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  1. Son’s RTI request for late mother’s NSC declined; CIC slaps penalty Vinita Deshmukh 23 January 2018 0 Anil Kumar Agarwal, who had filed an RTI application with the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the Department of Posts in April 2015, went in for a second appeal in January 2016 and was finally given a hearing on 19 January 2018 at the Central Information Commission (CIC). This delay must be frustrating for the applicant considering the urgency of his request. The information he sought, related to his late mother’s National Savings Certificate (NSC), the maturity amount, which was allegedly filched by his maternal uncle through forged signatures, allegedly in connivance with the post office staff. Central Information Commissioner Prof M Sridhar Acharyulu, in his decision on 22 January 2018 has directed the CPIO to provide every point of information requested by Agarwal within seven days and has slapped Rs25,000 as penalty on the CPIO for the inordinate delay of two years and three months, in providing the information. Read More: Son’s RTI request for late mother’s NSC declined; CIC slaps penalty Notice that no action was proposed / no comment against FAA though the matter is serious. Without insider’s support such thinks can never take place, as post offices hurdles even when applicant wants his own maturity amount after NSC due date. How maternal uncle took physical possession is also not clear.
  2. Read the related news article at: NMC suspends 5 for irregularities | Nagpur News - Times of India
  3. In an official note, the Army headquarters has cancelled a communication issued in response to an RTI application in 2011 which had stated that the JCOs are non-gazetted officers, according to documents accessed by PTI Read more at: https://www.news18.com/news/india/jcos-are-gazetted-officers-clarifies-army-cancels-earlier-note-1565095.html Note: Open the link in a new browser tab and change https to http
  4. Dear Esteemed Members of this August Forum,In a reply to undersigned RTI application dated 13th Feb 2015, the DHBVN vides its reply number 2003/04 dated 26th Feb 2015 (Copy Enclosed) informs that it sells Electricity per unit at the rate of Rs.174678.04/24048 (in lakhs)= Rs.7.26 per unit And it buys the electricity atRs.4.39 per unit + 7.87% Transmission & Distribution Loss @.34 per unit= Rs 4.73 per unit as per Haryana Power Purchase Centre letter number Ch.127/SAO/HPPC /RTI /107 dated 26th Feb 2015 which is in response to undersigned RTI application dated 13th Feb 2015 (Copy Enclosed) Thus Electricity Company of Haryana namely makes a profit of Rs. 2.53 per unit which is 53% of the Cost Price. And the Government states that Electricity Companies are making losses? It must be an eye opener for government which needs to check the whole system of power sector. Harinder Dhingra RTI & Human Rights Activist RediffMail.184751425964323.zip
  5. Read the related news article at: Haryana Assembly Corrects Speaker's Educational Qualification After RTI Highlights Discrepancy
  6. Maharashtra CIC orders details of welfare schemes to be put on website The Maharashtra State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC) has directed all public authorities in Maharashtra to upload complete information of all welfare schemes on their respective websites before 30 April 2017. Those public authorities which do not have any public welfare schemes should categorically mention so on their websites, the SCIC has stated. ( SIC: Some information commissioners just take the designation as decoration, and some continue the struggle even after demitting the office and always remain pro active. Thanks to Hon IC SG for his excellent contribution for the cause) Link Maharashtra CIC orders details of welfare schemes to be put on website
  7. Customer Goes After Bank for Failed ATM Transaction Vinita Deshmukh 30 March 2017 1 “The manner in which Dr Dayanandan pursued the matter and exposed IOB’s high- handedness is admirable. It would remind the Moneylife readers of the late Sharad Phadke, who pioneered this fight in 2010 and inspired many citizens not to take this injustice lying down. (Read: Banks must pay Rs100 a day penalty for delay in reimbursement for failed ATM transactions). Dr Dayanandan’s attempt to withdraw Rs861 from the ATM of Indian Overseas Bank on 21 January 2017 was unsuccessful, but the amount was debited from his account. As per rules, the customer can lodge a complaint within 30 days of the failed transaction. Dr Dayanandan did so the next day, on 22 January 2017. Dr Dayanandan has not yet given up. He has filed another RTI application seeking information on action taken on IOB’s errant officers who handled his case. Similarly, in a letter to the Regional Manager, IOB, he has demanded, “As an affected person, I request to reply with the names, designations, official addresses of the bank officials responsible for the delay, the valid reasons of the delay, action taken or being taken against those officials responsible for the delay.’’ (Late Shard Padke at his age moved each stone for getting justice on ATM failures. He is our most valued member. It is a great loss for our forum.) For more details: Link Customer Goes After Bank for Failed ATM Transaction
