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  1. Population Development: What Kerala can Teach India and China Kerala: The Most Women Friendly State !!! Kerala, a tiny southern state of India, has drawn both international and national attention due to its impressive performance in social development and demographic transition. Its human development indicators are the best in India and compare with some of the developed countries. Its achievement of demographic transition is rather unique and has earned worldwide accolades for Kerala. Its population development model is ideal for developing countries who are struggling with issues of population and poverty. Kerala amazes Western demographers because it achieved demographic transition despite poor economic development. Nothing surprising, because for a Western mind everything must correlate with economic development. Many experts wonder: What is the development model of Kerala? The answer is simple: Kerala focused on its people and improving their quality of life, a human development model. This is totally opposite from what the West thinks and prescribed: put economic growth at the center-stage and make people subordinate to it. This is flawed, as Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has often emphasized - put people at the center of development and develop economy along with social and political processes according to what they need. In fact, people need many more things other than economic growth; such as freedom to participate in social and political processes and activities, opportunity for spiritual growth, family life and relations, easy access to social support systems and quality health services, freedom from all forms of insecurities, clean environment, sufficient leisure time and so on. Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of Kerala is the Female/Male sex ratio: According to the 2011 census, Kerala has 1084 females (up by 26 since 2001) for 1000 male against the national average of 940. In past hundred years, this has steadily improved. Even the most economically advanced states like Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat and Maharashtra don’t match Kerala in female-friendliness and women empowerment. In the past decade, all districts of Kerala have shown improvement in the sex ratio. As per the 2011 data, the top 3 districts are Kannur (1133), Pathanamthitta (1129) and Kollam (1113) and even the worst districts have better figures: Idukki (1006), Ernakulam (1028), and Wayanad (1035). Kerala’s also tops the literacy rate at 94% (male literacy (96%) and Female literacy (92%)) compared with the national average of 74% (Male 82%, female 65.5%). Kerala is a Female Surplus State!! Long Tradition of Girls’ Education The Maharaja of Travancore established the first girl's school in the 1850s. His example was taken up by neighboring kingdoms such as Cochin. Demography of Kerala The state of Kerala is wedged between the Arabian Sea to the west and the Western Ghats to the east. It covers only 1.18% of India's landmass. Situated at the southwestern tip of India, it has Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as its neighboring states. Kerala's coast runs 580 km in length, while the state itself varies from 35-120 km in width. Kerala is among the preferred destinations for nature loving tourists from across the world. In the 2011 census, the population density of Kerala is 860 persons/sq km up from 819 in 2001, next only to Bihar (1106 up from 881) and West Bengal (1028 up from 903). The national average is 382 up from 324 ten years ago. In the State, The highest density of 1,508 persons per sq. km is reported from Thiruvananthapuram district while Idukki with 255 has the lowest density. The high density has played a major role in improving access to social services like schools and hospitals leading to improved development indicators. A steadily aging population (13% people over 60 years compared with 8.2 in the country) and low birthrate (14.8 per 1,000 compared with national average of 22.1 ) make Kerala one of the few regions of the Developing World to have undergone the "demographic transition. It is highest among the major states of India. The highest percent of elderly population falls in Alappuzha district. Children in the age group 0-6 year are just about 10% and up to 14 years, are less than 25% of the total population, which is lowest among the major states of India. The dropping number of children is endangering the primary schools. More and more schools are turning uneconomical every year in Kerala. The school drop out rate is the state is less than 0.5% - the lowest in the country. Kerala has the highest literacy rate (94%) and life expectancy (75.8 years; national average 65.5 years) in India. Its fertility rate is below sub-replacement level (at around 1.7) and the infant mortality rate (only around 10 deaths per 1,000 live births) is among the best in the country. Over the past century, Kerala's population increased by over five