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  1. Read the related news article at: https://www.asianage.com/metros/in-other-cities/221217/maharashtra-will-increase-rti-commissions-says-cm-fadnavis.html Note: Open the link in a new browser tab and change https to http
  2. On 31 March 2017, the government invited comments on the draft Right to Information (RTI) Rules. News and social media went into a flap alleging it was an attempt to dilute the RTI Act 2005. The government was obliged to issue a ‘factual position’ press release on 5 April 2017 countering some of the misinformation on the proposed amendment. The Good, The Bad And The Worrisome Of The Draft RTI Rules
  3. A proposal for making Rules under RTI i.e. RTI Rules, 2017 in supersession of RTI Rules, 2012-by the Central Government under section 27 of the RTI Act, 2005, is under consideration of the Department of Personnel & Training 1_5_2016-IR-31032017.pdf 1_5_2016-IR-31032017-Hindi2.pdf
  4. Marathi Abhyas Kendra, an NGO, has published a book, My Ward-My Corporator, to encourage citizens to come out and evaluate the work done by their civic representatives through the Right To Information (RTI) Act. In a pilot project, the RTI wing of Marathi Abhyas Kendra obtained information about MNS corporator Hemlata Wange and the work done by her in the last four years. Anand Bhandare, a member of the group and resident of Wange's ward, said, "The report is a product of seven RTI applications and the information available on the BMC website. Getting information through RTI is an easy thing but it requires a lot of patience on the part of the applicant. We want people to replicate it to understand the work done by their corporators." Read the full story here! RTI INDIA also has been propogating this to get information from Member of Parliament. Read here!
  5. The questions asked is "what the correct dates of the birth and death anniversaries of the legendary king are, and whether they are at all celebrated by the Union Government" Chief information commissioner R K Mathur has issued an order that the information sought be furnished to the applicant. "The Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs are advised to provide the information to the appellant on his RTI application," Mathur’s order reads.Ashoka was third monarch of the Mauryan dynasty. He was born in 304 BC and died in 232 BC. This has been posted by New Indian Express in their article. I guess they are proud about publishing this story. What do you think?
  6. An officer can be even jailed for five years for missing records, under public records act. Denial of information can land an officer in jail up to five years - Bangalore Mirror
  7. Dear Esteemed Members of the August Forum, I had filed a complaint on Human Rights Commission, Haryana regarding the human rights violation in the premises of District Courts. I complained(Copy of undersigned Complaint Enclosed): QUOTE " 1) There are no seats to sit for clients/litigants in Gurgaon District Courts and even for advocates which results In thronging the doors of the Court resulting in hampering Court Work; 2) Senior Citizens who are ill and physically challenged have no seating arrangements in District Courts in Gurgaon; 3) There are a couple of toilets in District Gurgaon Courts for a visiting citizens of around 2000 people daily which are so unhygienic that it is difficult to use these toilets: " ' 4) There is no litigant bench at district courts in Gurgaon; 5) There is no Case Status Display in District Courts; 6) The Courts are housed in bathrooms in District Gurgaon Court Complex thus living no space even to stand in these courts; 7) There is no ramp system for physically challenged citizens of Gurgaon in District Gurgaon Courts and no lift for elderly and physically challenged citizen's of Gurgaon to visit second floor Court rooms in Gurgaon District Courts. The above reasons contribute to human rights violations in District Courts in Gurgaon and-as such pray to Hon'bte Commission to pass appropriate orders under relevant section of the said Human Rights Act as deem fit by Hon'ble Commission." UNQUOTE The Hon'ble State Human Commission Haryana took cognizance of undersigned complaint bearing number 1064 of 2014 and on hearing held on 13th Oct 2014 and issued notice to Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon for submission of reply/report in eight weeks and next date of hearing was fixed for 12th Feb 2015. (Copy of Order Enclosed) On 12th Feb 2015, the double Bench of Hon'ble Human Rights Commission ordered that in view of serious nature of Complaint, the Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon to file reply/report within four weeks and next date of hearing on 08th May 2015.(Copy of Order Enclosed) The matter is of having larger public interest and is clear cut case of Human Rights Violations as the conditions in District Courts premises in Gurgaon is pathetic and situation there inhuman. Harinder Dhingra RTI & Human Rights Activist HUMAN_RIGHTS.pdf
