AICTE heads roll in Sibal's operation clean-up

Chairman, 4 others suspended; HRD ministry seeks transparency

AICTE heads roll in Sibal's operation clean-up

 Yadav, who is being investigated by the CBI for his alleged involvement in a corruption case, was asked by the ministry to either step down or proceed on leave in view of the inquiry into the corruption case filed early this month. The minister took the drastic step as Yadav defied the instruction.

“Yadav did not step down on his own or proceed on leave. It was not appropriate on his part to continue in the post given the investigation against him. So he has been suspended,” ministry sources said. AICTE Vice-Chairman S S Mantha has been given the additional charge as chairman.

In the ongoing clean-up drive, the Ministry has already shown the door to the third senior-most official, K Narayana Rao. The member-secretary of AICTE, Rao was deemed to have been suspended in the wake of his arrest by the CBI, earlier this month. Rao, a doctorate from the Indian Institute of Science, too has come under corruption cloud over matters of granting recognition to technical institutions.

While Rao was arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe for inspection and approval of an engineering college in Hyderabad, the CBI has also registered corruption cases against AICTE adviser H C Rai and Deputy Director R Randhawa in a separate case.

Corruption cases

On July 16, the CBI arrested Rao, besides registering corruption cases against Yadav, Regional Officer Sriom Dalal, Randhawa and Rai. “As Rao has been jailed, he is deemed to have been suspended,” sources said.

As per government rules, an official lodged in jail for more than two days is automatically considered as suspended.

The Ministry has also suspended Dalal while it terminated the contract of Randhawa. Yadav and Rao were considered to be close to former HRD minister Arjun Singh. Besides wielding the axe against these officials, the ministry also spelt out a number of measures to usher in transparency in the AICTE’s functioning. It has directed the apex bodies like the AICTE to put up all relevant information regarding affiliations and project approvals in the public domain.

As part of the “cleansing operation” the Ministry has asked AICTE to make it mandatory to display information on-line about the progress in the applications of institutes for approval or accreditation.

The ministry, through an e-governance project, would put all relevant information about the body on its website. Under the project, any institute can learn on-line the status of its application pertaining to approval for new courses, increasing the intake of existing programmes or accreditation to its programmes.

On-line information

“The purpose is to bring transparency in the system. By this e-governance system, every institute will be able to track the progress in their applications on-line. They need not come to the AICTE office,” an HRD Ministry official said.

The process will be similar to the Railways’ PNR number system under which passengers are able to know the progress in confirmation of their tickets.

“The AICTE will also display if there is any laxity on the part of the institute seeking approval or accreditation. The institutes can fulfill the deficiencies and comply,” the official said, adding that the regional offices would also be inter-linked through the e-governance system. The step assumes significance in the backdrop of the CBI action.
The Ministry has also directed educational institutions to provide information on their websites relating to availability of infrastructure and physical assets, grants-in-aid provided by the government and their utilisation and admission criteria.

DH News Service

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