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  1. 3 points
    Strongly advocating the need for political parties to willingly come under the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005, Sridhar Acharyulu, Information Commissioner, Central Information Commission said parties in power must be answerable to the people. “On the use of the RTI Act in our country, a lot to be done as the Act can be used much more effectively by the people,” he said. Mr. Acharyulu was addressing a workshop organised by RTI warriors from the All India Professionals Congress (AIPC) and Belson and Belson Advocates. Highlighting the features of the RTI Act 2005, he said it was the Congress government that introduced the Act, but it was the Bharatiya Janata Party that had used it effectively. “Information procured through the RTI Act exposed scandals across various levels in the functioning of the State before the elections,” he said. He initially spoke about the lack of knowledge among people about knowing and being aware of their rights. “We also need to examine the access to critical information available and the mechanisms in place to disseminate it to the people,” he noted. The workshop was attended by law students, IAS aspirants, members of the general public and activists. Swapna Sundar, a member of the AIPC, said that while the RTI Act was a good tool, it was necessary to help people learn the nuances and pertinence of the requests for documents “With awareness of the Act being the key, workshops like these need to go more out into rural spaces as well. The mechanism in place as a part of the RTI Act too needs to be made easier for people — both to file petitions and receive information,” he said.
  2. 2 points
    Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India and Lok Sabha MP from Varanasi, has not spent a single rupee from his MPLADS funds in all the four villages adopted under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY). The fact came in a response to an application filed under Right to Information (RTI), the response to which was sent on June 30, 2018. The response addressed to applicant Anuj Verma from Kannauj district of Uttar Pradesh, stated that no development works conducted in the four villages adopted by Narendra Modi have been budgeted from the funds allocated under Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS). The Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana website is here. He first adopted Jayapur on November 7, 2014, then Nagepur on February 16, 2016, Kakarahiya on October 23, 2017, and lastly Domri on April 6, 2018. All of the works in four villages have been done by the private authorities, government banks, state-level institutions, and some central government bodies, locals informed TwoCircles.net. For instance, a Gujarat-based firm has constructed all the bio-toilets in Jayapur, and Vedanta group has constructed one Anganbadi Centre in Nagepur village. The solar street lights have been installed by various public banks. The MPLADS fund, worth Rs 5 Crore per year, can be utilised anywhere in the constituency of an elected MP. But the opposition voices in Varanasi are accusing Modi of not setting an example before other MPs by not spending his own fund for development.
  3. 2 points
    The Goa Raj Bhavan on Wednesday informed the Goa State Information Commission (GSIC) that the Goa Governor does not come under the purview of the Right to Information Act as the Governor is not a "Public Authority". In a 15-page affidavit submitted to the Commission, Rupesh Thakur, Secretary to the Governor, said the Governor enjoys immunity under Article 361 of the Indian Constitution and therefore is not answerable to any Court or the Commission. While denying that all other Raj Bhavans have appointed Public Information Officers, Thakur said that merely because some other Raj Bhavans have appointed a Public Information Officer does not mean that the Goa Raj Bhavan is bound or compelled by law to also appoint a Public Information Officer. The Secretary to the Governor has further stated that the Governor not being a Public authority cannot be compelled or directed by the State Information Commission to appoint a Public Information Officer. “The Governor is the appointing authority of the State Information Commissioners and is also vested with the power to recommend their removal,” the affidavit also stated. The affidavit was filed after a city-based lawyer-activist Aires Rodrigues in a complaint to the Commission had said that since the Goa Raj Bhavan was a public authority, the institution’s failure to appoint a Public Information Officer was “illegal, mala fide and without reasonable cause”. In the complaint filed by advocate Aires Rodrigues under section 18 (1) (a) of the RTI Act has drawn the attention of the GSIC that the Goa Raj Bhavan despite being a "Public authority in terms of section 2 (h) of the RTI Act has not appointed a Public Information Officer (PIO) for members of the public to be able to seek information and that the Goa Raj Bhavan has also not made the mandatory disclosures required under section 4 (1) of the RTI Act. After hearing a complaint filed by advocate Aires Rodrigues the then State Chief Information Commissioner Motilal Keny on March 31, 2011 ruled that the Goa Governor was a "Public Authority" and did come within the ambit of the Right to Information Act. Later dismissing the appeal filed by the Goa Raj Bhavan against the order of the GSIC, the Bombay High Court at Goa in a landmark judgment pronounced on November 14, 2011, also ruled that the Governor of Goa was a Public Authority and was bound to furnish information sought under the RTI Act. The Goa Raj Bhavan later challenged the Bombay High Court judgement in the Supreme Court. A Division Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy on January 30, 2018 dismissed the Special Leave Petition filed by the Goa Raj Bhavan. The next hearing in the case has been set for July 26.
  4. 2 points
    The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has spent an estimated Rs 150 crore for removal of dead and dangerous trees in the 24 wards for three years, according to a document procured under the Right to Information (RTI). The tender document, which invites contractors for undertaking the work from both municipal as well as private premises, estimates the cost of removing these trees to be over Rs 150 crore between April 2016 and April 2018. “Rs 150 crore for three years means Rs 4 crore for a month. While the tender also includes private premises, they always charge private entities. Also, the tender mentions that the contractors are responsible for disposing of the waste after cutting. This means they get to sell the wood after cutting. All this means extra income for the contractor,” said Zoru Bhathena, who had sought the details under RTI. However, the Gardens Department, which invited the tender, denies it. Jitendra Pardeshi, Superintendent of Gardens, MCGM, said, “It is not true that we pay this huge sum for removal of dead and decayed trees alone. It is also for the landscaping of gardens and development of gardens below flyovers.” The tender document mentions the contractor’s responsibility to include the removal of dead and dangerous trees, pruning of branches, and removal of fallen trees.
