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  1. Does extension officer play any role in private schools?
  2. The Haryana information commission has slapped a fine of Rs 15,000 on the treasury officer, Faridabad, for failing to provide complete information to an 83-year-old Faridabad-based social worker, also a recipient of Padma Shri award, for 15 months. Read more at: Haryana info commission slaps Rs 15,000 fine on treasury official
  3. Hello,Dena Bank deny to give of information under official secret act to Signatory Authority of Charity Trust Account Holder.
  4. NOTE from poster: Reproducing a email received Dear all, A few weeks ago a major headline in the print and electronic media was the allegation that the family members of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose were being snooped upon by Government of India. One positive outcome of the hullaballoo around this 'snoopgate' was the reported announcement of a committee to review the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (OSA) under which officials can classify a sarkari document- "top secret", "secret' or "confidential" to remain as such decade after decade. This announcement was reportedly based on an assurance given by the Hon'ble Prime Minister during his meeting with Netaji's kin in Germany. The media also reported that the Hon'ble PM had assured Netaji's kin that the Government would look into the demand for declassifying the top secret files relating to Netaji. This announcement was in keeping with the National Democratic Alliance's promise of increased transparency and accountability in Government. So far so good. *Who is on the committee and what are its terms of reference?* The print and electronic media promptly reported that the Committee to review the OSA would meet a day after this announcement was made on 14th April, 2015. Everything else about this committee had remained nebulous till 5th May 2015. For example, one set of media reports state that the review Committee is chaired by the Cabinet Secretary with the Secretaries of the Ministries of Home Affairs, Personnel and Law being the members. Readers may look up one such report at this link: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/150415/nationcurrentaffairs/article/declassificationfilesnetajigovtpanelmeettomorrowreview Another set of media reports called it an high level committee comprising of the Secretaries of Home, Personnel and Law which was already constituted in February, 2015 but was activated after the meeting of the Hon'ble PM with Netaji's kin in Germany. There is no reference to the Cabinet Secretary in this committee at all. Readers may look up one such report at: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/govtformspaneltoreviewofficialsecretsact/article7105495.ece Another set of media reports called it an inter-ministerial committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary and comprising of of 'officials' of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) of the Cabinet Secretariat and the Intelligence Bureau. There is no mention of the Secretaries of Law or Personnel Ministries as members of the Committee in these reports. Readers may look up one such report at this link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Declassification-of-files-on-Subhas-Chandra-Bose-Govt-formspanel-to-review-Official-Secrets-Act/articleshow/46931414.cms A fourth set of media reports include officials from the Foreign Ministry but make no mention of the Secretaries of Law and Personnel or officials from the PMO as members. Readers may look up one such report at: http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/netaji-files-row-govt-forms-committee-family-hails-pm-narendra-modi_1579173.html Even the terms of reference of the OSA Review Committee have been reported variously by the media. Some linked it to the declassification of files relating to Netaji. Others linked it to a plain and simple review of declassification exercise while a third set of reports linked it to harmonising the OSA with the requirements of transparency and confidentiality under various provisions of the *Right to Information Act, 2005 *(RTI Act). Readers will remember that this was an important recommendation made by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission in its first report on the RTI Act published in 2006. *In other words- complete confusion about both the membership and terms of reference if the one were to go purely by media reports.* *Government's reply in Parliament on 5th May 2015* Two questions raised by MPs in the Lok Sabha were answered on 5th May, 2015 by the Home Ministry in relation to a) declassification of files relating to Netaji and b) review of the OSA in the light of the RTI Act (1st attachment). The reply to Starred Question #556 relating to declassification of files relating to Netaji bely the assurance said to have been given by the Hon'ble PM to Netaji's kin in Germany. The MHA has simply not responded to the first query- whether GoI proposes to declassify files relating to Netaji or not? The only reply is that some files relating to a Committee and another Commission of Inquiry that looked into the issues surrounding the disappearance/death of Netaji have been declassified and sent to the National Archives and that the Government continues to hold some classified files on the issue. The reply also states that the Government of West Bengal has some classified files. *There is no mention of the assurance given by the Hon'ble PM about looking into the declassification of the Netaji files held by The Cabinet Secretariat, the PMO and the MHA. Either the Hon'ble PM's directions have not been handed over in writing to the MHA or it has proceeded to completely disregard the assurance that the PM gave to Netaji's kin. This is an enormously serious matter and deserves public debate. What is the true nature of the assurance made to Netaji's kin by this Government?