West Godavari: Union Ministry of Education has suspended the Director of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Tadepalligudem on corruption charges. Identified as C Surya Prakash Rao, he was suspended for allegedly accepting bribes and recruiting ineligible persons without authorization.
Joint Secretary, Higher Education, Saumya Gupta asked Rao not to leave Tadepalligudem headquarters.
A professor of Mechanical Engineering at the National Institute of Technology, Warangal, he was appointed Director of NIT, Andhra Pradesh, on March 19, 2018, for five years.
In February 2022, CBI raided his residence and his relatives' houses in different parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu. CBI officials seized key documents.
Appointing ineligible persons in NIT
In one case, CBI registered cases against Surya Prakash Rao for recruiting ineligible persons in violation of rules. Those appointed include Ram Prasad as Public Relations cum Liaison Officer, Chekkalapally Annapurna, and Kappaka Gopalakrishna as Superintendents, V.V. Suresh Babu as Junior Assistant, and Veeresh Kumar as Assistant Professor.
According to the CBI officials, Rao appointed Ram Prasad on a contract basis from December 3, 2019, and paid Rs 50,000 per month when there was no post of public relations officer at NIT. While the age limit for the post of Superintendent / junior assistant post should not exceed 30 years, Annapurna, Gopalakrishna, and Suresh Babu were appointed in violation of the rules. This is said to be one of the major reasons for his suspension.
In another case, Suryaprakash Rao has allegedly taken a bribe from SS Caterers, a food service provider to the NIT, AP. Being a professor at NIT Warangal, Rao allegedly took a bribe of Rs 1.50 lakh from a Ph.D. scholar for whom he was the guide.