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Found 42 results

  1. rajdeep

    Doctoral Student!

    I am doctoral student in the University of Delaware, United States and my dissertation examines the process, in a comparative context, through which RTI was adopted in India, the UK and South Africa. I bracket this work within the context of the Commonwealth countries, while also placing it in a global context and examining whether there is an emerging norm to adopt RTI legislations in countries that seek to promote democracy and good governance. Rajdeep Pakanati.
  2. Doctor's anti-RTI missive gets CIC angry as reported by Shimona Kanwar in TOI, TNN, Dec 1, 2010 CHANDIGARH: The Right To Information Act has been hailed as an important legislation for development of our democratic society by most people. But the openness that RTI Act requires can still be opposed in 'confidential' official communication. That has come to light in the case of associate professor of department of physiology at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 - Dr Gurjit Kaur - who termed an RTI query by PGI doctor Rakesh Sehgal about her qualifications "a disturbing activity" in a letter to PGI head. Now, the Central Information Commission has criticized her sending the missive. Dr Sehgal had sought information from GMCH-32 on May 20, 2009, about how Dr Kaur was eligible to hold the post of incharge of genetic centre at the hospital. That information was not provided. Dr Sehgal then moved the Central Information Commission and presented what he said was Kaur's subsequent complaint to the PGI director. The CIC decided in favour of Dr Sehgal and said the associate professor needed to clean the cobwebs in her mind so as to allow this unique legislation to illuminate her thinking. CIC stated, "The letter (as provided by Dr Sehgal, which was addressed to the PGI director) identifies seeking information under the RTI Act as 'negative activities' and is described as being equal to making a serious offence against the decorum of the institute." Taking a serious note of this approach of not providing timely RTI information, the CIC wrote, "The incharge, Genetic Centre, GMCH, has considered it appropriate to express such views in an official communication to the PGIMER director. The commission, through this order, wishes to disabuse her of this erroneous interpretation of the RTI Act wherein her view seeking information regarding an area not related to his (the appellant's) field of research and his institution is considered a disturbing activity." Dr Sehgal could not be contacted for his comments as he is on a visit abroad. Dr Kaur said, "The letter to the PGI director was confidential. So how could anyone get a copy of it? I have not written anything adverse against anyone or criticized the RTI Act." Source : Doctor's anti-RTI missive gets CIC angry - The Times of India
  3. Atul Patankar

    IFCI comes within ambit of RTI Act: HC

    As reported at business-standard.com on August 17, 2010 The Delhi High Court today held that Industrial Finance Corporation of India Ltd (IFCI) is a public authority under the RTI Act making it mandatory to disclose information under the transparency law. Justice S Muralidhar dismissed the plea of the financial institution that it did not come under the purview of the RTI Act. Upholding the order of the Central Information Commission which had directed it to put in place a mechanism for disclosure of information under the Act, the court said the Corporation comes within the ambit of the transparency law as it is controlled and substantially financed by the Centre. "There is both control and substantial financing of the IFCI by the central government and therefore answers the description of a public authority under Section 2(h)(d)(i) of the RTI Act," the court said. The court said the basic character of the company would remain public irrespective of the holding of government share in it as IFCI is very different from any other company registered under the Companies Act. "This Court held that even though the central government subsequently ceased to hold shares in IFCI Ltd., its essential character as a public financial institution would remain," the court said. The CIC had on May 31, 2007, had declared IFCI as a public authority on a complaint filed by a person after the company refused to reveal information under the RTI Act. The IFCI was established as a statutory Corporation in 1948 by the enactment of the Industrial Financial Corporation of India Act, 1948. It was the first developmental financial institution set up by an Act of Parliament to pioneer institutional credit to medium and large scale industries.