* The 2nd starred Question # 557 clarifies the composition of the OSA Review Committee. It comprises of the Secretaries of MHA, DoPT and Legal Affairs Dept. *It is a major revelation that the classification of records as 'top secret', 'secret' and 'confidential' has no statutory basis (i.e. under OSA) according to the reply given against query # **(d) and (e).* All classification and declassification exercises are done as per the Manual of Departmental Security Instructions which is itself a secret document. It is not known under what authority this Manual has been rpepared if it is no connected to a statute. The Central Information Commission refused to order disclosure of the Manual in 2009 when I asked for it under the RTI Act saying it would threaten national security (2nd attachment). In no sane democracy is the criteria for classification kept secret. Laws, rules and regulations including criteria for classification of official records must be made public. In several advanced and developing countries these criteria are publicly accessible. I gave examples of such practices to the CIC which refused to consider it seriously (3rd attachment). However, the Andaman and Nicobar Administration has made the classification criteria public in its office manual (extract is in the 4th attachment). More recently, the Ministry of Defence has made the classification criteria public while issuing instructions to private companies involved in defence equipment manufacture about records management (5th attachment). *So the first exercise that the OSA Review Committee must do is declassify the Manual containing the criteria for classification and the procedures for downgrading and declassification. But the MHA's reply did not explain the exact terms of reference of the OSA Review Committee.* *Looking for official information about the OSA Review Committee* So the next followed the task of looking up the websites of the concerned public authorities for the order/resolution/notification of the OSA Review Committee.* I found no such document on the official websites of the Cabinet Secretariat, PMO or the Ministries of Home. Personnel, Law or External Affairs*. The 'Press Release' link on the official websites of the Cabinet Secretariat and the Ministry of Home Affairs do not contain any information whatsoever. IB and R&AW being intelligence agencies shy away from the public gaze in many ways, they do not have websites of their own. There was no information on the website of the Press Information Bureau- the official media outlet of the Government of India, either. So the next best thing to do was call up the concerned offices. The rest of this email alert is how these Ministries played soccer with me over the resolution/order/notification about the OSA review committee over the last three weeks. Names and telephone numbers are not being revealed here in order to prevent internal harassment of those officers. I first called up the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) which is responsible for implementing the RTI Act. They directed me to a private website ( - Will the Official Secrets Act, 1923 be amended? | RTI Foundation of India) on RTI which displayed primarily the content of the media reports but not a copy of the resolution/order or notification setting up the review committee. So the next step was to call the Home Ministry (MHA). The website of the MHA states that the Coordination Division is responsible for the custody of all classified records of the Ministry- see link: http://www.mha.nic.in/coodiv Upon calling the number advertised on that webpage, the official suggested that I speak with the Deputy Secretary (DS) in that Division. However, he also said, the DS was away at a meeting, so he may not be available. Instead on the condition that I do not reveal him as the source of information the kind soul gave me a telephone number of another DS in the same Division who was said to be knowledgeable about this issue. That other DS was indeed very chatty and said, anybody could walk into his room as the door was open, but he did not have any information about the OSA Review Committee. Instead, he explained the pecking order in the following words: "*If the media reports state that the Cabinet Secretary will chair this committee, how can MHA issue the order/resolution/notification? The Cab Sectt is of 1974 batch but the Home Secretary is of 1979 batch, so MHA could not possibly issue any notification/order/resolution about the OSA Review Committee. So you must ask the Cabinet Secretariat for this information*." So I call up the Cabinet Secretariat's reception number and explained what information I am looking for. The lady promptly gave me the number of their RTI Cell. The RTI Cell, denied any knowledge of the order/resolution/notification and suggested that I speak with an Under Secretary in the same office. Upon dialling that number the Under Secretary was fortunately, accessible and I explained to him what I wanted. This time round I got a brief lecture about the Allocation of Business Rules, 1961 (AoBR). *Under the AoBR, OSA falls within the jurisdiction of the MHA (which is true). So even though the Cabinet Secretary is the chair of the OSA review Committee, it is MHA which will issue the order/resolution/notification. "So please contact Mr. XXX, in MHA's Internal Security Division (IS Div)" Deputy Secretary (not a third one), MHA, was the sound advice I got*. A second round of calls to the MHA led to the disclosure that their concerned Deputy Secretary (DS) is of course, away at a meeting and is not expected to be back until late. So I was given the number of another DS in the Internal Security Division (IS Div). This fourth DS is also away at a meeting and will not be