  8. Students, beware: 23 universities, 279 technical institutes in India fake Delhi is the fake Capital with 66 colleges -- the highest for any state in India – offering engineering and other technical courses without the regulator’s permission. There are 279 such technical institutes in the country. Simply put, these schools don’t have the authority to grant degrees. Education certificates issued by such colleges are nothing but a piece of paper. The Capital also has seven of the country’s 23 fake universities, the University Grants Commission has said. In an annual review, the UGC and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) last month put out a list of such fake institutes on their websites, warning students ahead of the new academic session that kicks in next month. “We send the list of unapproved and unregulated technical institutions to concerned state authorities for taking appropriate action against such institutions,” an official said. Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharasthra also have a sizable number of fake technical institutes. To ensure students don’t apply to such colleges, the technical education regulator, the AICTE, has also issued notices to these schools for not taking its approval. “Public notices are also published in newspapers cautioning the students not to take admission in such unapproved institutions,” the official said. Minister of state for human resource development Mahendra Nath Pandey told the Rajya Sabha recently that the ministry had written to state governments to investigate the matter and register police complaints against fake universities. States have also been asked to initiate proceedings against those involved in defrauding and cheating students “by misrepresenting themselves as ‘universities’ awarding degrees with their name”, Pandey told the Rajya Sabha. Menace of fake institutes is widespread and is getting increasingly lucrative, as more students look for higher education to improve their job prospects. The details of fake universities and fake technical institutes are available on the UGC website Welcome to UGC, New Delhi, India and AICTE website http://www.aicte-india.org. Source: Link: http://www.msn.com/en-in/news/newsindia/students-beware-23-universities-279-technical-institutes-in-india-fake/ar-BBypmuo?li=AAgges1&ocid=iehp
  9. Prasad GLN

    New passport rules

    The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) led by Sushma Swaraj, recently announced new passport rules that really makes sense for the entire country. Expected to make everyone’s life easier, MEA has taken new initiatives in order to streamline the entire process and cut down the paperwork to a major extent. The new rules and changes include: Earlier, all the applicants born on or after 26th January 1989 had to provide the Birth Certificate as the proof of Date of Birth (DOB) mandatorily as per the extant statutory provisions of the Passport Rules, 1980. This rule is no more mandatory as the applicants can submit a copy of any one of the below mentioned documents that contains their DOB. • Birth Certificate or any other equivalent legal document issued by authorities under empowered under the Registration of Birth & Deaths Act, 1969. • Transfer Certificate, School Leaving or Matriculation Certificate issued by a recognized educational board. • PAN Card issued by the Income Tax Department • Aadhar Card or E-Aadhar • Copy of the extract of the service record only for the Government servants or the Pay Pension Order for retired Government Servants, duly attested or certified by the officer or in-charge of the Administration of the concerned Ministry or Department. • Driving licence issued by the Transport Department of concerned State Government. • Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India. • Policy Bond issued by the Public Life Insurance Corporations/CompaniesIssues regarding mentioning father’s name or not, for children with single parent, and issuing new passports for adopted children have also been addressed as per the Ministry of External Affairs. The new changes are as follows: • Single parents are now eligible to apply for their children’s passports. • New passports can be printed without the names of both the parents on applicant’s