  8. Dear All,The undersigned filed the following Complaint through CM Window regarding overcharging and exorbitant rates for installing/fixing cardiac stents in the hospitals & nursing home in Haryana. Thank You Yours truly Harinder Dhingra Complaint in Larger Public Interest through C M Window To Dated 19th May 2015 The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Haryana, Government of Haryana, Chandigarh Sub: Complaint through Hon’ble C M window against MRP of cardiac stents is exaggerated and more than 300 to 700% of actual cost by Hospitals in Haryana Sir, It is brought to your kind notice that cardiac Stent are overcharged by more than 300-700% by the Hospitals & Nursing Home in Haryana. It is prayed that Hon’ble CM use his good offices to direct National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority to regulate its “high prices”. It was found through RTI application that demand for cardiac stents has increased considerably and cardiac stents are being exorbitantly priced. Sir, there were complaints in Maharashtra from the public and also from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) regarding overpricing and overcharging of cardiac stents to needy patients. Based on its inputs, Maharashtra FDA’s Vigilance Branch conducted a detailed probe against a major importing company dealing in cardiac stents. The probe included investigation of six distributors and also involved seven hospitals in Mumbai, Pune and Nasik division. The enquiry was conducted to know the cost to the importing company, also cost to the distributors, hospitals and cost to the patients vis-a-vis maximum retail price (MRP) of the cardiac stents, he said. The study revealed that the MRP itself is exaggerated and to the tune of more than 300 to 700 percent of the actual cost of importing cardiac stents by the importing company. The profit margin earned by the importing company with respect to its distributors on an average is about 120 per cent and the average profit margin earned by distributors to the hospital is about 125 per cent, he said. The situation in Haryana is no different than Maharashtra. The government has a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to regulate prices of telephony, an electricity regulator to control power prices and so on. But India has no body to ensure that medical device companies do not overcharge patients. The result is loot. Most patients are forced to pay anything between Rs 60,000 and Rs 1 lakh or more for cardiac drug eluting stents (DES) though the same stents cost Rs 28,000-Rs 48,000 even in rich European countries and the UK, where there is price control or a fair pricing mechanism for medical devices. What is MRP? The main reason only affixing label for MRP is stressed but no authority to check the in house cost to the MRP whether it is reasonable. Here is the MRP for goods imported in India. MRP requirement on goods imported in India In terms of Rule 4 and 6 of Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodity) Rules, 2011 no person shall pre-pack any commodity for sale, distribution or delivery unless on the package a label is securely affixed and contains information regarding name/ address of manufacturer, month and year of manufacture, generic name of the product and Maximum Retail Price (MRP) etc. With a view to protect interest of Indian consumers, Government of India has mandated that goods imported into India should also carry following information: Name and address of the importer; Generic or common name of the commodity packed; Net quantity in terms of standard unit of weights and measures. If the net quantity in the imported package is given in any other unit, its equivalent in terms of standard units shall be declared by the importer; Month and year of packing in which the commodity is manufactured or packed or imported; MRP at which the commodity in packaged form may be sold to the ultimate consumer. This price shall include all taxes local or otherwise, freight, transport charges, commission payable to dealers, and all charges towards advertising, delivery, packing, forwarding and the like, as the case may be. {General Note 5 of Import Policy – ITC (HS)} Goods needs to carry above declarations printed on the package of the product/ on a sticker affixed on the package at the time of imports. Meaning thereby, declaration should be present on package when goods are presented to Indian Customs for clearance and in case declaration is not present