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  1. The cental Government May ammend the list of institutions specified in the schedule by inclusing additional agencies or omitting certain existing ones. The notification to be made in this regard shall be laid before the Parliament so that the Parliament may examine the appropriateness of the Government's action in deleting items or adding new items to the list of exempted list.
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  2. By reason of their exemption, no citizen can approach for information the said agencies firstly in relation to any investigation, nor can they be compelled to disclose the information or the report or reports they may submit to the Government of India. However, there is one exception to this exemption. This exception is about the request for information relating to corruption or human right violation. In the case of the former, the concerned organisation may be requested for the report furnished by it to the Government. And, in the case of the later viz. the human right violations those organisations are bound to provide the information after obtaining the approval of Central Information commission. If the central Information commission is of the opinion that such report to the human right vioaltion shall not be disclosed, the intelligence agency need not respond to the request made by the citizen in this regard. The decision of the central Information Commission where the disclosure of information is permissible, such disclosure shall be made within 45 days from the date of receipt of the request. The decision made in this regard by the commission will be final.
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  3. IN 1979 a US nuclear reactor exploded on Three Mile Island, exposing Americans to toxic fallout. The authorities attempted to shut the media out. However, using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a small Pittsburgh newspaper demanded details of the threat. The documents released detailed private conversations between US officials revealing the true extent of the disaster. Some years later, in 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe struck Eastern Europe. Yet in this case, in the absence of FOI, the government covered up the disaster and residents remained ignorant of the danger to their lives. In the past 20 years, hundreds of thousands have died as a direct result of the fallout. The demand to know the truth about Chernobyl resulted in International Right to Know Day, which the world recognises today, 28th September. The significance of commemorating this day is to raise awareness about everyone’s right to know what their government is doing. Where freedom of expression grants the right to disseminate ideas, freedom of information ensures access to all public documents and records. The absence of freedom of information creates a culture of secrecy in governments which fuels corruption, waste and poor management. When the freedom to obtain public documents is enshrined in law, as in the case of the Three Mile Island incident, ordinary citizens are better protected against corruption, can hold government accountable and influence the decisions that affect their lives. Freedom of information laws can be used to scrutinise decisions in all areas of government - healthcare, education, housing - as well as parastatal operations. In South Africa, FOI requests have exposed a range of government malpractices from a corrupt arms deal to illegal land use and misguided HIV policies. In India, FOI laws were used by rural workers to fight for the minimum wage. Information empowers communities. FOI laws are a proven, affordable way to give power back to the people. In the last decade, more and more countries have recognised that freedom of information is critical to securing good governance. According to the Carter Centre, 68 countries around the world, including many developing countries, have adopted FOI legislation. Currently six African countries have passed a Freedom of Information Act and several more have the right enshrined in their constitution. Full News here!
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  4. President APJ Abdul Kalam on Friday asked the Government to expedite the Rs 23,000 crore National E-Governance Grid Programme to make the revolutionary people friendly Right To Information Act a real success. Inaugurating the three-day national conference on RTI organised by the Central Information Commissioner (CIC) here at the Vigyan Bhavan, Kalam said that the objective of the Act could be achieved only if the ambitious NEGP programme was completed at the earliest. Once completed "the programme which aims at integrating information network at the district, states and national level to a common e-information grid would help faster and transparent dissemination of information to the citizens," the President said. Kalam advised the CIC to carry out various changes of its website programme so as to make it more meaningful to the applicants who move the commission for information. Pointing out that lack of awareness was one of the principal reasons for people approaching officials who are unrelated to the issues involved, the President asked the CIC to put on its website the role and duties of the different departments and officials in the country's federal structure. "The people should know which official to approach for their problem. Today at Rashtrapathi Bhavan we get hundreds for various requests ranging from departmental promotions to settlement of land disputes," the President remarked amid laughter. Kalam for fusion of e-governance and RTI- The Times of India
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  5. No. It is only in cases of repleated defaults, the Information commission is competent to recommend disciplinary proceedings against Public Information Officer.
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    • सड़क निर्माण में भ्रष्टाचार ना हो और पारदर्शिता के लिए आप चाहे तो निर्माण स्थल से #RTI के तहत निर्माण कार्य का सैंपल लेकर लैब में टेस्टिंग के लिए दे सकते है। http://rtiindia.org

       

      : https://righttoinformation.wiki/guide/applicant/application/sample/road-work
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    • 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!
       
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    • 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
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    • There can be no faith in government if our highest offices are excused from scrutiny - they should be setting the example of transparency.
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    • 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.

       
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