request from now on. • For the orphaned children, a declaration that confirms the DOB of the applicant by the Head of the Orphanage or the Child Care Home on their official letterhead would suffice. • Children who are not born out of the wedlock, the submission of Annexure G which is an affidavit or declaration by the parent or guardian is required. • For those children who are domestically adopted in-country, the registered adoption deed has been substituted by a self declaration on a plain paper. • Post merging few Annexes and removing some, the total number of annexes has been cut down to 9 from 15 as per the Passport Rule, 1980. • All the swearing by/before any Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate, etc have been substituted by one single self declaration with all the annexes on a plain paper. • No marriage certificates are required for married applicants. • Individuals who have been divorced or separated need not provide neither the name of their spouse nor the divorce decree. • The Government staff who need a passport on urgent basis but could not get their Identity Certificate or No-Objection Certificate from their employer, can now issue a passport by submitting a self declaration in Annexure N which states that they’ve given prior information to their employer for having applied for a passport to the Passport Issuing Authority (PIA). • Last but not the least, Sadhus or Sanyasis can now get the name of their Guru printed on their passport instead of their biological parents provided they submit at least one legal document wherein their Guru’s name has been recorded against their parent’s name New Passport Rules Of India That All Of Us Should Know - chikbuk
  10. LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN EPF. To do away with this requirement, new forms, including 19 (UAN), 10C (UAN) and 31 (UAN) were introduced in December 2015 for those whose Aadhaar and bank account details are seeded in the Universal Account Number (UAN). Now, to get rid of all these forms, a single Composite Claim Form (Aadhaar) has been introduced, which can be directly submitted to the respective jurisdictional EPFO office without getting it attested by employer, but this can only be done if Aadhar and bank account details are linked to the UAN. If these details are not seeded in UAN, employer's attestation will be required before submitting the Composite Claim Form (Non-Aadhaar). The Composite Claim Form will also help subscribers to do away with declarations and other forms they have to provide in case of partial withdrawals made to repay housing loan, spend for marriage, meet educational expenses and so on. Now an EPFO member is not required to submit any declaration along with Composite Claim Form (Aadhaar and Non-Aadhaar) in case of partial withdrawal and advances. EPFO has also made it mandatory for all members (both subscribers and pensioners) to submit their Aadhar numbers. It has recently extended the deadline for the same to March 2017. This will help link the EPF account, pension account, bank account and Aadhaar number in order to provide services like provident fund withdrawal and pension fixation online. Get your UAN passbook: The EPFO has launched a new, unified platform for subscribers through which members can access their passbooks, change their mobile numbers, download their UAN cards and know their provident fund balance. EPFO members can also update their KYC (know your customer) details on this portal. Online PF withdrawal facility soon: The EPFO is also planning to launch an online facility for claim settlement and pension fixation by May this year. This will help in getting rid of the tedious paper work required now. Currently, the EPFO receives close to one crore applications manually for settlement of provident fund withdrawal claims, pension fixation and getting group insurance benefits claimed by the family of the deceased. After launching the online facility, the EPFO will aim to settle withdrawal claims within a few hours of receiving the applications. As per the current scheme, the EPFO is required to settle claims within 20 days from receiving an application for settlement of pension or EPF withdrawal. Have a PF account? Check out what has changed Now another improvement is that now EPF is linked to ESI and once a worker becomes a subscriber of EPF, the same applies to ESI also. May be within a year, EPF is the dept., that used to receive maximum RTI Applications so far, and now atleast with these developments, they may reduce the queries by 90% (This forum is also having maximum queries on EPF and now there is no need to raise a query on EPF) I believe that all these developments were may not be a coincidence but analysis of RTI Applications and final remedy as a logical conclusion.