times from 6 million in 1901 to 33.4 million in 2011. Currently, it is the 12th populous state with slightly less than 3 percent population share. Its population compares with those of Canada and Iraq but is somewhat larger than populations of Afghanistan, Nepal, and Malaysia. There has been a five per cent fall in population growth rate in the state in every succeeding census since 1971. The decadal population growth rate was 25% growth rate in 1971, reduced to 20% in 1981, 9.4% in 2001 and stands at 4.9% in 2011. If this trend continues, the growth rate in 2021 will be either zero or negative. The birth rate among all the communities has been declining. At present it is around 1.2 among Christians as against 1.4 among Hindus and 2.1 among Muslims. The difference in the birth rate among different communities must show up in the overall state population composition. It is expected that the Christian population should be about 16% in 2011 down from 19.5% in 2001 and the Muslim community must have reached 25% as against 21% in 2001. In 2011, the Hindu community should be around 54% against 56% in 2001. Women constitute 51.9 percent of the total population of the state and outnumber men by 1.3 million. Here also women outlive men. Better Female Literacy in Kerala Compared with Rest of India Kerala has Lowest Infant Mortality Rate in India Demographic Transition A country’s population remains stable when the birth and death rates match. Demographic transition is the shift from a stable population with high birth/high death rates to a stable regime with low birth/low death rates. A society with high birth/death rates is clearly underdeveloped. When it advances in healthcare, education, sanitation and nutritional facilities, both birth and death rates fall because people realize the importance of smaller families and plan for it and aged people enjoy better health and live longer. Western societies achieved this transition long ago due to their technological and economic advancement. Developing nations are now moving towards it and are at different stages of demographic transition. Countries take more or less time depending upon their policies and strategies. Age structure of the population changes during such transitions. Read, for example, Demographic Transition in Kerala In India the demographic transition has been relatively slow but steady. As a result, India was able to avoid adverse effects of too rapid changes in the number and age structure of the population, as is seen in China which abruptly reduced population by imposing the one-child policy. Kerala has been setting an example of potentials of human development over last several decades. This beautiful tiny state has emerged far ahead in human development indicators, leaving behind even the economically advanced states like Gujarat and Maharashtra. It also has the lowest rate of population growth, achieved without coercive sterilization policies of family planning ministry. Kerala has the lowest crude death rate (around 6 per thousand), lowest infant mortality (around 10 per 1000 live births), highest life expectancy at birth (75 years) and highest literacy rate (94 percent). Kerala attained replacement level fertility, or total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.1, during early 1990s. Other states which achieved this feat in the following years are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Maharashtra and Punjab. Total Fertility Rate Total fertility rate (TFR) is the average total number of children a woman will have her lifetime. Associated with total fertility rate is the concept of replacement rate which is achieved when, on an average, every woman gives birth to just one girl child in her lifetime. In order to do that she gives birth to just two children (TFR of 2.0), so that statistically one would be girl. It leads to population stabilization – zero population growth. In reality, to account for mortality of young women before they produce new offspring, the replacement level fertility is kept slightly above 2.0. In developed countries where healthcare facilities are good, it is taken as 2.1. In societies where child or adult death rates are higher, the replacement rate is kept around 2.3. Currently, China’s TFR is 1.70 (similar to Kerala) and India’s about 2.7. China reached the replacement fertility level around the year 2000; it is expecting to see population stabilization by 2030. Population stabilization takes place about 30-35 years after it the replacement fertility has been reached; until them population continues to grow due to momentum. It is hoped that by 2020 India’s TFR would have fallen to replacement level. To put things in perspective, here are some very high TFR nations: Niger (7.03), Mali (6.25), Somalia (6.17), Uganda (6.06), Zambia (5,81), and Afghanistan (5.54). Some very low TFR countries include Singapore (0.79), Taiwan (1.11), South Korea (1.24), and Japan (1.39). EU as a whole (1.58). The US (2.07) is hovering just below the replacement value