  5. 2 points
    A total of 76 IAS officers have secured cadre transfer since January 2014, the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) has said in response to a Right to Information(RTI) sought by Lucknow based activist Dr Nutan Thakur. Of these, 24 officers got Cadre changed from the North Eastern states, while nine from Assam-Meghalaya cadre, 4-- Manipur and Tripura and seven--Nagaland Cadre. During these four years, three IAS officers got Cadre changed from Sikkim and six from Jammu and Kashmir. Interestingly, not a single IAS officer got his cadre changed to any of these cadres known as being tough and unattractive. In contrast, a maximum of 12 IAS officers each got their cadre transferred to Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, while 8 IAS officers had Cadre changed to AGMUT Cadre, which includes Delhi and 7 IAS officers had their Cadre changed to Haryana.
  6. 2 points
    They may be emerging as future police bosses in their respective states, but an overwhelming majority of Indian Police Service (IPS) officers of the 2016 regular recruit (RR) batch failed to pass the necessary exams they took before graduating from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) in Hyderabad. Of the 122 IPS officers, 119 failed in one or more subjects. The batch has a total of 136 officers, including 14 from foreign police forces. Despite failing in the exam, the officers graduated and are now probationers in their respective cadres. But they will have to pass in each subject and will be allowed three attempts to clear the exams. If an officer fails to clear the exams, he/she cannot remain in the service. While IAS officers are trained at the Lal Bahadur Shashtri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie, IPS officers get their training at SVPNPA. In the 2016 batch, two IPS officers have failed to graduate from the academy. Of the total 136 officers, 133 failed in one or more subjects, including Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The IPS probationers who failed included those who had received medals and trophies at the passing out parade in October which was attended by Union home minister Rajnath Singh. All the foreign police officers failed the exams. An IPS probationer told TOI that the officers are now re-appearing in exams in which they failed during the phase 2 training. "This is an abnormal result which has not happened in the academy's history. Failing in exams is not new. But mass failure is a big thing," he said, adding that 90% of the probationers had failed in basic courses like law and order and internal security. The probationer said that marks obtained during training are counted towards seniority and failure in subjects implies a loss of seniority. TOI is in possession of the controller of examination's list of the 2016 RR batch IPS officers and the subjects in which they failed. Emails sent to the SVPNPA director and administrator remained unanswered.
  7. 2 points
    The Right to Information Act 2005 empowers every citizen to ask for information from Government Organisations. This information can be about your own personal case or more complex Government Policy. The Act also empowers us to take photocopies of the Government records and also online data in a form of CD. However, often PIO being Government Servant who perhaps is also the custodian of the information has a conflict of interest in giving out such information. Every Government Official at one point or the other has been trained to deceive politely. The RTI reply is no exception. Many times, the information given is full but empty. And they use smart writing skills to give but hide. If you go through the various threads posted at our forums here , you will realize that most of the battle is won or lost during the framing of the questions itself. Our experienced RTI Experts and team members continuously go on improving the RTI Application questions on the user's requests. Let us now see what are the biggest mistakes you can avoid in your RTI Application. Asking 'Why' in the RTI Application As per the RTI Act, the information being asked should be available in any form. The information cannot be created. Thus if a question is asked "why my speed post has not been delivered", probably, the PIO will straightway reject the application and quote nicely the RTI Act Para in the reply. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid 'WHY' from your RTI Application instead documents which can prove they 'WHY' should be asked. For example, to get the reason why the Speed post was not delivered, you should ask 'Provide me the copy of the Postmen beat register of {date}'. Addressing questions pertaining to multiple PIO As per RTI Act Section 6 (3) (ii) if the RTI Application is made for the subject matter which is not closely associated, the public authority, to which such application is made, shall transfer the application or such part of it as may be appropriate to that other public authority. Now, this is a booby trap. Though Central Information Commission has critically examined this still you will keep on getting the letter from one PIO to another that 'As per section 6 (3) (ii), your RTI application has been transferred to concerned PIO'. This means that you will never get the correct reply. The best course of action is to do some homework by visiting websites of the Organisation and finding the correct PIO. Asking for Voluminous records If you ask for information which is too voluminous, the PIO will apply section 7(9) stating that "it disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question." Thus asking for Muster roll records for 4 year period will fit the case of rejection. Though PIO cannot reject the application, there are fair chances that information will not get supplied. It is always advisable that the information period should be short. Further, if PIO failed to apply 7 (9), he will ask you to deposit exorbitant photocopy charges for all the records. Asking for third party information without proving public interest Now this is the most debated and contested issue in terms of RTI request. If you ask for a third party information always remember to include 'Public Interest' clause into it. Without 'Public Interest' petition, the PIO will immediately reject it by quoting Section 8 (1) (j) & Section 11 of the RTI Act. You can read our Explanation on what is third Party and various decisions relating to them here! There is a potential issue of PIO applying 'Privacy' clause of RTI. Therefore, it is suggested that as far as possible information about third party should be avoided, however, if at all it is but important, then always justify your RTI Application with 'how disclosure of the third party is in public interest'. You can use the corruption angle exposure while justifying Public Interest. There are many such examples and pitfalls which you may find it over on forums and from experts. If you think of any more, please do add it in the comments.