  4. Hello Everyone. I am Sebastian. I would really appreciate anyone who can help me out with information on this situation. I would like to ask for information under the RTI regarding the rules and regulations of the CWC. (Child Welfare Committee). I would like to find out the procedure that the CWC follows in releasing an orphan child who is under the care of a particular organization. I understand that according to the JJ act (Juvenile Justice Act), there is no legal adoption for a child who is over the age of 18. I wish to get details as to why no release orders or reports regarding that child have been sent to the CWC by that particular organization. My wife and I have been donors and volunteers with this organizarion since early 2006. There was a bond that formed between us, and this particular child who wishes to be part of our family. This particular organization is aware of our intentions to accept and support the child as parents (or foster parents, whichever may be the legal term used). Our child is 19 years old now (not really a child of course) but has not had a release order yet. This child still has to go by what the office bearers of the organization think is best for her though she is legally an adult. This case is being passed back and forth from our child's parent orphanage and the one that she presently is since the last 8 to 9 years, and the IJM. No one seems to be bothered about this and we have received no satisfactory answers from anyone. To take things further, The IJM has stepped in and seems to have taken all the children in this particular cottage under their wing. As of now, the matter is bouncing back and forth from the parent orphanage, the present one and the IJM. The IJM staff say that the orphanage has to send reports and applications for the release order which the organization has not, the Orphanage says that they are now under the IJM, and office bearers of our child's parent orphanage pitch in one in a while to make their presence felt. All this in the name of "SAVING" the girl child !! Our offers to sponsor her courses are not well accepted, since her inclination is towards the creative arts, and the organization states that financial hurdles and the fact that other inmates will make unreasonable demands which they will not be able to handle and eventually they will be accused of being biased towards this child. Besides this, the creative arts are not considered a career option. We see it as a case of squashing the problem instead of finding a solution or working towards one. We are not "Adopting" her. We are only trying to bring our daughter home. Any help in this regard will be greatly appreciated. Regards, Sebastian Email:(Posting of mail ids is against forum rules-hence deleted)
  5. As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 17 September 2009 AHMEDABAD: If a public office refuses you information under RTI Act stating that the details sought are part of a matter which is pending court decision and hence cannot be furnished, such denial would be unlawful. In a recent decision, Gujarat Information Commission (GIC) has ruled that unless there is a court order that restricts parting of a particular information, a public office cannot deny any citizen information even if the matter is pending in court. The issue was discussed in the case of Bhupat Laxman, a farmer, who has been demanding under RTI as to why he was slapped a bill of Rs 18,000 when the Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Limited (PGVCL) has not given him an electricity connection since 1980. Laxman, a resident of Khamba taluka in Amreli district, had been demanding proof of a connection on the basis of which the bill was prepared. He had dragged the electricity company to Dhari court in 2000 after the erstwhile Gujarat Electricity Board (GEB) and now PGVCL for almost 20 years had refused to give a connection. The public information officer (PIO) from PGVCL finally admitted that there were no records pertaining to Laxman's connection in 1980 and was unable to explain why Laxman was slapped a bill of Rs 18,000. Instead, the PIO replied that since the matter was pending in Dhari court, PGVCL will not reply to any questions under RTI. This was countered by the GIC. "There are many cases where an aggrieved citizen is tangled with a government body in a legal dispute. A government department cannot refuse information under RTI to the aggrieved party as he might have to depend on certain documents in possession of the department to fight his case. In such cases, the department cannot deny information. However, the information can be only denied if there are specific court orders as mentioned under Section 8 of RTI Act," said Gujarat chief information commissioner RN Das. "For all these years just because we were issued a fake bill we were not given any electricity connection. This was the electricity company's fault. We had to rely on illegal means of drawing power lines to water our crops. Today, they say that there is no record of connection but refuse to admit it on paper," said Laxman. Source: Govt can't deny info on matter pending in court: GIC - Ahmedabad - City - NEWS - The Times of India
