Bribery scandal in AICTE

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By OUR BUREAU in Delhi
  • Published 17.07.09

New Delhi, July 16: A bribery scandal is unfolding at the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), the apex regulator of engineering and polytechnic courses.

The CBI today arrested a member-secretary of AICTE on bribery charges and registered corruption cases against its chairman and others on separate complaints.

K. Narayan Rao was arrested while allegedly accepting Rs 5 lakh, the first instalment of a Rs 20-lakh bribe he is said to have demanded to grant recognition to a engineering college in Hyderabad. The college owner had filed a complaint alleging that a middleman, who was also arrested, had asked for the money on Rao’s behalf.

Recognition from the AICTE is necessary before a technical institute, whether government-owned or private, can offer any course. The council covers institutes other than those like the IITs which are set up by acts of Parliament.

Bank documents were seized from his office and houses in Hyderabad and Delhi, CBI officials said.

Later in the day, cases were registered against AICTE chairman R.A. Yadav, an adviser in the council, a deputy director and a regional officer under Section 120-B of the IPC (criminal conspiracy) and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The cases followed a complaint from the owner of a Faridabad institute, alleging that Yadav and the three officials demanded money for sanctioning an increase in the number of students, officials said.

The offices and homes of the AICTE’s regional officers in Bhopal and Chennai were also searched. A case of abuse of power was lodged against the Bhopal officer for allegedly facilitating approval for a chain that didn’t have proper infrastructure.

Member-secretary Rao faces vigilance cases, too, according to HRD ministry sources. Chairman Yadav, a former Delhi University professor, continued drawing retirement pension from the university even after joining the AICTE as vice-chairman three years ago.