  8. 2 points
    Let me ask you a question as easy as ABC but the point is you have to answer it with appropriate evidence and proof . So here we go ..... Who is the Prime Minister of India ? Its seems to be a Kindergarten Level question . Isn't it! . But the tough nut to crack is you have to provide adequate evidence for the same . Most of us are not fortunate enough to personally meet Mr Modi Or visit 7RCR . So from where did we came to know that Alia Bhat Is not Prime Minister but the Prime Minister of India is Shri Narendra Modi ......... May be from TV ,Radio , Newspapers, Magazine , Internet and so on....In one word MEDIA . The Crux is without media we are not even capable enough to know the name of our premier The Great Indian Media is the fourth pillar of worlds largest democracy . But the question is whether this fourth pillar is strong enough to balance and provide foundation for a magnificent Democratic set up . We all may have different opinions & perceptions about credibility of Media .For the real Litmus test let we proceed to World press freedom Index 2017 Report published by most renowned Reporters without borders . India is ranked 136 in the World Press Freedom Index, three points down from last year. Following were the remarks from Reporters without borders -- Threat from Modi’s nationalism With Hindu nationalists trying to purge all manifestations of “anti-national” thought from the national debate, self-censorship is growing in the mainstream media. Journalists are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by the most radical nationalists, who vilify them and even threaten physical reprisals. Prosecutions are also used to gag journalists who are overly critical of the government, with some prosecutors invoking Section 124a of the penal code, under which “sedition” is punishable by life imprisonment. No journalist has so far been convicted of sedition but the threat encourages self-censorship. The government has also introduced new foreign funding regulations to limit international influence. . GLOBAL SCORE -0.23 Concentration of Media Ownership in India Open a link along side this blog and ask Mr. Google Baba about Media ownership and for sure there will be hundreds of articles alleging about Media ownership and there links with different political parties & Dirty Political campaigns . Some of most credible points are mentioned below . Recently Dr Subash Chandra Chairmen of Essel Group & Zee News (there are 50+ channels of Zee Group) was elected as member of Rajya Sabha from Haryana via support of BJP . Shobhna Bhartia, owner and editor-in-chief of Hindustan Times is a Congress MP from Rajya Sabha. HT media is runs by Shobna Bhartiy with her two sons Priyavrat & Shamit Bhartia. Intresting fact here is to note is Shamit Bhartia wife Nayantara Kothari is a niece of Anil and Mukesh Ambani. Kalaignar TV is owned by Tamil Nadu's former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. Sakshi TV a Telugu channel in Andhra Pradesh is owned by ex-chief minister's son and family. News24 Hindi media channel Owned by ex-journalist and editor Rajiv Shukla, famous Congress MP in Rajya Sabha, Union minister, industrialist, BCCI vice president and IPL chairman. Times Of India, Mid-Day, Nav-Bharat Times, Stardust, Femina, Vijay Times, Vijaya Karnataka, Times Now (24- hour news channel) and many more... Times Group is owned by Bennet & Coleman. 'World Christian Council' does 80 percent of the Funding, and an Englishman and an Italian equally share balance 20 percent. The Italian Robertio Mindo is a close relative of Sonia Gandhi. NDTV: A very popular TV news media is funded by Gospels of Charity in Spain Supports Communism. Recently it has developed a soft corner towards Pakistan because Pakistan President has allowed only this channel to be aired in Pakistan. Indian CEO Prannoy Roy is co-brother of Prakash Karat, General Secretary of the Communist party of India . His wife and Brinda Karat are sisters. India News (Information Tv Pvt. Ltd.) : Information Tv. Pvt.Ltd. runs a media brand called India news & news x. It is owned by Mark buildtech and Omkareshwar property’s, Where owner of the Mark buildtech is Kartikay Sharma who is a son of former congress politician Vinod sharma and brother of Manu Sharma ( Who was Involved in Jesicca lal murder case) and Omkareshwar property belongs to Bhupender Shingh Hooda (Former congress CM of Hariyana ) and his son Deependar Singh Hooda. A detailed report Regarding Ownership of Media and there connection with business tycoons and politicians was published by Newslaundry in Report Who owns your media?   Also Recommended to Read - TRAI set to regulate corporate control of media (THE Hindu)   #Paid_News . Indian Media on Sale Paid news is a phenomenon in Indian media, that refers to the systematic engagement of mainstream media outlets in publishing favorable articles in exchange for payment.. This type of news is typically sponsored by politicians, businessmen, and celebrities in order to improve their public image or accomplish political goals. You may have herd about Dons & Mafia's who demands ransom to forgive your life . But here The Media'n Mafia also demands mighty sums to stop character assignation of celebrated creatures . Indian media Houses often blackmail famous personalities & celebs some of cases are as follow In 2012 senior editors of the television channel Zee News were arrested for allegedly demanding Rs 100 crore from Jindal Power and Steel Ltd. In return for this pay-off they offered to dilute their network’s campaign against the company in the coal scam. The blackmail was exposed when JSPL chairman and Congress MP Naveen Jindal conducted a reverse sting on the network’s executives. Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd, which owns the Times of India, is reported to have asked celebrities and the wealthy to pay for favorable coverage. They have offered a "private treaty" agreement, which accepts an equity stake in a company in return for favorable coverage.[3] The New York Times described "private treaties" as an example of the commodification of business news.[11] A New Yorker article says that the Times of India "have been dismantling the wall between the newsroom and the sales department" with Times MediaNet. Deepak Chaurasia, host of India News, is accused of being a promoter of paid news in India. As per official statistical report of Election Commission of India more than 3100 notices were issued in alleged case of Paid news and about 787 were confirmed .