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Who will be India’s next Central Chief Information Commissioner under RTI?

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Who will be India’s next Central Chief Information Commissioner under RTI ?

 

After nearly six months of keeping the post of Central CIC’s post vacant and with 203 applicants responding to DoPT’s advertisement for this post, the screening committee is finally meeting on 16th January to decide a name

 

So, who will be India’s next Central Chief Information Commissioner?

 

The Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has invited the search committee members comprising cabinet secretary, Rashtrapati Bhavan (chairman); Additional Principal Secretary to PM; Secretary, DoPT; Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs; Secretary, Dept of Expenditure and Professor Ram Chand, National Centre for Agricultural Economics & Policy. They are scheduled to meet at the cabinet secretariat of Rahtrapati Bhavan on 16th January. On the same day, another meeting to draw a panel for information commissioners will also take place.

 

The Agenda note for the meeting states that the 203 applications received for the CIC post have been divided into seven categories to facilitate shortlisting of candidate. The Agenda note procured by Moneylife states: “(the) Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has directed that for the sake of consistency and uniformity in approach, the procedure for selection of information commissioner, which includes amongst other things, advertising the post and short listing by a search committee may be adopted for appointment to the post of Chief Information Commissioner as well. Such short listed panel may then be placed before the selection committee for its consideration.”

 

“Accordingly, a circular was posted on the website of DoPT inviting applications to the post of Chief Information Commissioner on 24.10.2014. The post was also advertised in three leading newspapers (two in English and one in Hindi) as was done for appointment to the posts of information commissioners. The last date of receipt of applications is 24.11.2014. A total number of 203 applications for the post of Chief Information Commissioner in CIC were received. Applications received after the cut-off date of 24.11.2014 are not being considered.”

 

“As per Section 12 (5) of the RTI Act 2005, the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioner shall be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in `law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.”

 

“Accordingly, all these 203 applications have been broadly categorized into seven categories of knowledge and experience as mentioned above. Few applications which do not fall within these seven categories have been mentioned as ‘other’ categories. However, for the sake of categorization, only the main field of knowledge and experience, if any, have not been indicated.

 

Law: 37

 

Science & Technology: 21

 

Social Service: 09

 

Management: 28

 

Journalism: 03

 

Mass Media: 05

 

Administration and Governance: 89

 

Others: 11

 

Total: 203

 

Here is the list of these 203 candidates…(also attached)

 

252592665-Vinita-List-of-Candidates-for-CIC.pdf

 

“It is pertinent to mention that in a Review Petition filed by Union of India against Hon’ble Supreme Court judgment dated 13.09.2012 in Namit Sharma case, the Hon’ble Supreme Court vie the judgment dated 03.09.2013, inter-alia, gave the following direction:

 

1. We direct that only persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in the fields mentioned…..be considered for appointment as information commissioner and Chief Information Commissioner.’’

 

The Search Committee would be seeking reports from Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of the shortlisted persons and would ask DoPT to obtain reports from Intelligence Bureau (IB).

 

So, finally it seems the crucial vacancy that had earned ire from activists from across the country is well on its way to be filled up. However, India needs to thank Delhi-based RTI activist Commodore Lokesh Batra (retd) who has been pursuing this issue through RTI applications. Batra says, “Though there is a huge delay in filling up the above posts, I am of the opinion that this time the process of shortlisting is going to be more transparent.’’

 

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[TD]Here is the chronology of his efforts as timeline by him:[/TD]

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[TD]07.09.2014 : Filed RTI in DoPT (No. 1-Attachment)[/TD]

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[TD]07.10.2014 : CPIO, DoPT sent response and intimated that both the Files are under submission i.e. (i) File No.4/4/2014-IR concerning processing the appointment of Information Commissioners in CIC and (ii) File No.4/7/2014-IR concerning processing of appointment of Chief Information Commissioner" in CIC.[/TD]

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[TD]29.10.2014, I inspected File No.4/7/2014-IR : concerning appointment of Chief Information Commissioner after it was returned by PMO and collected certified copies of Notings Side from Page NOs 15 to 31 (last page). I also collected relevant 10 pages from Correspondence side.[/TD]

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[TD]DoPT File No.4/7.2014 : Appointment of Chief Information Commissioner in CIC 2014[/TD]

