`CBSE biggie under CBI lens for AIEEE paper leaks`

Last Updated: Monday, July 1, 2013 - 08:35

New Delhi: The Centre has recommended a CBI inquiry into allegations of disproportionate assets against one of the most senior officials in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) examination board.

Pitam Singh, the head of special exams at CBSE, is under the CBI scanner after the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry, based on a preliminary inquiry, found some truth in a complaint forwarded by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in December last year.

Singh, who was responsible for conducting the All India Engineering Entrance Exam (AIEEE) from 2005 to 2012 — the largest engineering entrance test in the country — has been accused of making money by allegedly leaking AIEEE questions papers. Apart from this, he has also been accused of indulging in corruption while managing bids for the conduct of online examination for AIEEE.

Incidentally, the AIEEE paper leak in 2011 happened during his tenure as head of special exams.

The complaint alleges that Singh consequently amassed assets worth almost Rs 30 crore, which include a double-storey house, five apartments and three plots of land bought in the names of his wife and daughters in areas such as Sahibabad (Ghaziabad, UP), Dwarka (Delhi) and Hapur (UP). Singh did not respond to phone calls and SMSes sent by DNA on Sunday.

CBSE officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Singh joined the examination board as assistant secretary over two decades ago and, except for a brief exit in 1991, has been working with the board since then. He was appointed director (special exams) in 2004 and, by a conservative estimate, his current salary is over Rs 1 lakh a month.

According to HRD Ministry officials, the complaint against Pitam Singh makes a strong case for CBI inquiry as his father retired as a class IV government employee and even at his current salary, owning property worth crores seems unlikely.

This is not the first time that a member of an autonomous organisation under the HRD Ministry has come under the CBI scanner. Two years ago, the CBI had investigated and indicted several AICTE officials for accepting bribe to provide approval to unfit educational institutions.

Ritika Chopra/DNA

First Published: Monday, July 1, 2013 - 08:35
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