(by May 2014) Advertising and Media Here I would like to put forward an astonishing fact and perhaps you will be jolted after reading it . If we statistically estimate aggregate/sum total of world spendings (including both govt and private expenditure) on different sectors than - As expected spending upon defense , arms and weapons is at top . Approx 1.57 trillion You will guess health or education at 2nd place but my dear friend you are certainly incorrect .Global Spending upon advertisements ranks 2nd which is a bit higher than lay out on Health & Education . Just look around advertisements are at every nook and cranny . While operating Mobile apps you see advertisements . On internet advertisements are always there . If you are too a part of typical Indian family than probability is quite high that while you are reading this blog your mum or pop will scold you out for always remain sticked to cellphone .Being an obedient Indian you may open book to react that you are studying but pause for a second have you noticed most of books and magazines are too full of advertisements . I dont know why they call a Newspaper as Newspaper .If We can rename Bombay to Mumbai , 7RCR to 7 Lok Kalyan Marg with out any solid reason .than shouldn't we rename Newspaper to advertisement paper because approx 60% of space is given to advertisements and rest to paid news and if than also some space left than that it is for hate story of Mohammad Shami , Love story of Virat and Romance of Ram Raheem & Honeypreet .the scenario is quite similar among News channels of television. I don't know why they keep telecasting SAAS BAHU AND SAJISH .I think in hot Indian summer noon due to high temperature there mind doesn't function properly therefore they become insane and forgot that they are news channels not Entertainment ones . By the way news had also become a sort of entertainment these days . Ok so we were talking about advertisements our television Channels too can't compromise without showing advertisements and yes TV advertisements are very interesting . God of Cricket Sachin Tendulkar will come and request you to purchase pen,pencils LEDs , Fans and inverter batteries . Beauty Queen Hema Malini will emphasis you to purchase water purifiers RO .Rising star Virat Kohli will sold you tyres and captain cool Dhoni will plea you to buy engine Oil ...........Height of Hypocrisy .......... Walking is good for health ! move out from your sweet abode and enjoy the creativity of advertisements shown on bill boards . Let me remind you some of them .The picture of Justin Bieber at local Barber shop who cuts hair for RS 10 , Photograph of Salman Bhai and Kajol at Juice stall of sugarcane . So the nucleus is every time , every where we remain surrounded by advertisements and they often cause deep impressions on your sub - conscious mind which will insist you to purchase particular products even if they are not of our use and hence promoting consumerism . You know Mukesh Ambani is Mukesh and Mark Zukerberg is Mark Zukerberg because of us We The People the day when we will stop using Reliance services and Facebook they too will become Nirav modi and Vijay Mallya .Consumers are very powerful but we don't know our potential .Consumer behave like dummy puppets because of the brain wash done by black magic of luring advertisements . The Sole purpose of Media houses is not to publish genuine news and stories but to increase TRP to attract companies for Advertisements and hence genrating revenues and all together there only aim is profit maximisation rather than social awareness . Journalists and Media men get there livelihood from advertisements of MNCs indirectly they depend on MNCs for there survival . Than it is obvious they will favor there business clients .Here is case study for you , Have you ever thought how a Newspaper with large pages , colored print , consist of latest news , with expensive articles of world famous authors and home delivery costs us just Rs 5 - 10 .How ? a A big question Mark ? How newspaper agencies afford to provide such an expensive piece of paper for almost free not only Newspaper firms but TV channels also at minimal cost of approx Rs 250 . You can see Movies made by celebrated artists . News debates there analysis by wise Anchors and a hidden team of 1000s of members .If you are a cricket fan than why to go stadium and pay kilos of money just switch on your TV and enjoy HD quality Live Show . We all know the answer is They earn there profit from advertisements . Than the question arise is whom should Media be accountable to ,we Kanjooos people OR to business tycoons who fed there families . In the latest IRS report, Dainik Jagran and Times of India have retained top slots among Hindi and English dailies respectively. Dainik Jagran has a total readership (last month) of 7,03,77,000 while The Times of India has a total readership of 1,30,47,000. Hence Approximately a front page advertisement in above two newspaper on a normal day with all external factors as average will cost you 2-5 Crore INR . Similarly on a popular channel like Aaj Tak , Star Plus , Star Sports at prime time (generally around 8-10pm) a Commercial ad of 10secs costs around 15-25 lakh Rupees . And suppose if election results are to be declare or there is any world cup or Olympics or a new movie telecasted for first time on TV than amount per 10 secs may reach to 40-50 lacs. Today , What we eat ? What we drink ? What we study ?where will we do jobs ? where we reside ? which party will come in power ? Govt policies etc are directly or indirectly decided by Businessmens and remember media is there Brhamastra . Henceforth for a bright future There is an urgent need to stop this dark era of crony capitalism . Two more issues mentioned below will be addressed and analysed very soon Brick wall between Citizens and news publishing house Promotion of Violence , westernism and Nudity by Media
  9. 2 points
    Your case is before a Hon IC that can turn any issue to any thing and can justify his stand. You are at Delhi, get an appointment of that concerned IC, visit as a group , pray him for taking up the matter as expeditiously as possible. It may work with him alone. Hon IC knows the importance, and it is related to hundreds and not one appellant alone. But, there is no scope in CIC rules and regulations for giving priority in hearing except in case of Senior citizens and differently disabled. CIC has ignored even giving that priority since long and they are still standing in the queue for several years. Coming to facts of the case, I am afraid that complaints are different from Appeals. In appeals you have a right to get information and not in complaints. A complainant can only seek action against erring officials and there can be no priority on that issue and a complainant can have no say and it is the discretion of IC to impose penalty or not.