of 2.1. World average is around 2.45 (down from 2.8 in 2002 and 5.0 in 1965). Power of People Development It is noteworthy that that Kerala achieved it despite a sluggish growth in economy – because normally economic growth has been known to curtail population growth. Sociologists attribute these achievements to Kerala’s better healthcare, high literacy rate, and better standard of living compared to other Indian states. Kerala's human development indices — elimination of poverty, primary level education, and healthcare — are among the best in India. Kerala's healthcare system has garnered international acclaim, with UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) designating Kerala the world's first "baby-friendly state". For example, more than 95% births in Kerala are hospital-delivered. The state also nurtures several traditional forms of medical practices – apart from Ayurveda, siddha, and Unani many endangered and endemic modes of traditional medicine, including kalari, marmachikitsa, and vishavaidyam are practiced in Kerala. Experts tried to figure out which socio-cultural or developmental factors contributed significantly towards Kerala’s demographic transition. People often point to high literacy as the most dominant factor leading towards lower fertility. Noted scholar D. Radhadevi examined the correlation between education and fertility and compared the fertility parameters of Kerala and Madhya Pradesh. She wondered why fertility is fairly high even among women graduates in Madhya Pradesh and fairly low even among illiterates of Kerala? She concluded that the spread of formal education among women can’t by itself bring about a drastic change in their reproductive behavior. Another researcher, Zachariah argued that in case of Kerala the high population density and the rather homogeneous spread of population (without the drastic village-town divide) helped develop infrastructure of schools and healthcare facilities in such a way that they were easily accessible to the whole population. In Kerala 95 percent population has been living in such settlement pattern. This pattern eliminated the lopsided development in other states where facilities get concentrated in or around cities and rural areas are left behind both in facilities as well as easy access. In addition, rather low or absence of gender bias in Kerala should also be given credit. When women are free of male dominance they are in a better position to control their fertility. This empowerment must get as much credit as other physical facilities and family planning programs. The Population Pyramid of Kerala is Distinctly Different Kerala Martial Art Praise for Kerala The case of Kerala is unique because the demographic transition was achieved in the absence of a high level economic development as prescribed in the theory of demographic transition, and observed in the West in the late 19th and early 20thcenturies. Kerala’s human development model of fertility transition appears better suited to developing countries which are struggling with poverty and population stabilization issues. Noted author and environmentalist, Bill McKibben, described as "the world's best green journalist” by Time magazine, summarized Kerala's unusual socioeconomic and demographic situation in these words: “Kerala, a state in India, is a bizarre anomaly among developing nations, a place that offers real hope for the future of the Third World. Though not much larger than Maryland, Kerala has a population as big as California's and a per capita annual income of less than $300. But its infant mortality rate is very low, its literacy rate among the highest on Earth, and its birthrate below America's and falling faster. Kerala's residents live nearly as long as Americans or Europeans. Though mostly a land of paddy-covered plains, statistically Kerala stands out as the Mount Everest of social development; there's truly no place like it.” Lessons from Kerala Question: What can Kerala teach other developing nations? Answer: People development and women empowerment are the best contraceptives in the world! Kerala demonstrated that demographic transition, and hence population stabilization, can also be achieved through people development. It proved many Western thinkers wrong who believed that economic development along can bring about demographic transition, as they had observed in their countries. It also highlighted that imposing smaller family size is NOT at all required to reduce population growth, as China has done. Kerala also highlights the role of gender equality and women empowerment. Coercive state policies, such as the One Child Policy of China, combined with gender prejudice against women, has led to a highly disturbed sex ratio creating several serious social issues. China already has a surplus of over 30 million men under the age of 20 and adds about one million “extra male child” each year. This scenario is loaded with potential for serious consequences in the future and is showing up in increasing sex