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  • Blogs

    1.  

      Ever since 2014, India has witnessed a huge surge in Religious related violence. India was ranked fourth in the world in 2015 – after Syria, Nigeria and Iraq – for the highest social hostilities involving religion, reported the Huffington Post,2017. There lies a substantial need for establishment of a government body to look after the atrocities faced by Minorities, Dalits and Tribals. 

       

      These practices have a long history beyond Pre-Independent India. Therefore, the First Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru sought an Government advisory body to look through these problems and find ways to stop and solve them. Thus, the National Integration Council was formed in Sept, 1961. The main purpose was to find ways to counter problems that were dividing the country by Communalism, Casteism and Regionalism. It was a group of Senior politicians and public figures including Chief ministers, Cabinet ministers, , entrepreneurs, celebrities, media heads, chief ministers, and opposition leaders to find a way to address these problems. 

       

      The last assembly of the council was on 28th October, 2013 under the leadership of the then PM Manmohan Singh. The next years from 2014-2020, were of no commitment by the NDA Government to Reconstitute the National Integration Council. One of the major reasons could be understood by their opposition to Communal Bill in 2011. Of which Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said Bill may create 'impression' among the people at large that the majority community is "always responsible for communal incidents. 

       

      On an RTI dated 8th Dec, 2017 had stated “ Reconstitution of National Integration Council under government Consideration” . But then again after almost 3 years another RTI dated 21st June,2020 replied “ there exit no regular of specific time intervals for conveying NIC meeting. The Centre Government assists State Government/UT’s in maintaining communal harmony in a varied ways like sharing of intelligence, sending alert messages, advisories, etc from time to time on important developments having bearing on communal harmony”. The Contradictions of two RTI’s filed between a gap of 3 years proves that there is no commitment to Reconstitute the National Integration Council, nor to Curb violence based on  Communalism, Casteism or Regionalism. 

       

       Ambedkar, in his writings on communalism, had posited that in democratic politics if the communal majority undermines state power then it is imperative for the democratic state to develop a certain institutional mechanism to safeguard the rights of the minorities. In other words, it is imperative to bridge the gap between the majority and minority communities. However, the incumbent political regime in India has aided a widening of this gap between the two communities on the pretext of a democratic process.

       

      The Founding Fathers of Indian Democracy were afraid of such acts in Future, thus they’ve mentioned these during their period and worked towards creating such institutions of great importance. But the Communal and Majoritarian Politics in recent times has been very ignorant of these reforms. Such ignorance lies against the Democratic and Secular Nature of Indian Constitution, which stands with empowering each and every Citizen with Justice in Social, Economic and Political forms.



       

      National integration council Reply (RTI).pdf

  • Our picks

    • WHAT AFTER DECISION BY CENTRAL/STATE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER

      There are a large number of instances, where the State Information Commissioners are passing orders contrary to the spirit and object of RTI Act and contradicting the laid down procedures. Another issue is the Public Authorities did not comply the decisions of CIC/SIC and the Information Commissions are not strict about enforcing penal provisions under section-20. The Information Seekers feel they were pushed to the dead end. There is a common feeling that no appeal lies against the decision of State Information Commissioner. Let us examine it.
      • 1

        Reputation Points

      • 1 reply
    • Instances that involve disclosure of sensitive information, it may be rationale for the CPIO to ask for citizenship proof
      Information Commissioner Divya Prakash Sinha held that seeking citizenship proof in case of demand of sensitive information is justified but seeking a signed copy of the application does not seem appropriate as the online portal does not mandate uploading of signatures.
       
      Sinha was hearing the plea of an Odisha-based RTI applicant who had sought from the Army information regarding implementation of rules under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 in all defence establishments.
      The Army did not provide any information to the applicant, the CIC noted. Akhand approached the Commission with a complaint that the central public information officer (CPIO) of the Army has demanded a signed copy of his online RTI application as well as identity proof before providing him the records.
      “In this regard, it may be noted that as far as CPIO’s request for citizenship proof is concerned, the same is not questioned as Commission in its prior decision(s) has held the view that Armed Forces stand on a slightly different footing as there may be instances that involve disclosure of sensitive information, and for such reasons it may be rationale for the CPIO to ask for citizenship proof,” Sinha noted.
      Originally posted here!
       
      • 0 replies
    • Some of you -- at least CJ Karira, who helped me years ago in one crucial step, getting SEBI to acknowledge its own circular! -- know of a 15-year quest among desi academics to get SEBI to release its stale masked FII data for academic research. At one point years ago a parliamentary query by Shyam Benegal, then Rajya Sabha MP, sought the release of this data for academic research. He then made a subsequent RTI query asking what had done about his complaint about the terrible answer he got to his parliamentary question. We thought we had succeeded when in response to that SEBI did put in public domain that FII data and promised to update. And to  their credit, they did update it from time to time, even if a bit fitfully. But thanks to a question by a curious IIT-Madras undergrad, we realized that what SEBI gave with one hand they took away with another. While the idea was that the FII IDs would be masked to preserve privacy, without telling anyone, SEBI changed the masks each month, drastically reducing the value for academic research (since you can't even tell how many distinct FIIs are there in the data base, and whether anyone traded over time). It also caused mistakes in academic research since no one imagined that SEBI would use changing masks, when no other regulator or exchange on the planet does so.

      To get SEBI to finally agree to not hide by changing masks, but to keep a stable mask, has taken many years. But at least per the ruling received yesterday, it has been achieved, with no violence to anyone. I attach the ruling. I can also post the various submissions made at the Second Appeal hearing if there is any interest (need to scrub email-IDs, per the policy of this site).

      Addendum_To_CIC_2nd_appeal_28th_February_2020.pdfThis RTI site, in particular Karira-ji, has been very helpful to me in the course of this long episode thru countless RTI queries. And I am grateful for that from the bottom of my heart. I am confident we will see quite a few PhD dissertations using this database within the next few years.

      Addendum_To_CIC_2nd_appeal_28th_February_2020.pdf
      Second_Addendum_w_Appendices_29th_Feb_2020.pdf
      CIC-SEBIH-A-2017-139953-BJ.pdf
      Third_Addendum to Additional Submission for RTI Second Appeal_2nd_March_2020.pdf
      To_CIC_2nd_appeal_27th_February_2020_Redacted.pdf
      Draft_Talking_Points_for_the_Hearing.pdf
      From_SEBI_Written Submiissions - Murugappa Krishnan 139953.pdf
      thanking_CIC_post_decision_Redacted.pdf
      • 3 replies
    • There can be no faith in government if our highest offices are excused from scrutiny - they should be setting the example of transparency.
      • 2

        Reputation Points

      • 0 replies
    • LUCKNOW: The Central government has provided categorized security cover to 308 persons, out of which 24 have been provided the highest Z-plus cover, according to the answer to an RTI query.


      As per information provided by S.C.L. Das, Joint Secretary in the Union Home Ministry to city-based activist Nutan Thakur, two dozen persons have been given Z-plus security, 59 persons have been given Z security, 109 have been given Y-plus, 34 have been given Y and 82 persons have been given X category security.

       
      • 2

        Reputation Points

      • 1 reply
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