  6. As reported by daily edunews on December 18,2008 Mumbai: The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), jointly conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISc) to award masters' in 74 areas including engineering, architecture and life sciences, will have no participation of pharmacy students from 2010. This may come as a blow to lakhs of meritorious students who have, for years, taken the GATE examination for admission to the two-year M. Pharma programme in institutes across the country. Vinay Sonawane, a pharmacy student was informed by the IITs that they would stop conducting GATE for pharmacy students after 2009, after an application was filed by him under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Now, students will have to move towards private colleges where, academicians fear, admission standards will be compromised. GATE qualified students are entitled to a monthly scholarship of Rs.5000. S.C. Saxena, Director of IIT Roorkee confirmed that the decision to discontinue the entrance test had been taken by the national coordinating committee. "The IITs and IISc have to depend on faculty members from other pharmacy colleges to conduct the test and it is getting more and more difficult to ensure that outside faculty members maintained the same standards as ours," added Gautam Barua, Director IIT Guwahati. IITs have been the conducting body of the GATE examination but never offered the same course at its campuses. The decision, however, has angered students who now plan to take the matter up with the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry as "the exam maintained merit and fairness in the admission process''. Pharmacy students form the second-largest proportion of GATE aspirants after engineering graduates. Last year, about 20,000 students took the GATE for pharmacy. Source : No GATE exam for pharmacy students from 2010, Engineering News - By Indiaedunews.net
  7. As reported at navhindtimes.in on 11 December 2009 PANAJI: The claims of the Entertainment Society of Goa, which actually should have been named as the Extravagant Society of Goa, that it has curtailed the budget of the recently concluded International Film Festival of India to Rs 6.5 crore, appears pretentious, if the information sought under the Right to Information Act and authentic documentation are to be believed. The estimated budget prepared by the ESG for the IFFI 2009 stands at Rs 6.48 crore, which is much less than that for the IFFI 2008 – Rs 11.83 crore. But that is only half truth. If the inaugural film festival in Goa, held in the year 2004 is considered, then that film festival had the budget of Rs 6.39 crore, out of which Rs 4.93 crore were spent on cultural programmes like music concerts by noted playback singers, plays performed by actors like Anupam Kher, beach screenings and so on. That makes Rs 1.46 crore as the actual expenditure on IFFI 2004. And to think, IFFI 2009 had no cultural programmes in the city or around the state. It is one thing to say that the ESG has done away with the event management agency, this year, and reduced its budget for IFFI 2009 by half, so as to curtail the expenses, while it is altogether a different equation, wherein nearly 30 to 35 per cent of the IFFI 2009 expenditure is spent on a preferred official festival hotel, which is directly linked to one of the members on the governing council of the ESG. Out of the Rs 6.48-crore budget earmarked for the IFFI 2009, an amount of Rs 1.40 crore is estimated to be spent on hotel accommodation and Rs 8 lakh for the Chief Minister’s dinner party, both in the preferred official festival five-star hotel. This hotel naturally charged separate bills for food and beverages of the guests staying in it during the festival. And then there were regular IFFI–related dinner parties held in this hotel, of course, for additional payment. Well, a chunk of the IFFI 2009 budget will go towards this Resort. And finally, a person linked to the ownership of this hotel is on the Governing Council of the ESG. The