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[TD]• PMO after holding the file for over two and half months (from 01.08.2014)..... returned the file to DoPT vide PMO ID dated 17 October 2014. In its note of 17 October 2014, PMO stated that : Quote : "Prime Minister has desired that for the sake of consistency and uniformity in approach, the procedure for selection of Information Commissioners which includes, among other things, advertising the post and short listing by a Search Committee, may be adopted for appointment to the post of Central Information Commissioner as well. Such short-listed panel may then be placed before the Selection Committee for its consideration."Unquote[/TD]

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[TD]12 June 2014 : DoPT sought clarification from Lok Sabha Secretariat :

"xxx whether any leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha has been recognised. If the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha has not been recognised as such, it is requested to kindly intimate the name of the leader of the single largest group in opposition of Government in the Lok Sabha, for the purpose of selection of Information Commissioners as per the RTI Act."[/TD]

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[TD]19 June 2014 : Lok Sabha Secretariat responded to DoPT's above clarification and stated : Quote "As on date, there is no Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. Indian National Congress with a strength of 44 members is, however, the single largest party in opposition to the Government in Lok Sabha. As per information received from the party, Mallikaarjun Kharge is the Leader of Indian National Congress in Lok Sabha" Unquote[/TD]

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[TD]08 July 2014: DoPT sought the advice of Department of Legal Affairs (DOLA) as to whether the Leader of single largest party in opposition can be considered as Leader of the single largest group in opposition, in Lok Sabha, for the sake of section 12(3) of RTI Act.[/TD]

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[TD]15 July 2014: Pending Clarification from DOLA..... DoPT submitted file with brief to PMO for kind consideration of Hon'ble Prime Minister on 'Appointment of Chief Information Commissioner' in Central Information Commission for :-

(i) Nomination of a Union Cabinet Minister for the Selection Committee u/s of the RTI act.

(ii) A convenient date for holding of the meeting of the Selection Committee.[/TD]

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[TD]21 July 2014: V. Sheshadri, Director, PMO in its note to Secretary, DoPT conveyed that the Prime Minister has nominated Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence, as the Member of the Selection Committee under of Section 12(3) of the RTI Act. The PMO note goes on to say "The undersigned is directed to convey that the matter shall be resubmitted for a decision on date of meeting of Selection Committee, after the issue raised in para 6 of the aforesaid note is decided."[/TD]

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[TD]17 July 2014: DOPT received clarification from DOLA. DOLA confirmed on DoPT query in affirmative with a rider that "We, however, clarify that this answer is only for the limited purpose of the RTI Act [explanation below section 12(3)] and not for any other purpose"[/TD]

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[TD]31 July 2014: File was again submitted to PMO. In this note name of Mallikarjun Kharge, the Leader of Indian National Congress in Lok Sabha was included as Member of the Selection Committee and Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence as Member of the Selection Committee.[/TD]

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[TD]17 October 2014: PMO after holding the file for over two and half months (from 01.08.2014)..... returned the file to DoPT vide PMO ID dated 17 October 2014[/TD]

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[TD]24 October 2014 : DoPT uploaded a circular on the website of DoPT advertising post of Chief Information Commissioner and later also advertised in English and Hindi Newspapers[/TD]

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karira

Search Committee for CIC and ICs to meet on January 16

 

New Delhi: The search committee headed by Cabinet Secretary for the selection of the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners for the Central Information Commission is likely to meet on Friday.

 

The Committee is likely to shortlist candidates from 203 applicants for the post of the Chief Information Commissioner and 553 applicants for the post of Information Commissioners at the transparency panel.

Last month, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth sought a meeting of search committee which also comprises of Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary (Personnel), Home Secretary, Secretary Department of Expenditure and Professor Ramesh Chand, Director National Centre for Agriculture Economics and Policy.

The meeting is likely to take place on Friday at 3.30 PM with agenda notes to be finalised by the Secretary (Personnel) Sanjay Kothari, file notings of the selection process revealed under the Right to Information Act show.

Once shortlisted, the file for the Chief Information Commissioner will be put before selection committee comprising Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and a Union Minister which will finalise the name.

For the post of Chief Information Commissioner, all the seven present Information Commissioners have applied.

