CBI investigators have found that professors of top engineering colleges, including the Indian Institutes of Technology and the National Institutes of Technology, were prima facie involved in illegal approvals for private engineering colleges across India.
After an 11-month probe into the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) scam that began with the arrest of its chairman Prof. R. A. Yadav in New Delhi, the CBI has registered 42 cases against engineering colleges for “illegally” obtaining AICTE’s permission without having even basic infrastructure and facilities.
In one case, the agency found that the same building was shown to AICTE’s expert committees three times to obtain approvals for three different engineering colleges.
In Uttar Pradesh, a committee submitted its inspection report in favour of Rajendra Singh Institute in Aligarh last year despite the fact that the site was farmland.
“We found that there was nothing at the site. We’ve booked several persons, including a professor from IIT Delhi, who submitted the wrong inspection report for allowing the said institute to start an engineering college,” a CBI source said. Since July last, the CBI has investigated more than 200 complaints and found that 42 engineering colleges were illegally granted approvals. The agency has filed chargesheets in two cases pertaining to colleges in Gujarat and Rajasthan, and is expected to complete investigations in the other 40 cases by the end of 2010.
An agency official said: “More than 100 persons have been accused in these cases currently being investigated by 17 CBI branches across India.”
It was found that AICTE officials from top to bottom seem to have formed a cartel. Some expert committees, the official said, did not even visit the sites before submitting reports, while in many cases it was found that the experts deliberately visited the same site again and again and issued certificates for starting two to three engineering colleges at the same place.
“Since there are more than 8,000 engineering colleges in India and we’ve been forwarding fresh complaints to the HRD (Human Resource Development) Ministry for further action. The ministry, after its probe into these cases, would be referring back only those cases to us in which criminal intent of officials are prima facie found. In the rest of the cases, however, it will initiate disciplinary actions on its own,” the official said.