back until 6pm, so I was advised to speak with an Under Secretary who I was told knows everything that I was asking about. Now this Under Secretary was also not at his desk and his Assistant suggested that I speak with the Section Officer of the same division as he is knowledgeable about this issue. The Section Officer came online on the next call and made a clean breast of it- "Such matters are simply not handled at my level in MHA, so I have no information to give you." That is when my patience began running out. But being a great believer in the present government's commitment to transparency I decided call up the highest office, namely that of the Prime Minister. I first called up the Information Officer (not the PIO) listed on the PMO website. He was not available as he had gone out for a meeting at 7 Race Course Road. So I tried calling up the Public Relations Officer of the PMO. Interestingly the PRO turned out to be the same as the Information Officer. This time the Assistant was kind enough to give the IO/PRO's mobile number. When I called him up on the mobile, he claimed that he did not have a copy of any resolution/order/OM setting up the Review committee. The blessed soul told me that he handled only media-related matters and had no information about the setting up of the OSA review committee. So the next port of call was the RTI Cell. The DS, RTI Cell, was of course not available. His Assistant advised that I speak with the Under Secretary (US), RTI Cell, I called up the US's number several times over three days at different points of time, but nobody picked up the phone. So the only option left was the time tested method- submit an RTI application asking for the order/notification/resolution establishing the OSA Review Committee and its terms of reference. I sent the RTI application to the Home Ministry on the 17th of April as this quest had begun soon after the media reported the activation of the OSA Review Committee. The application was delivered on the 20th and acknowledged on the 29th of April (6th attachment). I am still waiting for a reply from the MHA. If denied information, I have recourse to appellate mechanisms in the MHA and later on at the Central Information Commission. But the question to ask is- how will we ever reach the day when Section 4(2) of the RTI Act will become a practical reality- where public authorities put out more and more information in the public domain voluntarily that people's need for using the RTI Act to ask for information formally is progressively reduced? When will we ever reach the day when routine government information becomes accessible to people through a simple telephone call? I guess I am firmly on the path to being described as an "RTI professional" who has no other business but to file application after application seeking even basic information. But is that my fault? *Please circulate this email widely. * Thanks *Venkatesh Nayak* *Programme Coordinator* *Access to Information Programme* *Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative*
  5. akhilesh yadav

    Official secrets

    THERE is little reason to be jubilant over the Indian government’s decision to set up a panel to look into the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (OSA) in the light of the Right to Information Act, 2005. Like other colonial laws successive governments have found the act a useful bludgeon to silence dissent. Less than a decade ago the UPA government, headed by Manmohan Singh, set up the Second Administrative Reforms Commission chaired by a person of ministerial rank, M. Veerappa Moily. Its report entitled Right to Information: Master Key to Good Governance, said that “The Official Secrets Act, 1923 should be repealed.” But the government rejected the recommendations, saying “OSA is the only law to deal with cases of espionage, wrongful possession and communication of sensitive information detrimental to the security of the state.” Read more at: Official secrets
  6. CHENNAI: A public works department (PWD) official, G Parthiban, has threatened an RTI activist who in a plea had sought information about the public servant. The activist A B Saravana Babu, a lawyer in the Madras high court, recorded the abusive conversation and lodged a complaint at the high court police station. Police have registered a case and issued a community service register. Read at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/PWD-official-threatens-RTI-activist/articleshow/46952546.cms
  7. Sting wars within AAP appear to have unnerved Delhi's babus. At a discussion held for increasing awareness about RTI Act among officials, head of administrative reforms department, V Pandey, faced a peculiar question from an information official: "What do we do if a person seeking info tries to record conversations while taking info?" Pandey said, "Ask the person to keep his/her mobile outside (office)." Read more at: Third eye: Information official V Pandey has a genuine concern - The Economic Times
  8. Hello, rules and regulations of using for office vehicle
  9. No official record of Modi being tea-seller: RTI reply New Delhi: There is no record available that shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a tea-seller on railway platforms or trains during his childhood, an RTI query has revealed. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (AP Photo) A Congress supporter and social activist Tehseen Poonawalla, had sought information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the Railway Board about whether there was any record, registration number or official pass issued to Modi allowing or entitling him to sell tea on trains and at stations. Quoting the RTI response from the railway ministry, she said: "No such information is available in TG III Branch of Tourism and Catering Directorate of Railway Board." Read More: No official record of Modi being tea-seller: RTI reply