This year, Government has not gone as per the convention of selecting senior most member of the Central Information Commission to be its Chief, who is the administrative head, but advertised the post where anyone fulfilling the criteria could apply for the post.

Such a demand was raised by the many activists who felt that it was not fair for the senior-most CIC member to be elevated to become its Chief.

According to the notings, 89 bureaucrats, 37 law experts, 28 from Management field, 21 from Science and Technology, nine from social service, three journalists, five from mass media, and 11 others are among the 203 applicants for the post.

The RTI was filed by Commodore (retd) Lokesh Batra.

The post of Chief Information Commissioner was lying vacant after the retirement of former Chief Rajiv Mathur on August 22, 2014.

 

Read More: Search Committee for CIC and ICs to meet on January 16 | Zee News

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akhilesh yadav

New Delhi: The search committee headed by Cabinet Secretary for the selection of the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners for the Central Information Commission is likely to meet on Friday.

 

 

The Committee is likely to shortlist candidates from 203 applicants for the post of the Chief Information Commissioner and 553 applicants for the post of Information Commissioners at the transparency panel.

 

 

Read at: Search Committee for CIC and ICs to meet on January 16 | Zee News

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karira

CIC search panel had 2 applicants for the top job

 

NEW DELHI: The search committee set up by the government for the appointment of the chief information commissioner and other information commissioners had two applicants for the posts on the panel itself — the law and the I&B secretary. This prompted the government to reconstitute the committee that is scheduled to meet on January 16 to select the chief of the transparency panel.

 

The search committee is headed by the cabinet secretary. According to an RTI response based on queries filed by activist Lokesh Batra, the government had initially appointed additional principal secretary to the PM, law secretary P K Malhotra, I&B secretary Bimal Julka, personnel secretary Sanjay Kothari besides NCAP professor Ramesh Chand. Both secretaries of the ministries of law and I&B have applied for the post of the chief information commissioner forcing the government to reconstitute the panel to include secretaries of home affairs and expenditure.

 

The committee likely to meet on Friday is tasked with creating a shortlist from 203 applicants for the post of the CIC and 553 applicants for the post of information commissioners at the transparency panel. The position of the CIC has been vacant since August 22, spurring a pendency of almost 37,000 cases in the commission.

 

Once shortlisted, the file for the CIC will be put before the selection committee comprising the PM, leader of opposition and a Union minister which will finalize the name.

 

For the post of chief information commissioner, all the seven present information commissioners have applied.

 

This year, the government has not gone as per the convention of selecting the senior-most member of the Central Information Commission as its chief, who is the administrative head, but advertised the post where anyone fulfilling the criteria could apply for the post.

 

According to the notings, 89 bureaucrats, 37 law experts, 28 from management field, 21 from science and technology, nine from social service, three journalists, five from mass media, and 11 others are among the 203 applicants for the post.

 

Read More: CIC search panel had 2 applicants for the top job - The Times of India

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karira

[h=1]Search panel scrutinises CVs of over 750 CIC, IC aspirants[/h]

A panel led by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth today met to draw up a shortlist of candidates who are seeking appointment to the posts of chief information commissioner and information commissioners at the Central Information Commission (CIC).

 

The search committee scrutinised the credentials of 756 aspirants -- 203 for the post of Chief Information Commissioner and 553 who are looking to be Information Commissioners at the transparency panel, which has been working headless for over four months now, official sources said.

 

The names of the candidates shortlisted by the panel will be sent to the selection committee chaired by the Prime Minister, which will then finalise candidates for appointment, they said.

 

Besides Seth, the committee has as its members the Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary (Personnel), Home Secretary, Secretary (Department of Expenditure) and Professor Ramesh Chand, Director of the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy.

 

Read More: http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/search-panel-scrutinises-cvs-of-over-750-cic-ic-aspirants-115011600938_1.html

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akhilesh yadav

New Delhi: From clerk in the defence ministry to top bureaucrats, a total of 203 candidates have applied to become India’s chief information commissioner. The top job at the the country’s highest information panel, which has been lying vacant for more than seven months.

 

 

Read at: 203 candidates apply for CIC, from clerk to top bureaucrats – THE SEN TIMES

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