  11. Read the related news article at: RTI impact: PMO clears `119 cr bills of Air India | Free Press Journal
  12. Read the related news article at: Sarpanch disqualified for not paying 5-year civic body tax - Pune Mirror
  13. The project evaluates the works of each corporator across 190 wards which have been analysed by using the Right To Information (RTI) Act. “The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai is ruled by the Shiv Sena, which flaunts its Marathi identity. Despite this, the functioning of the BMC is still not in Marathi in most areas,” said Dipak Pawar, president of Marathi Abhyas Kendra. Read source- Marathi Abhyas Kendra demands increased use of Marathi in BMC | The Indian Express
  14. Subject: Haryana Suchna Ayuog imposes fine of Rs 25000/- on Mr. Harinder Singh Superintendent Bhondsi Prison Dear All, I had sought some information about Bhondsi Prison Gurgaon regarding food items and other items being given to inmates of Bhondsi Prison, Gurgaon on 21st June 2014 but learned Superintendent of Bhondsi Prison, Gurgaon sought Rs3812/- to provide information on para 1, 2 & 4 of undersigned RTI application but did not provide the information on para 3 & 5 of undersigned RTI application. Aggrieved, I filed first appeal before learned first appellate authority under RTI Act 2005 cum IG Prisons who too did not help undersigned in getting the information. Further aggrieved, the undersigned filed second appeal before Haryana State Information Commission who vide order in case number 6360 of 2014 ordered the Learned Superintendent of Prisons Bhondsi to provide the information and issued show cause notice asking why a penalty of Rs 25000/(maximum under the Act) be imposed. The learned Mr. Harinder Singh had no explanation for denying the information. The Hon';ble Ms Urvash Gulati IAS took it seriously and imposed the maximum penalty of Rs.25000/-. This is a lesson to all those officers of Government/Public Authorities that RTI Act 2005 is not to be taken lightly.
  15. According to information, Rohit had filed an affidavit in the Punjab & Haryana High Court in 2014 about encroachments in the ESIC Hospital market. Rohit Sabharwal said the shopkeepers has encroached upon the government land. I have obtained information under the RTI that the shops were given to 1984 riot victims on lease. “The real beneficiaries left the shops and now encroachers are running the shops illegally,” he said. Read more at: Traders protest against RTI activist
  16. DIBRUGARH, April 5 - Rampant corruption has been suspected in the conduct of the Post Graduate Medical Entrance Examination by Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences following discovery of huge anomalies in the answer keys of some 20 questions of the examination paper. Although results were declared after re-evaluation of answer scripts for the second time on March 3, 2016, the authorities concerned have refrained from disclosing the answer keys to all the questions. The results of the examination held on January 31, 2016 were first declared on February 4. Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences was reportedly compelled to revise the results after irregularities were pointed out to them by a few students who had sought copies of their answer scripts and the answer keys through Right to Information Act (RTI). Read more at; The Assam Tribune Online
  17. Dehradun: The Uttarakhand Football Association on Saturday evening released a list of 35 coaches, who passed the introductory selection process conducted by All India Football Federation (AIFF), thus allowing them to coach professionally in the country. The state football association, for the first time in 15 years, conducted the AIFF D-license course/test in Dehradun to select the trainers. Moinuddin Khan, spokesperson of Uttarakhand Football Association added that the state football association was also planning to conduct C-license, which a level after D-license, for the football coaches in Uttarakhand after getting due permission from AIFF. The successful candidates also include eight women football coaches, hailing from various parts of the state, who are now eligible to coach professionally in and outside the state. Out of the total 35 football coaches who have passed the AIFF D-license, Dehradun has the maximum number of successful candidates with 21 football coaches. Dehradun was followed by Almora, Chamoli and Pauri with three coaches from each district. However, the city's first website dedicated to football, Dehradunfootball.com, claimed that the Uttarakhand Football Association was forced to release the list of AIFF D-license holders after they filed an RTI with AIFF to know the reason behind inordinate delay in releasing the names of successful candidates.Read more at; Finally after 6-months, Uttarakhand gets 35 professional football coaches - The Times of India