matter doesn’t end here. The documents show that the decision about the choice of official festival hotel was taken at a meeting of the governing council held on August 26, 2009, at 5.30 p.m. in the ESG board meeting. Surprisingly, it seems this meeting never took place. In fact, the actual meeting had taken place on the same day, but at 4.00 p.m., and was attended by the finance secretary, Mr Udipta Ray as well as the member linked to the ownership of the preferred hotel, along with some other members. This meeting decided on various matters except the selection of the festival hotel. The ESG papers, however, show that the 5.30 p.m. meeting -- which actually never took place -- was not attended by Mr Ray as well as the member linked to the ownership of the preferred hotel. The ESG papers also point out that the festival hotel was selected at this ‘meeting’, in the absence of the interested party. Furthermore, the ESG, for deciding upon the festival hotel had invited bids from four 5-star hotels namely Hotel Sun N Sand, Taj Group Hotel, Hotel Vivanta Taj and the one, which was eventually selected. This was done as the IFFI 2009 MoU signed between the state and Centre demanded that the hotel chosen as the official festival hotel should have 5-star ranking. Eventually, the ESG’s governing council found that Taj Group Hotel was very far from the festival venue, while Hotel Sun N Sand was unable to offer required 100 rooms. Vivanta Taj however, was very near to the festival venue and offered more benefits for less money. It was surprisingly rejected in preference to the fourth hotel on the grounds of its failure to submit specific certification from the ministry of tourism, government of India, regarding the 5-star status. Interestingly, the CEO of the ESG, Mr Manoj Srivastava notes in the document that the rates of the hotel selected as the official festival hotel were found to be lowest, which is far from being true. The rate quoted by Vivanta Taj Hotel for single/double occupancy, per room in all categories except suites was Rs 8,100, while that quoted by the official festival hotel for single/double occupancy, per room in standard category was Rs 9,625 and in superior/classic category was Rs 10,450. Furthermore, Vivanta Taj Hotel had agreed to offer 50 per cent discount on published tariff for suites, while the official festival hotel had quoted rate of Rs 14,025 for each of the four suites offered. If one observes the comparative bids of the Vivanta Taj Hotel and the selected hotel, then Vivanta Taj Hotel had offered one complimentary suite for the director of IFFI, while the selected hotel had not; the Vivanta Taj Hotel had offered 25 to 30 complimentary cars for transport to the airport as well as an A/c coach, while the selected hotel had offered A/c coach and a luxury car for only suite occupants; the Vivanta Taj Hotel had offered two dedicated computers with Internet connection, while the selected hotel had offered complimentary Internet usage at corporate lounge; the Vivanta Taj Hotel had offered 20 per cent discount on food and beverages, telecommunications, laundry and Spa, while the selected hotel had offered 15 per cent discount on food and beverages, and health club. Incidentally, the Vivanta Taj Hotel had submitted to the ESG certificate of registration of A-category hotel from the department of tourism, Goa, as well as project approval under 5-star category by the ministry of tourism, India. Finally, even after managing to secure the official festival hotel status for IFFI 2009 and getting a branding for itself at the cost of the government, the selected hotel had too many lapses during the dinner parties. For example, the counters serving alcoholic drinks were closed at 10.45 p.m. sharp. The noted Marathi actress and film director, Chitra Palekar as well as many others who had arrived at the inaugural day party at around 10.45 p.m., after attending the opening film, ‘Wheat’ were annoyed when they was refused drinks, stating that the counters close at 11 p.m. A noted music director of yesteryears, who when tried to get some ice-cream at the desserts counter, was told that the ice-cream was over and that there would be no refill of the empty ice-cream container. Source: Over 30% of budget spent on official hotel of IFFI
  8. Is RMP (Registered Medical Practioner) Certificate offered by Indian Board Of Alternative Medicine (IBAM) recognised? Lot of doctors have indicated that there is no such thing as RMP and its not a valid certification. Can anyone tell if whether it is legally allowed to practice alternative medicine if one has RMP from IBAM?