  10. Police on Saturday arrested an assistant administrative officer (AAO) of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) for allegedly producing fake documents to get a job at the PGIMER in 2009. The matter came to the fore after the employees’ union of the institute filed an RTI, which reads that an employee cannot submit the NOC. After receiving the complaint, the forensic lab team of Chandigarh Police found the signatures on the NOC fake, and that it didn’t belong to any official of the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation. Read at: PGI official arrested for forging job documents
  11. kupwara, Feb 5: The official website of Kupwara district is without RTI and PSGA portals. The Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act, 2009 came into force on 20 March 2009, and it is intended to provided citizens a legally mandate mechanism for obtaining government records. It is one of the most powerful tools for promoting transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority with an objective of ushering in good governance. Sources told Early Times that, " the official website of District Kupwara is still without Right to Information Act (RTI) and Publlic Service Guarantee Act( PSGA) portal and other related links as, RTI Act is almost touching its 6 years of implementation in the state. Kupwara district's official website is maintained under the control of District Magistrate Kupwara having yet not links of RTI Act and related material which is mandatory under section 4 of RTI Act, said sources. Read at: Kupwara official website without RTI, PSGA Portal - Early Times Newspaper Jammu Kashmir
  12. Hello, I am wondering why the High Official Quota status is not displayed to the public and it everytime fails for every train? Is the quota removed? I used to check the status in http://indiarailinfo.com/... I search for any train, look for Availability and select High Official in it.
  13. The Punjab State Information Commission has sought a reply in a case from an ‘unresponsive’ AIG-cum-PIO, failing which action would be initiated against him under the Right to Information Act. Read more at: Info panel tells ‘un’ official to reply to RTI request | The Indian Express
  14. Dear Experts, I have been noticing since my childhood that government communication to citizens are not addressed with respect. The citizen is never addressed as Sir or Madam (as the case may be) but expect us to address the officials that way in our communication. We do it as it is matter of courtesy but why not public servants because they are our servants they should atleast communicate with courtesy. I intend to write to President/Prime Minister of India And of course to Governor/Chief Minister of Haryana seeking directions to all civil servants to address citizens as Sir/madam in all communications of the Government to Citizens. Kindly help the undersigned with whatever knowledge input you have. As far as I am concerned I find it bizarre that official communication to me as if I am their subject. Thank You very much for your time. Harinder Dhingra
  15. #Lucknow #Uttar Pradesh The Uttar Pradesh State Information Commission (UPSIC) slapped fine on 10 public officials of several state government departments for delaying information under the Right to Information Act (RTI). The commission- the RTI watchdog body of the state- has also recommended departmental action against nine other government officials found guilty for violating the norms laid down in the transparency act. Read at: UPSIC fines 10 government official for delaying information under RTI - News18.com
  16. 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)
  17. Does RTI allows me to get the names of top 100 taxpayers, say in Delhi? If so could someone please help me find the procedure for getting the same. Thanks to all. Ashwariya
  18. Hi, I do not have practical experience of using RTI. When officials send a response to an RTI query, are they supposed to follow a numbering system, or does any such system exist in actual practice, that could indicate whether the response is a denial or whether it is a memo about forwarding the query to another office or whether it is providing the information requested by the applicant? If such a system is followed, the numbering could further indicate the RTI sections under which the denial or forwarding has been done. If no such system exists, could such a system be proposed? It could help not just the applicants but the apex RTI bodies and the watchdogs too. Regards Mumbai Civic
  19. An RTI application filed by a government servant on an official letter head cannot be rejected merely on the ground that it has been filed by him in an official capacity, the CIC has held. Even assuming that a Government servant uses the letter head of the office for seeking information...Pays fee from out of his personal funds, an application submitted under such circumstances cannot be rejected on the ground that the application has been filed not by a citizen but by a Government servant in official capacity," full Bench of the Commission has said. Chief Commissioner of Income Tax in Ahmedabad, J D Sahay, had applied for empanelment to the post of member Central Board of Direct Taxes twice in the year 2006. But on both the occasions, her candidature was turned down. She filed two RTI applications next year, seeking information which could reveal the reasons for her non-selection. The Department of Revenue in their written submissions claimed that Sahay made all the communications relating to her case in her official capacity as Chief Commissioner of Income Tax on the official letter head of the department. CIC backs RTI applicant who used official letter head for plea :: SamayLive
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