related crimes and women trafficking from neighboring North Korea and Myanmar. Kerala avoided all such side-effects of societal distortions. Read, for example, The Dark Side of One Child Policy of China. Indian government should learn from Kerala (certainly not China) and shift the focus of family planning efforts to socio-cultural issues like raising age at marriage, women education, gender equality and women empowerment. Incidentally, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's capability approach to development also focuses on people development as the right sustainable growth model. Acknowledgement This article is inspired by a one day roundtable held in New Delhi (Jan, 2011) on “Population and family Planning: Contemporary Challenges & Opportunities”, organized by the National Coalition on Population Stabilization, Family Planning & Reproductive Rights. https://soapboxie.com/world-politics/Population-Development-What-Kerala-can-Teach-India-and-China
  2. My wife was a daily wages employee in town and country planning department in Thiruvanananthapuram kerala during the period of feb 2007 till Jan 30th. She got a experience certificate where it was written that she worked for the financial year of 2007 till 2008. Kpsc asked for an experience certificate in their format to be uploaded to their website. On asking the town planner he refused stating intermittently word. Once an rti was given they replied that only 28 days record is available. She had signed only on these days in the main register later she was asked by the senior town planner to sign in a notebook now it is lost or misplaced. What are our options now can anyone please help us. If we get the psc format exp certificate then my wife will be selected for the job. Sent from my LS-5018 using RTI INDIA mobile app
  3. Hello, I am from Kerala. Since there were some errors in the records after the resurvey, I have tried to obtain the field sketch and copies of BTR, TPR registers of my property from our village office through a RTI query. The field sketch needs A3 paper but other details can be given in A4 paper. In response to our RTI query, the information officer is asking me to pay Rs.253 for each copy of BTR, TPR registers and neglected the question for issuing field sketch copy. From the village office I could know that, the field sketch will cost around Rs. 550 and it will not be issued as per the Rs 2/- RTI fee. I had a similar experience from Central Survey Office, Trivandrum, In order to obtain two sketches (prior to resurvey) of our land of A3 paper size, I had to pay around Rs.1200/- !!! So, my questions are, 1. Are they not supposed to give copies of revenue records such as field sketch, copies of BTR, TPR registers at the charges mentioned in RTI act (like Rs.2 for A4)? OR Is revenue records exempted from RTI act?. 2. What is the fees for obtaining copies of documents with A3 size? Please advise. If you have have any links or rulings from the court on this, please share. Thanks for your time and Help, Raju
  4. KOCHI: Contrary to the claims of the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA), an RTI reply shows that the GCDA had not submitted the ‘ring road project’ to the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) for approval. Read at: RTI Reply Pooh?Poohs GCDA Claim on Project - The New Indian Express
  5. Wish to know if cooperative Banks, come under the preview of RTI ACt
  6. Kochi: The 10th Kerala Pay Revision Commission Chairman Justice (Retd) C.N. Ramachandran Nair on Thursday questioned the huge workforce in the State Secretariat. The number of employees in Secretariat has not dropped even after the decentralisation of administration has come in to force, Ramachandran said. "Why do we need 5,000 employees in the Secretariat," he asked while talking in Nere Chovve, a chat show in Manorama News. When quizzed on hiking the pension age of State government employees, Justice Ramachandran said that if the government decides to raise the age to 58, all the protest against it would become irrelevant. He added that the functioning of the government employees should be brought under the purview of RTI Act.Read more at; Pay panel chief for reducing Kerala Secretariat staff
  7. mustang312

    Land boundaries - Kerala

    Hello, this is regarding inquiring information for land boundaries for 2 properties based in Kerala. One is in Kumbanad ( Thiruvella) and the other in Pathinapuram ( Pathinamthitta district). Both these properties belong to my grandfather and by virtue of a will, these properties are to be cascaded to his children. The third property is in chennai. One of the sons is not agreeing to partake of the will and since probating the will in chennai is expensive and tedious, the only resolution is to file a case. In regard to this, i am looking for some help to get the boundary details from the village officers in both these towns in kerala. Is this the right direction to proceed or is there any other option ? Please can you help thanks