  9. As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 7 June 2009 NEW DELHI: The Delhi Fire Service has declared the brand new departure terminal 1 D at the capital's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) unsafe. According to the information accessed by IANS under the Right to Information Act (RTI), Delhi Fire Service chief R C Sharma has refused to provide a no-objection certificate (NOC) for terminal 1 D, citing many shortcomings during the two inspections conducted by his team in the past few months. In his last report on May 13, Sharma cited six shortcomings. He said the ventilation system in the VIP lounge, baggage area and the office area was yet to be completed. Further, he stated, the exit route in the retail area should have a separate staircase or passage. "In some places sprinklers are hidden in the false ceiling, which should be brought down. Some of the restaurants are under construction and are using wooden material. The wood works need to be painted with fire retardant chemicals. Necessary fire alarms or sprinkler system should be extended to these areas," Sharma noted in his report. He further said systems at the new departure terminal could not be checked due to passenger movement and asked for arrangements to test the systems whenever possible. But so far the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), a joint venture between the state-run Airports Authority of India and a consortium led by infrastructure major GMR, has not made any arrangements for the inspection of the systems. In his report Sharma concluded that "terminal 1 D cannot be considered safe from the safety point of view till safety arrangements are fully completed." Terminal 1 D, which is spread over 33,000 sq m, has replaced 1 B, the old terminal. It was opened for operations April 19. Kingfisher, Kingfisher Red and IndiGo, Jet Airways, JetLite and Spice Jet are operating from the new terminal, while GoAir, Air India and others are operating from terminal 1 A. According to the airport officials, around 200 flights operate daily from the new departure terminal, which has been built at a cost of Rs.500 crore ($100 million). The terminal is able to handle 10 million passengers annually and is equipped with 72 check-in counters. It was inaugurated by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel. The airport authorities had first invited the Delhi Fire Service officials April 8. At that time, the fire service wrote in its report that fire pumps and the fire control room were yet to be fully operational and that the sprinkler line was not charged with water at many places. DIAL sent a report to the fire department May 4 stating that measures suggested had been complied with. The fire department again conducted an inspection and highlighted fresh shortcomings. When asked why necessary clearance was not sought before the new terminal came into operation, DIAL spokesman Arun Arora said the terminal was absolutely safe for operations and for passengers. "DIAL is very much alive to the required fire safety norms. We have been following all fire safety norms (domestic as well as international) for all equipment and procedures," Arora told IANS. "All necessary documents have been submitted to the fire department and inspections have been carried out by the Delhi Fire Service officers. All observations and suggestions made by them were carried out by DIAL. The suggestions made by them during their subsequent visit to terminal 1 D are also being carried out," he added. Arora said to ensure fail-proof fire safety DIAL has taken many initiatives. "We have deputed 18 well trained firemen who keep patrolling all areas of the terminals - like the check-in area, airline ticketing areas and security holds. More than 50 fire hydrant outlets have been deployed inside and outside the terminal for greater safety," Arora said. Though DIAL has been running the new terminal without fire safety clearances, the Delhi Fire Service was silent on why no action was being taken against the airport authorities. As per the powers conferred upon the fire department, it can cut electricity and water supplies to a building or even shut it down if the fire safety norms are not met. Source: Fire service declares Delhi's new airport terminal 'unsafe' - Delhi - Cities - The Times of India
  10. Atul Patankar

    Official rues poor RTI awareness

    As reported by RAJ KUMAR at www.telegraphindia.com on 21 May 2009 Ranchi, May 20: There are two challenges lying in the path of proper execution of the Right to Information (RTI) Act implemented in the country in 2005, feels Central Information Commissioner (CIC) M.M. Ansari. “The first obstacle is lack of knowledge about the act while the second is the negative attitude of people seeking and providing information,” he said. Ansari, one of the seven information commissioners of the country, was here to impart training about different aspects of the RTI Act to more than 30 mining and army officers from different parts of the country at Indian Institute of Coal Management (IICM), Kanke. The CIC said the people of this country were still not aware of the benefits of the RTI Act. “This act is a weapon against corruption. But people are yet