Corruption-ridden All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has made a seeming attempt at cleaning up its act, shifting out heads of all its regional offices except Bhopal, and announcing it would get rid of all tainted officials in the next two months.
Member-secretary Dr K Narayana Rao admitted there were charges of irregularities against several AICTE babus. Hindustan Times has repeatedly exposed malpractices in the functioning of India’s top regulator of technical education institutes — this, however, is the first time that a senior AICTE official has conceded this publicly.
The “preliminary round of revamp” — as Rao described the transfers on Thursday — has not impressed many, however. Experts in the field said the move was “an eyewash” to impress political bosses and the media. They also suspected it was aimed at diverting attention from the appointment of R A Yadav, the controversial acting chairperson, as council chief.
“Unless there is a check on corruption during the inspection of institutes, nothing will change,” said the director of a city-based technical education institute.
AICTE’s regional offices are considered dens of corruption because they are authorized to carry out inspections before the council gives its approval to a new institution.
The transfers that began on Wednesday, included the shifting of Om Dalal of Chandigarh, who had got an earlier transfer order cancelled within a couple of days of its issuance in July 2007. Another officer under the scanner, S P Singh of Kanpur, has been transferred too. Two senior officials at AICTE’s Delhi headquarters have been shifted.
AICTE’s regional offices have given a preliminary nod to a large number of new institutions and courses in the next academic session. The way AICTE goes about inspecting these approvals before putting the final seal on them, is expected to be the litmus test for the council’s credibility.