  18. PANJIM: United Goans Foundation (UGF) has urged Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to file a corruption case against Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for forgery and abuse of powers. UGF alleged that Parrikar favoured a private firm Spaces, whose property was taken on rent to accommodate several government offices, including the District and Session Court, but the property has remained unoccupied over the year. Speaking to media persons, UGF convener Dr Aashish Kamat demanded that the criminal charges of corruption and cheating be filed against Parrikar, the then Chief Minister, Panjim MLA Siddharth Kunkolienkar and officials of Goa State Infrastructure development Corporation (GSIDC) and Goa Administrative Department (GAD), for their undue favour to Spaces, which is being paid crores of rupees as rent by the government for non-occupation. Spaces, a company owned by Nilesh Amonkar, was awarded the tender, wherein 3,200 sq mtrs was taken on rent to accommodate government offices, Kamat said pointing that till date the first and the second floor is used by Goa State Infrastructure development Corporation as a dumping ground for unwanted files, while the Commercial Tax Department and lawyers of District and Session court have refused to shift in the new premises. Based on the RTI, United Goans Foundation wants Anti-Corruption Bureau to take the cognizance and file a corruption case, failing which they have threatened to approach the court. Herald: UGF demands corruption case against Parrikar for forgery
  19. Hyderabad: Right to Information (RTI) Act brought a big relief to an 80-year-old woman who has been fighting to get back ‘excess’ money paid under Building Penalisation Scheme (BPS) for the past seven years. In hurry to avoid demolition by the GHMC officials, K Rajeshwari had paid Rs 1.37 lakh as per the BPS scheme. After some time, she came to know that she did not need to pay paid such high amount as the actual amount she was entitled to pay was Rs 11,616 only. Rajeshwari requested the Deputy Commissioner, Circle 10, Khairatabad, to refund the excess amount she had paid on November 2011. But there was no positive response from the officials. Rajeshwari again represented her case to the GHMC officials in March 2015. Read more at; 80-Year-Old Woman Gets Back Money After 7 Years - The Hans India
  20. NAVI MUMBAI: The illegal advertisement of a local eatery, which had replaced a public service banner on anti-terrorism near Vashi railway station, was brought down by NMMC on Thursday after TOI reported on the issue earlier last week. The move was made after an RTI activist once again lodged a complaint on the issue. "Although the banner was brought down, the question still remains as to who had earlier deliberately damaged the legitimate NMMC banner and what legal action will be taken by the corporation on the accused," said activist Anarjit Chauhan. The assistant municipal commissioner in-charge of licensing and social service, Dattatray Nagare, said that an inquiry has been set up in this regard. Illegal hoarding brought down in Vashi - The Times of India
  21. CHANDIGARH: After Chandigarh police failed to arrest those involved in the attack on Mohit Verma, a school student, his father Satish Kumar moved an RTI query with the Chandigarh police, seeking details of efforts made by investigators to nab culprits. Mohit sustained multiple fractures in his right leg after being forcefully taken from his school and attacked at a local market on November 24. Only one of the assailants, Nikunj Dutta of phase-2, Mohali, has been arrested till now. Satish Kumar said, "I visited Sector 39 police station twice and the SHO told me not to interfere in police functioning. I wanted to hand over pictures of some of the assailants my son identified but he refused to accept them. Moreover, police is yet to receive medical reports of my son from the hospitals concerned." Kumar said despite his son being forcibly taken from his school, police did not add charges of abduction in the FIR. The victim was standing in the playground of his school when three youths, including Nikunj arrived, made him sit on their motorcycle and took him to market where they thrashed him with blunt weapons. When contacted, SHO, PS 39, inspector Ranjodh Singh, said, "Nikunj was the main accused and he was arrested the same day. Identification of other assailants is pending and some of them are juveniles." Read more at; Attack on student: Victim's father files RTI query - The Times of India