to know about its power and limitations of the information commission,” Ansari said, who feels that the masses are yet to correctly interpret the act. “After talking to public information officers, I have found out that many people exercise the RTI Act to harass the officials. Instead of asking a direct question, such people seek answers to irrelevant queries. There is another section of people who wants all their problems solved by invoking the RTI Act. But for that they need to knock at the door of the courts,” Ansari added. He stressed on the need to change this mindset of people to ensure smooth functioning of the act. “Voluntary organisations, NGOs and the media, which have played a crucial role so far to make the act effective, should work to change this attitude of the people. Awareness should be spread in such a way that information providers do not hide anything without reason and information seekers do not harass officials,” he said. Ansari suggested inclusion of the act in school curriculum to make the younger generation aware of it. He believes that the increase in awareness level will automatically check corruption. “After the implementation of the RTI Act, the corruption level in the country has reduced by 20 per cent. If some more efforts are put in, corruption will be completely eradicated,” he said. Source: The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Jharkhand | Official rues poor RTI awareness
  11. karira

    Students dig up hidden truths

    As reported in expressbuzz.com on 02 May 2009: Students dig up hidden truths Students dig up hidden truths BANGALORE: The students of the investigative class of the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) on Thursday disclosed the findings of their project which needed extensive use of the Right to Information Act (RTI). Using RTI, the students have unearthed facts pertaining to Bangalore Metro Transport Corporation, education in the state, the chief minister’s visits to temples and Lokayukta. The students, as per their findings, report that while promising to weed out reckless drivers, BMTC officials have quietly re-employed their most deadly ones — ones responsible for nearly 370 fatal collisions since 2000. “In 28 cases, the drivers who were given another chance went on to cause a second, sometimes even a third fatal accident before they were fired. BMTC officials say that they don’t immediately fire drivers because, among other things, it could hurt employee morale,’’ the students reported. Another team came up with a story that goes on to establish that the public paid Rs 11.2 lakh to send Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa on eight ‘official’ temple visits during the first six months of his tenure. “Karnataka education officials responsible for overseeing government school teachers have allowed some to go on leave for years without purging them from the employment rolls,’’ a team reported. “Lokayukta Santosh Hegde whips up publicity when he traps or raids public officials, but is coveniently silent about the track record of his office. Less than 1 per cent of all complaints and traps result in verified punishments,’’ another team reported.“One of our projects on BDA missed the year end deadline as the students had to wait for five months for information,’’ said a student. They also shared their experience while on the project.
  12. Atul Patankar

    Management institute director held

    As reported by Rao Jaswant Singh of TNN on January 23, 2009 at the Times of India, Jaipur JAIPUR: Police on Thursday arrested the director of city-based Asia Pacific Institute of Management, Jaipur, Kailash Shankar Gautam (40), on charges of duping 86 students of Rs 1.5 crore. The students were pursuing a post-graduate diploma in management (PGDM) course. Gautam was sent to 15-day judicial custody after he was produced in court on Thursday afternoon. Gautam was running the PGDM course from Asia Pacific Institute of Management in the city without getting approval from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). According to the police report lodged by Rohit Dixit of Aligarh and four other students, Gautam advertised about the admission to a two-year PGDM course at Asia Institute of Pacific Management in local newspapers. The brochure issued by institute said the course was approved by AICTE. Eighty-six students took admission and the course started in July 2008. They paid Rs 90,000 as annual fee and other expenses. However, during the middle of the course, they came to know that the course was not approved by (AICTE) and that they might land jobless even after completing the course. When the students approached Gautam, he assured them about the approval but the students were not satisfied. They reported the matter to the AICTE office in Delhi. In September, they all heard from AICTE, which advised that they ensure AICTE approval of the programme before advancing further. Following the notice from AICTE, a group of students filed an application under the right to information (RTI) Act to enquire about the approval of the course from AICTE. The reply brought more misery as it said the course was not approved and neither was any such case pending with the body. The students then demanded the director refund the fees but he refused and claimed that approval was pending. Sindhi Camp police said that cops have registered a case of fraud against Gautam, who was arrested and produced before the court. During preliminary interrogation, Gautam maintained that he had applied for AICTE approval, which was still pending. The police are investigating the matter further. Source : Management institute director held -Jaipur-Cities-The Times of India
