Teams of CBI officials conducted surprise checks at several engineering colleges on Thursday in the light of corruption charges against suspended AICTE Member Secretary K. Narayana Rao.

The teams comprising two CBI officers, a representative of AICTE and a civil engineer, swooped on the colleges and sought records of the land, fixed deposits, infrastructure. The civil engineer personally measured the space meant for classrooms, labs and administrative offices and verified it with the land conversion records of the colleges, according to sources. However, they did not touch the faculty records.

Confirming this, K.V.K. Rao, correspondent of St. Mary’s Engineering College, Deshmukhi, said “the entire inspection was done in a transparent manner and I was asked to sign on a certificate that presented all the details of the inspection,” he said. “In fact, they asked me to sign on the copy only if I was satisfied with the inspection. ” Later, a photocopy of the certificate was given to the college management while the original was taken away by them.

Sources said the inspections are likely to continue with several colleges. The suspended official, Dr. Narayana Rao, who hails from the State was arrested on July 16 this year on corruption charges. He was arrested along with ‘middleman’ S.B. Subba Rao when they were allegedly accepting Rs. 5 lakh from the owner of an engineering college in the State. Later, the CBI registered a case against them. Some amount of cash and documents were apparently recovered from Dr. Rao’s residence in Delhi and Hyderabad and that of his associate. It is a known fact that several colleges in the State do not conform to the AICTE standards but managed to get clearance certificates ‘bribing’ officials at AICTE. Students have been complaining about poor infrastructure but the AICTE continued to give permission to new colleges apparently throwing all norms to the winds.

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