  22. The power of right to information (RTI) came to the fore recently again when an RTI query exposed a 48-year-old fraud committed by a ‘fake’ army man in Rampur district. State information commissioner Hafiz Usman has directed divisional commissioner, Moradabad, to take action against the accused. According to an inquiry report, Sohan Singh of Pasiyarpur hamlet of Aliganj in Rampur, managed to secure 25 acres of land for farming from the district administration in 1967 by ‘proving’ himself to being a retired Lance Naik of the Indian Army through fake papers. The land was allotted to Singh under the then Government Grant Act, which allowed district magistrates to allot land for farming to ex-soldiers. On this land, Singh also took a loans of several lakhs from nationalised banks. Read more at; ‘Fake’ armyman secures govt land, RTI nails lie after 48 years | lucknow | Hindustan Times
  23. Ten years ago, you guided the nascent central information commission through its initial years as its head. Today, how do you see it? Looking back, I would say there have been no failures but the rate at which we had hoped that the RTI Act would expand hasn’t happened. I did set up the institution of the CIC; from the beginning I felt that its structure was inappropriate for a quasi-judicial authority. The commission has no guidelines and no permanent staff. Though during my tenure I had made a lot of changes to make it effective, but these changes were never institutionalised. Right now, employees of the CIC are outsourced. In all, the institution of the CIC itself is not firmly established. Ten years later, I feel it is still in the process of forming. What is one single major failure of the law? I think the government is yet to understand the full potential of this law for governance. The government has so far been seeing the RTI only as a threat and a hindrance to governance. The fact is that the RTI law is meant to improve governance and bring in transparency in the functioning of the government. But today an RTI application is seen as an intrusion by officials. “Take care, RTI kar denge” is the refrain in the officialdom while taking precautions in dealing with public issues. It’s time for us to follow what (US) president Obama had said on the (USA’s) Freedom of Information Act that accountability (brought out by the Act) is in the interest of the government and the citizenry alike. - See more at: RTI ten years later: The first CIC on its potential for governance -Governance Now
  24. GURGAON: The Haryana Lokayukta has issued a notice to the state urban local bodies department seeking a report on the MCG's alleged bicycle scam. The notice was issued after a complaint was lodged with the Lokayukta, following a TOI report on the scam. The MCG had bought 600 cycles worth Rs 33.67 lakh for Raahgiri Day in August 2014. None of the cycles is with the MCG now. Earlier this month, an RTI reply revealed that the MCG had donated 172 cycles to unknown people and handed over the remaining 428 to an NGO. The MCG couldn't provide details of the people to whom the cycles were donated. "Cycles have been handed over to Embarq as they organise Raahgiri in the city," said an MCG official, requesting anonymity. Sarika Panda of Embarq India refuted the MCG's statement saying, "The bicycles were handed over to Raahgiri Foundation."Read more at; Lokayukta notice in MCG cycle scam - The Times of India
  25. NAGPUR: For the past couple of years, every sickle cell disease (SCD) patient at Mumbai's Grant Medical College and Hospital has had Rs 1,73,611 at his disposal while every patient at city's Government Medical College and Hospital had Rs 2,795 to avail. This discrepancy is because the government agencies provide an equal amount of funds to all the eight state-run hospitals authorized to treat SCD patients despite a huge difference among the number of patients at each of these hospitals. This fact came to fore through RTI queries put up by city-based NGO Sickle Cell Society of India (SCSI). The eight colleges get funds from both Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) and National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). Calling it as injustice on the patients, the activists believe that the funds must be allocated to the colleges on the basis of number of patients that come there for better utilization. Read more at; Rs 1.73 lakh for Mumbai SCD patient, Rs 2,795 for Nagpur - The Times of India
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