then Joint Director of Technical Education was appointed as Member secretary of the selection committee to replace Bhaskar Nayak.
However Bhaskar Nayak continued as Director of Higher Education, the department which processed the application and paid Shruti Nayak the four lakhs under the ‘Goa Scholar’ scheme.
The six member selection committee headed by then Vice Chancellor of Goa University Prof Deelip Deobagkar short listed 27 out of the 53 who had applied for the award.
Out of the 27 short listed only 17 appeared for the final interview of which 5 were selected for the ‘Goa Scholars’ award for the year 2007-2008 including Shruti Nayak.
The ‘Goa Scholars’ scheme was launched in the year 2003-2004 to promote pursuit of post graduate studies and to ensure that economic conditions or financial difficulties do not come in the way of such pursuit.
The scheme aims at assisting meritorious students to undertake post graduate studies in institutions of proven excellence in India or abroad. Over two years Rs two lakhs per year is paid to those taking post graduation studies in India and a one time amount of 15,000 dollars to those studying abroad.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues has today demanded that the four lakhs illegally pocketed by Shruti Nayak be immediately recovered from her by the Goa government with interest and that action be taken in the matter in accordance with law.
Adv. Rodrigues has further stated that though Director of Higher Education Bhaskar Nayak had officially stayed out of the selection committee, he should have been well aware that his daughter had applied for a scheme under his department for which she was not entitled to.
Alleging that it was a clear case of cleverly trying to manipulate and cheat the government, Adv. Rodrigues has demanded that in public interest all disbursement of public funds should be meticously scrutinized and monitored.
Bhaskar Nayak who is holding charge as Director of Higher Education since July 2007 is also the Principal of Government College of Arts, Science and Commerce at Quepem from 2005. Nayak had earlier held the post of Director of Higher Education from 2002 to 2005.