Indian Customs would not allow clearance of goods and start penal proceedings. To overcome this situation, an importer has following two options for compliance to above requirement: Request overseas supplier to affix MRP stickers on the packages before clearance or Affix MRP stickers at the port of import before presenting the goods to Customs for clearance Customs authorities do allow the latter option. Hence importers of pre-packed goods may also affix MRP stickers at Customs port of import in India. None of the above is being followed by any Hospital/Nursing Home in Haryana which is engaged in putting cardiac stents. The rates charged are exorbitant, beyond the reach of common man & has no MRP as mandated under the law. It is prayed that prices of cardiac stents are regulated by FDA, Haryana and the prices are brought down to the affordable level. By one such order, your Government would save the lives of millions in Haryana. Thanking You, Yours Truly, Harinder Dhingra RTI & Human Rights Activist, - - - Updated - - - Dear All, Kindly find the scan copy of news item appearing in Dainik Jagran regarding the subject of trailing mail. Thank You for your time, Harinder Dhingra RTI & Human Rights Activist
  9. Novartis takes RTI route, blocks local firm's bid to copy anti-diabetes drug AHMEDABAD:Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis has restrained a local pharma company from making anti-diabetes drug by approaching a court because the MNC had patented the drug and is enjoying monopoly over its production and sale. Interestingly, the Switzerland company used Right to Information Act to dig out which were the companies that intended to make such drug. By doing so, it prevented the production of its patented drug by any other company. Novartis AG filed a trademark suit last in the Mirzapur rural court against city-based West Coast Pharmaceutical Ltd demanding that the local firm should be restrained from making and selling Vildagliptin drug and its other formulations, which are successfully used to manage type 2 diabetes mellitus. Novartis submitted that it enjoyed patent of this drug in India since 1999 and to retain it till 2019. Hence, it has a monopoly over production of Vildagliptin and its two trademark products VALVUS that contains Vildagliptin as only active pharmaceutical ingredients and GALVUSMET, which comprises Vildagliptin and additional different ingredient - Metformin Hydrochloride. Novartis argued that it had taken several years to research and development of Vildagliptin at a huge financial investment running into hundreds and millions of US dollars and requiring substantial human resources. It also enjoys monopoly to its manufacture, sale and import in this country. It further submitted that it filed various applications under the RTI laws with the state's Drug Control Administration "in order to verify as to whether the other companies are intending to launch infringing pharmaceutical product containing Vildagliptin alone Vildagliptin + Morphin Hydrochloride". It came to know that West Coast pharma had applied for approval for manufacturing Vildagliptin 50, Vildagliptin + Morphin (50Mg/500Mg, 50Mg/850Mg, 50Mg/100Mg Tablets). Read More: http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/search-panel-scrutinises-cvs-of-over-750-cic-ic-aspirants-115011600938_1.html
  10. Hello Members! Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is keen to promote the uptake of the Community Radio Concept in the time to come. "Community Radio" is envisaged to play a BIG role in order to disseminate the Community Specific Information, & enable Citizens Bhagidari (Contribution) through that mode. I wonder, can RTI India also deliberate to come up with the a "Community Radio" based Transmission to enable and expand the Outreach of this RTI Awareness mission beyond the takers of Laptops, Smart Phones & Tablets! Won't this be a GOLDEN Opportunity to "Bridge" the Digital Divide too!? What's yours take on the Subject? Thanks:-)
  11. Rotomac loves RTI. The advertisement promoted by salman khan says 'Hanth Uthao, likho India ke nayee pehchan'. Unfortunately, in our case segment we had an article on RTI filed for Rotomac here: You cannot write RTI on Rotomac - RTI INDIA. An RTI applicant which sought information RTI on Rotomac Pvt Ltd, the amount of income tax paid by them since establishment and related issues was shot down by CIC on the premises that disclosure by a person in his Income Tax Returns are ‘personal information’ which stands exempt from disclosure u/s 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. Now Rotomac is found to be promoting Right to Information by their advertisement. Good show. Watch the ad below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wkaf-J-SxQ