  8. Alappuzha: Kerala’s inland water transport that provides cheap, efficient and pleasant mode of transport to over 25 million passengers a year has another feather to its cap — it is now completely tobacco smoke-free. Smoking is prohibited in all public places under Section 4 of the Indian tobacco control law, COTPA, 2003. Public conveyances fall under the definition of a public place of this legislation. Though we have a strict law that prohibits smoking in public places enforcement of the law isn't strict.Read more at; Tobacco Smoke Free Boats in Kerala - Trivandrum News | Yentha.com
  9. KOCHI:Gone are the days when information officers returned RTI queries with the lame excuse of ‘file missing’. In what could be termed as a major step towards ensuring proper response to RTI queries under the RTI Act, the State Government has issued a circular warning that improper replies by public information officers could invite penal action, including imprisonment for 5 years. RTI activists welcomed the circular, and opined that it would put an end to the practice of officials purposefully hoarding important files. Director General of Prosecution T Asaf Ali said that public authorities could not refuse any document, which they are legally bound to provide, with lame excuses. “If they say that a particular document was destroyed, it is to be assumed that it was destroyed with the malafide intention to deny access. If a document has ‘gone missing or found to be stolen’, an FIR should be filed,” Asaf Ali said, adding that the circular would bring in a major change in RTI activism. The circular was issued by Special Secretary to the Government P S Gopakumar following a Delhi High Court judgment and an order by the Central Information Commission (CIC). The CIC held that pleas by public authorities stating that files containing the information sought for are missing or are not traceable could not be deemed as a valid exemption under the RTI Act, and that pleas of missing files tend to discourage the very objective of the RTI Act. The circular states that unless proved that a record was destroyed as per the prescribed rules of the destruction/retention policy, it is deemed that the record continues to be held by the public authority concerned. “Claims of files missing/not traceable have no legality. It amounts to breach of the Public Records Act - 1993, which is punishable with imprisonment up to 5 years or fine, or both. A public authority has the duty to initiate action when a public record is lost. Every public authority should prescribe the record retention schedule, and destruction of documents should be carried out under competent administrative supervision, with records showing that the documents were destroyed on expiry of the retention period. The circular also asked all government institutions in the State to formulate a record retention schedule and to ensure that records are destroyed only in accordance with such stipulation, and also to publish the same on the official websites. GO to Make Information Officers More Accountable - The New Indian Express
  10. Miffed over her series of queries, a village panchayat in Kerala has appealed to the state information commission to declare an RTI activist a public nuisance. The Pallichkal village panchayt had. earlier, passed a resolution against social activist V V Vijitha, who had rushed 35 RTI pleas to the panchayat office in a year. Read at: Kerala panchayat wants an RTI activist to be declared a public nuisance | The Indian Express
  11. THIRUVANTHAPURAM: Mookkunnimala might not be the lone casualty of unregulated mining in Thiruvananthapuram. The department of mining and geology issued 719 permits for quarrying in Thiruvananthapuram in the last five years and has rejected only four applications in the same period, according to data obtained through Right to Information (RTI) act. Read at: 719 mining permits issued in 5 years - The Times of India
  12. THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even though the State Government sanctioned 12,500 additional Higher Secondary seats during the 2014-15 academic year, a record number of 85,000 Plus-I seats still remained vacant in the state, shows figures obtained through the Right to Information (RTI).Read at: Record Number of Plus-I Seats Remains Vacant in the State - The New Indian Express
  13. KOCHI: Is the Right to Information (RTI) Act applicable to the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL)?It seems the court will settle the issue after CIAL filing a petition before the Kerala High Court challenging the State Information Commission’s order to divulge details of the airport’s board meetings of a certain period under the RTI Act.Read at: CIAL Moves HC against SIC Order - The New Indian Express - - - Updated - - - Also read; http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/57729-cochin-international-airport-cial-pa-under-rti.html?highlight=Cochin+International+Airport
