The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct inquiry against two senior officials of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), whose recommendations are necessary to allow a new institution to open and existing ones to run.
It is the first major crackdown from the country’s corruption watchdog against allegedly corrupt officials in AICTE, a statutory body to regulate over 15,000 technical education institutions in the country.
The CVC has earlier asked Chief Vigilance Officer of AICTE to conduct inquiries into complaints of irregular approvals given to some institutions like the one in Patiala, which got approval after the council’s deadline had expired. But it is apparently for the first time in the past few years that CVC has asked the CBI to investigate on the basis of its preliminary inquiry.
Senior government officials told HT that the CVC in a communication to the HRD ministry informed that the CBI had been asked to conduct inquiry into allegations of corruption against two officials — a regional director based in central India and a senior advisor in the AICTE headquarters. It is difficult to run an institution without approval of six regional directors and the advisors at AICTE headquarters.
Incidentally, the AICTE has not transferred the regional director, against whom the inquiry has been initiated, last year when five others were transferred. The advisor had recently come on deputation from a Delhi-based university.
A CVC official, who was not willing to be named, confirmed that a letter in this regard has been written to the technical education wing of the HRD ministry but refused to divulge details regarding charges of corruption.
Following the communication, AICTE chairperson RA Yadav reportedly called a meeting of all regional directors last week and asked them to be careful. He also warned them of strict action, if complaints of corruption were levelled, an AICTE official said on the condition of anonymity.
Attempts to reach Yadav have failed. He did not respond to a questionnaire regarding the CBI inquiry e-mailed to him on his official address on Tuesday. He was also not available over telephone in his office and on his mobile.