  13. Govt blurs IIT stand against faculty quota as reported by Hemali Chhapia,TNN | 6 Oct 2008 MUMBAI: Censorship. That is what directors of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are currently fighting, after the Union human resource development ministry edited out their opinion against faculty reservation. Access to the minutes of the meeting of the standing committee of the IIT council (SCIC), through a right to information query, reveals that the opinion of the seven directors was cleverly masked by the HRD ministry. The minutes left out one of the most crucial points aired by the IIT chiefs — that they were totally against the introduction of reservation in the recruitment policy for faculty members. The SCIC meeting on July 4, chaired by C N R Rao, principal scientific adviser to the PM, was called to discuss the issue of introducing SC, ST and OBC reservation in recruiting faculty members. However, despite the directors' opposition, the minutes did not incorporate their view. The HRD ministry had sent a diktat to all IITs on June 9, asking them to set aside 15%, 7.5% and 27% quotas in teaching positions for the SC, ST and OBC categories. IITs currently have reservations for the backward category for administrative posts — from attendants to the level of deputy registrar. However, there is no reservation for faculty members. The SCIC meeting was chaired by C N R Rao, principal scientific adviser to the Prime Minister, and attended by the seven IIT directors, R P Agarwal (MHRD secretary), V S Ramamurthy (chairman, board of governors, IIT Delhi), M Anandakrishnan (chairman, board of governors, IIT Kanpur), N K Sinha (MHRD joint secretary) and Seema Raj (director, technical education) among others. The ministry order read, "It has been decided to implement reservation for SC, ST, OBC, in recruitment to teaching (faculty) posts in IITs with immediate effect." For subjects in science and technology, there would be reservation for posts of lecturers and assistant professors. In other areas, like management, social sciences and humanities, reservation would be applicable up to the professor level. The government ruling allows the IITs to de-reserve the posts after a year, if they do not get filled "despite all efforts". The SCIC minutes of the July meeting, a copy of which is available with this paper, only stated that the directors did not want a distinction made between faculty of science and technology and that of social sciences and humanities while omitting the fundamental opposition to reservation in faculty. "This (the minutes) clearly means that the directors were fine with reservation. However, we were and we (still) are not fine with reservation in recruiting faculty members," said a director. Further, as the last option, the minutes stated that the IIT directors had demanded that their institutes be given special recognition as institutes of national importance. The topic of faculty reservation concluded by stating: "The government of India can take decisions on policies (sic) matters including reservations on its own." Shocked at the way their opinions were kept out, IIT directors have taken up the matter with the SCIC chairman, who in turn has written to the ministry for a modification in the minutes. Govt blurs IIT stand against faculty quota-India-The Times of India
  14. IITs skirt teacher quota policy Institutes claim exemption but ministry gropes for order New Delhi, Dec. 5: The Indian institutes of technology have revealed that they don’t follow the government’s decades-old reservation policy in hiring teachers and claim they were granted exemption from SC/ST and OBC quotas. But the human resource development ministry has told The Telegraph it has no knowledge of any such immunity granted to the IITs. The ministry, however, said it was “ascertaining” whether it ever granted exemption to the premier engineering colleges. “We are examining the case and ascertaining details about whether the IITs were granted exemption from reservation,” Ravi Mathur, the joint secretary in charge of technical institutes at the ministry, said. The government had introduced 22.5 per cent reservation in jobs for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes following amendments to the Constitution in 1951. Based on the recommendations of the controversial Mandal commission report, the quota was extended by 27 per cent in the early nineties to cover the Other Backward Classes. Although the IITs claim they were exempt from implementing the policy, for over two years now they have been unable to provide the ministry documents required to establish that they had indeed been granted immunity. Responding to a Right to Information query, the IITs admitted they hadn’t received