  10. 2 points
    As per the proposed amendments, salaries and allowances of information commissioners will no longer be equivalent to those of a Supreme Court judge. The amendments seek to empower the Central government and the state governments to decide salaries of information commissioners through rules. The rationale provided is that treating information commissioners on par with functionaries of the election commission is incorrect, as the latter is a constitutional body while information commissions are statutory bodies. Link https://thewire.in/rights/rti-law-dilution-information-commission Should ordinary citizens be bothered by this proposed amendment really ? However our experts like Hon CJK are against all amendments and state that if you give one inch, they occupy miles. Those who are interested in serving community without bothering about perks can only apply, what is the harm for a common man due to proposed amendment. (Not knowing about other amendments if any as the report is not made public)
  11. 1 point
    President’s secretariat, in response to a letter submitted under RTI Act by Bheemappa Gadad, a noted RTI activist of Belagavi, furnished information (dated May 22, 2018) on the maintenance of the gardens and expenses incurred on it for the past three years. Besides Rs 12.70 crore spent on maintenance of the gardens, another Rs 1.46 crore was spent on garden equipment and gear. It was also revealed that a salary of Rs 72 lakh was paid to gardeners at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in February 2018 alone. If the salary figure is extrapolated, it means the government is spending approximately Rs 8 crore annually merely on salaries of gardeners of the Bhavan. The official documents on the gardens’ expenditure provided by Rashtrapati Bhavan shows Rs 3.73 crore was spent on maintenance and repair of garden during 2015-16 and`50.09 lakh on machinery and equipment in the same year. In 2016-17, Rs 4.56 crore was spent on the maintenance and repair of the garden and Rs 96.15 lakh on machinery and equipment used.The maintenance of Karnataka’s Brindavan Garndens with an area of 72 acres - almost half the size of the Rashtrapati Bhavan gardens - costs Rs 7 crore per year.
  12. 1 point
    Welcome to RTI INDIA- Online RTI. Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
  13. 1 point
    Why Indian “Secularism” Is So Distorted ? Indian intelligentsia and media are in love with the word “secularism”; it is taken as a sign of being liberal and progressive. But when you look at their discourse, you soon begin to see signs of their empty brains. Whenever they pretend to be championing the cause of ‘secularism’, they are either deriding Hindus by calling them communal or pretending to be the advocates of minorities (for all practical purposes, minority in India mostly means the Muslim community and occasionally the Christians). If you ask me, “Are there no other minority ‘religions’ in India?” I will have to just laugh out loudly at your ignorance! Because you don’t know what ‘religion’ is – and if you don’t know what is religion, you can’t understand what is secularism! Both are 100% western inventions. But looking at how media intellectuals and politicians use the word ‘secularism’, it is clear that they haven’t the least idea what they are talking about or why the West had to coined this word! Come election time, and the word ‘secular’ gets into the mouth of every politician – each one trying to be a bigger ‘secular’ than the other! Being a western concept, therefore, the idea of ‘Secularism’ needs to be put into the right perspective. Contrary to popular belief in India, secular and communal are not each other’s opposite. Communal as not such a bad thing, it simply means something ‘related to a community’. A community can be any group of people; not necessarily people belonging to a single religion. In Germany, local body elections are called “communal elections”. So, next time when you are hear Laloo or his opportunist buddy Nitish Kumar saying that “all secular forces should unite in the Grand Coalition against the Communal BJP and super communal Modi” you should laugh out loudly! Because what they are saying is totally ridiculous! Even their ‘secular’ buddy, Italy born Sonia, is as illiterate when it comes to secularism. In fact, she should have known better because it was her mother-in-law Indira who inserted this word into the Constitution. But as we all know, during her 10 years of UPA government she proved to be just a mediocre power hungry politician like any Laloo, Pawar or Nitish. Anyway, her only strength in politics comes from the Nehru family connection that unites sycophantic and sub-mediocre submissive Indians into the Congress Party. It is sad that Sonia and her Son appear to be taking the once prestigious party, connected with India’s independence, to slow death. Leaving the Congress obituary for the right time, let’s get back to Secularism. ‘Secular’ is Opposite of ‘Religious’ Secular is something non ‘religious’. For the context of this article, being ‘religious’ refers to Christianity, which is a well-organized, dogmatic faith that claims to be the Only Keeper of the ‘Truth’, revealed by God himself through his Son Jesus. And, briefly, what truth did Mr God reveal? He revealed that you as a human are a born sinner – here you must recall the fairly tale of Adam and Eve and their fall to temptation. Then around 2000 years ago he felt mercy on the ‘humans’ – the sinners – and sent his son Jesus to salvage them from their sins by dying on the Cross! After the act, Jesus again became alive and went back to his Father God in the Heaven, somewhere up in the sky. Yes, this is the revealed Truth, the ONLY Truth !! So if you want to get rid of your label of ‘sinner’ you can take benefit of Jesus’ ‘sacrifice’ by becoming a Christian. Else, you, on some future Judgement Day you will be sent to eternal hell! This is the ONLY divine truth! And you must believe in it and become the privileged Christian and feel obliged (or guilty) that Jesus Died for your sins !! So, shut your mouth as well as the brain – and just Believe. Being a ‘believer’ is enough to salvage yourself from all your sins! Even if you are not a Christian, you may ask – so what is wrong in believing in this story? There