  14. THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The folly of the Pallichal panchayat committee in passing a resolution branding an RTI activist as a public nuisance has prompted KPCC president V M Sudheeran to issue a detailed circular to all local body members and office-bearers of the party. A day after the panchayat withdrew its resolution against V V Vijitha, a campaigner against illegal quarrying, Sudheeran reminded party members that the Right To Information (RTI) Act was the brainchild of the Congress-led UPA government. Read at: RTI is UPA baby, KPCC reminds party members - The Times of India
  15. KOZHIKODE:The Indian Consulate in Italy has mentioned that there are 66 Indians in different jails in that country and strangely, they do not have any information regarding the name, age, gender, passport number or other basic details of the Indian prisoners. The information was provided by the Consulate General of India, Milan, Italy, to an RTI plea. Read at: 66 Indians Languish in Different Jails in Italy: RTI Reply - The New Indian Express
  16. Hello, How can i get the kerala state new vendor licence
  17. THRISSUR: RTI and human rights activist P B Satheesh has won the state-level award instituted by the RTI Kerala Federation for the year 2014. The award will be presented at a function to be held at Chavara Cultural Centre in Ernakulam at 3 pm on Sunday. The function will be inaugurated by former National Chief Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi. Read at: P B Satheesh Gets RTI Award - The New Indian Express
  18. Corp's bitumen sale irks contractors THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The sale of bitumen for road works at prices higher than the market rate by the city corporation has invited protest from the corporation contractors. The contractors have raised complaints that the engineering wing has been charging them more than Rs 50,000 per metric tonne of bitumen while corporation purchases bitumen from Kochi at a rate of less than Rs 40,000. This apparent difference of more than Rs 10,000 has been pushing the contractors to crisis with scarce sum left as profit, the contractors said. The engineering wing has been charging the contractors with new rates as per the revised schedule rates. However, they point out that when corporation purchases bitumen at a much lesser rate, the contractors are forced to suffer huge loss. As per the system, corporation buys bitumen and then supplies it to contractors. Even a small work of Rs 10 lakh related to construction or maintenance of road would require four-five tonnes of bitumen and contractors have been bearing the loss of Rs 10,000 for each tonne ever since the schedule rates were revised. Works standing committee chairman V S Padmakumar said that as per the files, the amount of purchase is Rs 55,000 and hence it has to be deducted from contractors. "I haven't looked into the matter closely. If there is discrepancy, it will be solved," he said. Information obtained through RTI shows that corporation buys bitumen at Rs 39,852 per metric tonne. The conveyance charge is Rs 2,620 per MT. The contractor is charged Rs 55,900, about Rs 15,000 higher than the actual rate. RTI query also reveals that no handling charges are levied from the contractors. The contractors are also being made to pay Rs 285 for every empty barrel even though it is clearly mentioned in the RTI reply that corporation buys packed bitumen. The corporation carries out maintenance works worth Rs 20-26 crore in various wards under different heads in a fiscal. "If the contractor is made to suffer loss for works of such huge nature, we will have to shift to protest mode," said a contractor. The civic body has purchased a total of 2,182 barrel of bitumen between January and March 2015. Six and-a-half barrels account for a tonne of bitumen as per the estimates of engineering wing. "There has to be an answer as to where does the extra money go. The purchase amount is much lesser than what we are made to pay. At the end of a work, we are left with nothing and at this rate no new work can be taken up," another contractor said. The corporation already owes contractors arrears worth Rs 7 crore for works undertaken with plan fund. Read More: Corp's bitumen sale irks contractors - The Times of India
  19. THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state information commission (SIC) has imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on assistant state public information officer KC Sudharshan who works at the office of DGP K S Balasubramanian. Read at: Thiruvananthapuram's officer fined for incorrect RTI reply - The Times of India
  20. KOCHI: Kerala State Information Commission has ordered Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) officials to issue portions of minutes of the board meeting which do not affect the intellectual property rights and security matters of the airport. Read at: CIAL Told to Issue Details of Board Meeting Under RTI - The New Indian Express