any exemption order from the HRD minister, which, officials said, was essential for not implementing reservation. The IITs cited an office memorandum (OM) No. 9/2/73, dated 23/6/1975, claiming exemption. The OM, issued by the department of personnel and training, allows for exemptions in “scientific and technical institutions” but clearly mentions that the “orders of the minister concerned are required”. An almost identical OM dated 13/5/1994, was also cited by the IITs. But once again, the OM made it clear that the minister’s order was needed. The OM was originally drafted keeping in mind jobs of a strategic nature, such as those in the Department of Atomic Energy or the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, explained an official at the department of personnel and training. IIT Madras director M.S. Ananth conceded that the decision not to reserve posts for teachers from backward segments was based on IIT “interpretation” of the quota policy rather than on “written” clearance. “We have just an oral understanding, no written communication. The decision is based on our interpretation,” Ananth said. Ananth added that though the IITs don’t follow the reservation policy, people from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are “taken good care of” at the institutes, and often get preference over general candidates if “their academic qualifications are the same”. “Teachers do not teach any one community... they teach everyone. So we cannot risk any dilution of quality,” Ananth said. The “hunt” for an exemption order began two years ago after K. Subbarayan, a CPI Lok Sabha member, asked in Parliament whether the IITs were following the reservation policy when it came to hiring teachers. Junior HRD minister M.A.A. Fatmi’s reply only said “there are faculty members of all communities, including SC/ST, serving” at the IITs. The IITs, however, said in their replies to the RTI applications that they were not implementing reservations for any teaching positions. The applications were filed by Dr Ethirajan Muralidharan, a biomedical engineer, and Dr K.N. Murukes, a member of Parliament from Karur, Tamil Nadu, from 1991 to 1996. “It is ridiculous that the HRD ministry and the IITs cannot sort this out between themselves. And in the meantime, lots of talented people from the SC, ST and OBC categories are losing out on jobs at the IITs,” Murukes said from Tamil Nadu. Muralidharan, who completed his masters and PhD from IIT Madras, applied for a job as a professor six times at his alma mater, but was turned down every time. He has alleged discrimination because he is from the OBC category, a charge the IIT has denied. The IITs, in a letter to the ministry, also alleged that Muralidharan was out to malign them since he was refused a job. The Telegraph - Calcutta : Frontpage
  15. While going through some RTI literature I came across line where it say what is that clause
  16. It’s been over two months and the PGI, Chandigarh, has not responded to the appeal filed by a local resident K Garg under the Right To Information act (RTI). Garg had sought information about the repair work undertaken at the liquid oxygen tank at the Advanced Paediatric Centre (APC) on the institute premises. As per Garg, he had applied for the information under the RTI Act on September 7, 2007, and was sent a reply as late as November 5, that too incomplete. After receiving the resonse from the PGI, he filed for an appeal which has not been entertained so far. “I had filed for appeal on November 6 after receiving an unsatisfactory reply from the PGI, 50 days after filing an application, whereas the reply should have come in 30 days. Two months have passed now and the appeal has not been fixed yet, whereas as per provisions of RTI, the appellate authority has to decide the appeal within one month,” he said. In his application addressed to Prof Vinay Sakhuja, Head of Department, Nephrology, and Appellant Authority, PGI, Garg has sought information regarding details of allotting tenders for the repair work at the liquid oxygen tank. He also asked why the period of tender was extended, asked for a copy of the bid, and also questioned why the cost of repairs was accelerated without fresh floating of tenders. Garg had also sought the account statement of the contractor and complete copies of the bills. Posted online: Friday , January 04, 2008 Express news service
  17. It has generally been seen that the SICs ask the appellant to plead / present his case during the appeal proceedings in the cases, where appeals have been filed for the deemed refusal for providing information. Some appellants are not in a position to present their case properly and hence the purpose of the appeal is not achieved. During the appeal proceedings, if the AA / IC ask the appellant to present his case, he should invite the attention of the AA / IC towards S.19(5), which provides that in appeal proceedings the onus to prove that a denial of a request was justified shall be on the PIO, who denied the request." Thereafter, the appellant may enjoy the case and has only to find loopholes in the pleadings of the PIO, which is an easier task than to plead a case.
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