is absolutely nothing wrong in believing in this story or some other story! The problem cropped up when the story is imposed on people as the ONLY TRUTH by the State, which traditionally has also been the Christian Church in Europe. It is a big problem when you are asked to believe in this story alone, and nothing else. In effect, you are asked to live as if you are a brain-dead man or surrender your rational mind and its reasoning ability. Christian clergy (or Church) had assumed the role of the State in the West almost since Christianity was born, and it was dictating so-called holy laws under the fear of punishment. Torture and death were common for disobeyers or those who dare question the authority of the Church. It demanded a ‘shut-minded’ adherence to whatever it said in the name of the ‘holy god’. Therefore, rational and free thinking people had to remain silent for fear of punishment. People had no choice of questioning the imposed belief or to express opinion different from it. This was the PROBLEM. In nutshell, faith is not a problem; discriminating on its basis or imposing it is the PROBLEM. Need to Separate Church and State brought “Secularism” 350 years ago ! Thus, for centuries, the Church played the role of the State and demanded absolute unquestioning surrender to its dictates from the masses – in the name of religion. But things started to change around 350 years ago as scientific discoveries began to emerge that demanded free, open and rational thinking – and dogmas and blind beliefs were seen as barriers to human progress. Thus, more and more Europeans started to speak against the dictates of religion. Many faced punishments in various harsh ways, we can’t even image now. But slowly the idea that reason and rationality (not blind and imposed religious beliefs) should guide society gained ground. It ultimately led to the demand for separating the State and the Church. This separation is called SECULARISM. It was born out of the need to get away from Church imposed blind beliefs and shut-minds. Today, most western democracies are ‘secular’. Religious (Christian) beliefs don’t dictate state policies, although most western democracies still grant Christianity preferential treatment. For example in Germany, the Constitution guarantees that the Christian doctrine is taught in government schools. However, Muslims appear to be moving in just the opposite direction – always ready to put political power in the hands of their Maulwis and Mullah. In fact, for the extreme Islamic cults progress only means one thing: living like Arab tribes of 7 century in the modern 21st century world! Nothing can be more unfortunate for humanity than this. Indian Situation is Different The situation in India has been entirely different. India never had a faith based governance that imposed pre-defined dogmas and beliefs on people and to punish them if they did not blindly follow them. In India the vedic knowledge, by its very nature, does not stifle rationality. On the other hand, it encourages open thinking and enquiry to find one’s own path to Moksha (Liberation). Hindu philosophy accepts that people can choose their own path to realise the same ultimate truth – which is experiential. It is fully liberal and allows Hindus full freedom to use their minds. Nothing is ever imposed on Hindus – in the name of Ultimate Truth. In must be stressed that Hinduism is entirely a different philosophy than dogmatic religions of the West. It is a Dharma based life philosophy that evolved spontaneously and collectively through the experiential knowledge of ancient Rishis, sages and ascetics who aimed to realise full liberation. Their focus was always on reason, intuition and direct experience. So, people followed a multitude of paths according to their conscience. Their efforts were always about living in the right way or doing the right thing at the right time. Their faith was all about reverence for the One Universal Consciousness that permeates all life and all existence. Therefore, everything that exists in nature became the object of reverence – the rivers, trees, mountains and living creatures. This gave rise to the concept of non-harming and peaceful coexistence. So, people in India traditionally lived in an open environment, believing in different beliefs and rituals was a normal way of life. Arrival of Christians and Muslims Changed the Situation However, arrival of Christianity and Islam changed this open atmosphere. Drilled to believe in the ‘only truth’ revealed by their ONLY god or allah they despised and ridiculed the good natured Indian people who considered the whole world as a one big family. For their Dharma based thinking it was a strange thing to look down upon people who held different beliefs. Trained to think that good moral conduct makes good human beings, they found it weird when told that mere believing in Jesus or Mohammad – or someone else for that matter – makes people superior. They also could not understand how it is right to kill another human being just because he believes in a different path. Islamic invaders from Central Asia brought the ‘religious barbarism’ to India when they slaughtered countless Hindus simply because they were ‘Hindus’ (which is actually a geographical term) and believed in a different faith. It was totally unbelievable for them to see merciless killings in the name of god and then the shouts of “Allah is Great! Guru Nanak had left a graphic testimony describing how bad the situation was. Nothing much has changed in the 21st century as far as the basic Muslim mindset is concerned. Here are typical pieces of wisdom from the mouths of some Indian Muslimsthat shows what they feel about Hindus. Voltaire, who opposed the stranglehold of the Church in Europe, had accurately observed, “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities”. Thus, under the centuries of Mughal rule Hindus had to remain low for fear of life. But arrival of the Christian brained British and missionaries also brought similar oppression. They imposed Macauley education system designed to create Indians suitably trained to carry out clerical work for the British administration; it further cut them off from their traditions. This naturally took a toll on their self-esteem. Even today, this low self-esteemed