  21. THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:As per a reply under the RTI Act which was invoked by Suseela Gopalan Patana Kendram to 1043 local self-government institutions in the state, 2578 child marriages were registered in 2013. Only 860 local self-government institutions responded to the RTI query. Read at: '2578 Child Marriages Registered in 2013' - The New Indian Express
  22. [h=1]SIC’s Response Criticised[/h] THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A social activist has cried foul over the State Information Commission’s (SIC) response to his query under the RTI Act which sought information regarding the possibility of receiving documents related to junkets carried out by government servants. Last month, social activist Sabu Stephen from the capital had sought information on whether passports of government servants are available for public scrutiny. In case of their availability, he had also demanded furnishing of government orders, circulars, laws, rules and court orders and directions which facilitated such rights to the populace. However, the SIC, which according to the Act, should have primarily rejected the query in case the information sought for is exempted from disclosure, received it, only to reject it later after an inordinate delay of more than one month. Read More: SIC?s Response Criticised - The New Indian Express
  23. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is investigating if banks have been acting as a cartel in fixing lending rates in recent times. The competition regulator confirmed this in response to an RTI query furnished by activist S Dheenadhayalan. Read at: CCI probing case of banks ?fixing? lending rates | Business Line
  24. Charges against CMD: FACT files go missing KOCHI: Some of the files regarding the cost of renovating the bungalow of Jaiveer Srivastava, the chairman and managing director (CMD) of Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd (FACT), are not traceable, states a reply from FACT following an RTI query. The reply assumes significance as Srivastava is currently facing allegations of fund misappropriation. The company secretary's reply to the RTI query states that expenditure details of only Rs 64 lakh is available with the company. Files regarding further expenditure could not be traced, said the company secretary who is also the information officer. Following allegations that the CMD had spent around Rs 1. 5 crore for renovating his official residence, the CBI has been probing the matter. "Some renovation/repair was made on the quarters of CMD recently and the total expenditure incurred is Rs 64.63 lakh. It may please be noted that the details of previous repair and maintenance done to the official quarters of the CMD is not traceable from the records available with the company," the reply by company secretary K V Balakrishnan stated. After receiving the RTI reply, K Premnath, president of VOICE, an NGO based in Kochi, submitted an application to the appellate authority challenging the reply. "Director (finance) of FACT, who is the appellate authority, gave me the same reply. In his reply, he also informed that I can inspect the files. I will inspect the files soon," Premnath said. "Our organization fights corruption. It was following allegations that the CMD had spent a huge amount on renovating his official residence that we filed the RTI application," he said. "Last year, the central information commissioner had ordered that officials concerned should be held responsible if files in his or her custody go missing," he said. When TOI contacted Balakrishnan over phone, he said that he had forwarded the reply received from officials of the concerned departments. "I don't remember the exact reply I gave. Whatever reply I gave, it must have been what I received from the heads of departments concerned," Balakrishnan said. As per the RTI reply, 97 LED bulbs were bought for the living room at a cost of Rs 1.64 lakh. Another 120 LED bulbs were bought for the remaining rooms. For the kitchen furniture alone, Rs 4,68,466 was spent. The amount excluded home appliances. Last week, CBI inspected the offices of various top officials of FACT. They were also questioned. The CBI first raided the office of CMD on December 21 last year while conducting investigations into an alleged misappropriation of funds. It was alleged that the CMD had spent Rs 1.5 crore for renovating his official residence and another Rs 50 lakh for renovating the office. CBI officials had also said there were nine major charges against Srivastava. Srivastava, however, has denied the charges. Read More: Charges against CMD: FACT files go missing - The Times of India
  25. The government has issued orders stipulating that all public sector units and autonomous institutions in the State should formulate a record retention schedule so that when information is sought under the Right to Information Act (RTI), replies such as file ‘missing’ or ‘not traceable’ are not given. Read at: ?Formulate record retention schedule? - The Hindu
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