mindset is evident in the English educated class – who ‘naturally’ think that good things only come from ‘foreign’. It is obvious to the outsiders, though it may not be clear to the persons concerned. Swami Vivekananda tried to instil confidence in the people of India but his efforts failed to impact this brown English class of people. Nevertheless, it is a big achievement that Hindu Dharma survived through all these centuries of mental slavery. In fact, it should have started to flourish in ‘independent India’ but politics of ‘brown Englishmen’ continued to give priorities to Muslims and Christians, leaving Hindus still feeling inferior and left out on their own ancient land! India’s Secularism is Utterly Nonsense After Independence, Muslims and Christians pushed for special civil laws and other benefits in the name of religion. Such laws were squarely against the spirit of Secular India. Long used to adjusting with others Hindus, however, never made any demand in the name of religion, nor dictated any term to the Indian state. So, it is mysterious why the word ‘secular’ was added to the Constitution of India in 1976 – almost 30 years after the British departure. Perhaps the most plausible explanation is that it was to assuage the faith-based fear psychosis among Christians and Muslims looking at the awe inspiring high population of Hindus. But even after adding this word in the Constitution, things remained the same. The Congress government remained eager to give benefits to just these two dogmatic religious communities. Ironically, if the concept of secularism is to be applied, it applies only to these two faiths! Rest of the Indians don’t practice ‘religion’; they practice Dharma based life philosophies like Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and so on. None of these faiths divide people into believers and non-believers or discriminate against those hold different beliefs. They also don’t go on Conversion Spree to pop up their numbers like the Christians and Muslims do. Therefore, logically speaking after the word ‘secular’ was added in the Constitution it should have been the burden of Muslims and Christians to prove that they are secular – and all their demands in the name of religion should be declared unconstitutional. But what actually happened was silly and ridiculous – and this sick comedy still continues. The word ‘Secular’ got an entirely new and unusual meaning in India. Today, secularism has come to mean championing the interests of Christians and Muslims in the name of religion. Quite often the concept of secularism gets further distorted: when it means calling Hindus ‘Communal’. These are pathetic display of ignorance: How can anyone call Hindus ‘communal’ when Hinduism is not a religion. It is really a sad irony and a serious distortion in the political discourse. Today, many Hindus wonder: Partition of united India gave Pakistan to the Muslims, in the name of religion. What did Hindus get? “A ‘Secular’ State where all preferential treatment goes to the Muslims and Christians.” Can someone explain why “Secular India” gives Haz subsidy to the Muslims (when even Muslims call it un-Islamic!)? And why 2 MPs are nominated from the Christian community to ensure their representation in the Indian parliament? How long Hindus will continue to remain unassertive on their own ancient land – even after the so-called ‘freedom’ in 1947 !! In fact, soon after August 1947 Hindus should have been demanding apology and compensation for the centuries of occupation and injustice done to them both by the Muslims and Christians during the Mughal and colonial periods. Can you imagine the Jews giving special privileges to the Germans in Israel? I just hope that Hindus soon start thinking of uniting themselves and shake off the slave mindset resulted from centuries of Islamic and British exploitation. They need to learn from the Jews, Germans and Japanese how to take pride in their ancient culture and way of life. Looking at the rise of global Islamic terrorism and terrorist sympathisers, the 100 crore Hindus have the sole responsibility to protect India and keep vigil on separatist forces whose loyalty lies in foreign lands. There must not be another 1947 in the 21st century; no ‘another Pakistan’ in the name of Islam. https://socialissuesindia.wordpress.com/why-indian-secularism-is-so-distorted/
  14. 1 point
    Good blog with lots of info and details. Loved reading it.
  15. 1 point
    An insightful blog you have written and really appreciate the fact that you took the time to come up the details as well. Thanks for upload.
  16. 1 point
    The inward no. given for sending first appeal gets the priority and taken for count. Search website of SIC for format, no of copies to be submitted. Pray to condone the delay in Prayer part of second appeal and also as Encl: No.1 stating reasons, This is not required if your second appeal for first time was numbered, as they might have referred. The practice of sending the letter received from them as xerox, and writing on it with sketch in Bold, complied and enclosed as per directions, gets immediate attention and saves their time. Don't worry and every thing can go smooth. This is just a procedural formality.
  17. 1 point
    can you establish why you need out of turn facility if you are senior citizen then you have to apply to cic cic in turn will pass order whether senior citizen applicant should be considered or not for out of turn adjudication.
  18. 1 point
    The final destination of your RTI Application is with last PIO. Without going for first appeal, second appeal can not be entertained, and second appeal hearing time takes years and result is uncertain. If final PIO fails to provide information or denies inform, Within 30 + 10days time for postal transit you go for FIRST Appeal to First Appellate Authority and after waiting for further 50 days only, you can go for second appeal. Please go through Sec.19 of RTI Act and adhere to time frame fixed under RTI Act for first and second appeals. You have stated your RTI Application date as 20th May, and consider the date of receipt of your application by PIO as commencing date for calculation of time frame of 30 days given to PIO for response. It is the primary responsibility of applicant to locate correct PIO.
  19. 1 point
    The valid course is exploring Sec.11, though final discretion is that of PIO. But, PIO should necessarily follow the procedure of Sec.11 and seek comments. Member confirmed that PIO has not followed laid down procedure under Sec.11 in her post. (All this may be matrimonial cases generally where employee having sufficient regular income claim such matrimony from spouses. and though HC ruled against such false affidavits, still such cases continuing as advocates may mislead their clients. That requires documentary proof and hence guidance for obtaining RTI Application and information provided by PIO as certified copies to get entire facts in one go hearing as it may take years for getting such hearing chance.
  20. 1 point
    The plea that was filed by RTI activists Commodore Lokesh Batra (retired) along with Anjali Bhardwaj and Amrita Johri on 24 April will be heard by the top court when it reopens Monday after the summer break. The plea suggests that despite huge backlogs of appeals and complaints in many information commissions across the country, information commissioners have not been appointed. This has resulted in information commissions taking months, and in some cases even years, to decide appeals. “Currently, there are four vacancies in the Central Information Commission, even as more than 23,500 appeals and complaints are pending,” the petitioners claim. According to the petition, the State Information Commission (SIC) of Andhra Pradesh is completely non-functional since no information commissioner has been appointed there. Similarly, the Maharashtra SIC has four vacancies resulting in a backlog of around 40,000 cases. In Kerala, just one officer is manning the commission and has to adjudicate on more than 14,000 pending appeals and complaints. Recounting the state of affairs in various state commissions, the plea has noted that there are six vacancies in the SIC of Karnataka even though 33,000 cases are pending there. Odisha and Telangana are the only states where appointments have been made. There too the backlog goes up to 10,000 and 15,000 appeals respectively. The situation in West Bengal is particularly grim with two commissioners hearing appeals/complaints that were filed almost 10 years ago, the plea points out. “Further, several commissions like that of Gujarat, Nagaland and Maharashtra are functioning without the chief information commissioner, even though the RTI Act envisages a crucial role for the chief commissioner, with the administration and superintendence of the commission vesting with the chief,” the plea reads. “The effective functioning of information commissions, the final adjudicators under the RTI Act, is critical for the health of the transparency regime in the country,” the activists argue in their plea.
  21. 1 point
    Effective January 1, 2016 subsidy was abolished and the rate of food increased in Parliament Canteen. However, a query by India Today TV under the Right to Information (RTI) Act found it otherwise. Food at the Parliament Canteen is still being subsidised. But the issue is not cheap food for our parliamentarians. A bigger question is did our lawmakers lie to the public? In 2015, there was a lot of hue and cry after it came to light that the Parliament Canteens was being subsidised to the extent of 80% of its cost. The then BJD Lok Sabha MP Baijayant 'Jay' Panda wrote a letter to the Speaker and argued that in light of the government urging voluntary surrender of cooking gas (LPG) subsidies, by those who could afford it, MPs giving up their subsidised canteen privileges would also be "a right step in effecting greater public trust" in lawmakers. The Lok Sabha reacted positively and its secretariat on December 31, 2015, issued a statement: "After receiving the committee's report, the Speaker has taken a number of decisions, out of which the most important is that the canteen in Parliament will now work on 'no-profit, no-loss' basis...Accordingly, the rates of various food items have been increased and these would be sold at the actual cost of making...This will be effective from tomorrow." So effective January 1, 2016 subsidy was abolished and the rate of food increased in Parliament Canteen. Here are the RTI Application
  22. 1 point
    1)You may have to wait for indefinite period as APIC office is established, and without any Information Commissioners, and till date there is no whisper on such selection and appointment of ICs by AP Govt. 2.)You can find out from website of APIC or by making a call to APIC at Mangalagiri. You might have considered your application under Life or Liberty, but there is no such guidelines on hearing of L o L second appeals in priority as per APIC rules and regulations. 3)There is no stipulation of such extra precautions for filing second appeal under LOL clause and your second appeal should be as per the format/procedure stated by APIC in their website. 4) A representative can be sent by appellant during personal hearing with such authorisation letter. Even attendance is not mandatory. 5)There is no such provision in APIC rules and regulations. But, nothing bars you in making any number of such representations informing urgency and importance, but APIC should feel that urgency. Final guidance: Never depend on second appeals before APIC and make alternate arrangements for a remedy.
  23. 1 point
    You can file RTI Application to Commissioner of Police and can seek information as follows: Information solicited: 1.Please provide safeguards taken to protect citizens like police verification of Driver's antecedents of Ola started cabs and auto booking services etc in TN. Search website of Commissioner to locate State Public Information Officer, format of application and mode of remitting RTI fees of Rs.10/
  24. 1 point
    3)and should provide the copy of link. Another simple course is filing a complaint to competent authority with such photographs asking authorities to stop illegal construction and then following it with RTI on action taken on your complaint.
  25. 1 point
    Then in that case, you will have to file a RTI application with the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Bhuj Nagarpalika. For format and fees of RTI application, please refer to the Gujarat RTI Rules following link: http://msubaroda.ac.in/RTI/GRTIRules2010.pdf
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