  12. As reported by Vinita Deshmukh in moneylife.in on 20 Nov 2013: Neera River Death: NHAI consultant blames driver - Moneylife Neera River Death: Consultant blames driver but recommends safety repairs! Moneylife invoked Section 7 of the RTI Act to procure the safety audit report, after four young ad professionals of Pune died after their car plunged into Neera River. What we discovered was shocking Four young ad professionals from Pune died in a horrendous tragedy on 2nd November when their car plunged into the Neera River through a dangerous gap left open at the tip of the bridge on the Mumbai-Bangalore Highway. However, the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) insisted that unless they get a safety audit report from their safety consultants, HAKS Engineers and Info Trans Engineers Pvt Ltd, they would not undertake safety repairs. Moneylife invoked the RTI Act under Section 7, under which the applicant can get information within 48 hours, “Provided that where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty-eight hours of the receipt of the request.’’ The writer received the copy of the safety audit report on the afternoon of 19thNovember. Shockingly, the ‘Inspection report on accident at Neera Bridge site’ puts the blame squarely on the driver stating that: “In spite of the warning signs and barricades, the accident has taken place. The opinion of the safety consultant is that the driver of the vehicle has ignored the warning signs. The accident occurred due to the driver’s fault and not due to the deficiency of the safety measures at the bridge site.’’ This is clearly an attempt by the safety consultants to protect and defend the NHAI and Reliance Infra despite their complete criminal negligence through shoddy and unsafe work on this stretch of the highway. Photographs published in Moneylife last week clearly show that Reliance had not protected the tip of the bridge with a crash barrier; the ‘work in progress’ signboard of the NHAI on the left is confusing to drivers, particularly at night. After having squarely put the blame on the driver, the safety report recommends safety measures, which this writer through the Nav Bharat Nagarik Manch has been demanding. It states: “Cross wall connecting the abutments of the two bridges shall be raised above the ground level up to the height of the hand railings to avoid the entry of animal and human into the river by accident or mistake.’’ The wordings of this recommendation are highly objectionable as it trivialises the issue. The second recommendation is: “Metal beam crash barriers shall be provided on the right edge of the carriageway to suitable length.’’ This is the very place where the car plunged into the Neera River. However, the safety consultant admits it, after having put the blame on the victims who can speak no more. Nav Bharat Nagarik Manch had given the NHAI, seven days that is 26th November, to do the necessary repairs, or else agitate. It is also in the process of collecting information under RTI to file a public interest litigation (PIL), on the 140 km stretch of this highway, which runs through Maharashtra and is being built, maintained and operated by Reliance Infra. The contract agreement procured by Moneylife shows that it is mandatory for the Reliance Infra to check the road conditions in terms of passenger safety and traffic signboards every seven days and it is incumbent on the NHAI to monitor the work of the contracting agency. Following are some of the points in the Contract Agreement: *that the traffic worthiness and safety are at no time inferior and that the worthiness of the road should be checked every 7 days * For the avoidance of doubt, it is agreed that the Concessionaire shall at all times be responsible for ensuring safe operation of the Project Highway * The independent Engineer shall inspect the Project Highway at least once a month and make a report of such inspection (the "Inspection Report") stating in reasonable detail the defects or deficiencies *Upon recommendation of the Independent Engineer to this effect, the Authority may by notice require the Concessionaire to suspend forthwith the whole or any part of the Construction Works if, in the reasonable opinion of the Authority, such work threatens the safety of the Users and pedestrians. The obligations of the Concessionaire (in this case Reliance Infra) hereunder shall include: (a) permitting safe, smooth and uninterrupted flow of traffic on the Project Highway during normal operating conditions; (d) carrying out periodic preventive maintenance of the Project Highway; (e) undertaking routine maintenance including prompt repairs of potholes, cracks, joints, drains, embankments, structures, pavement markings, lighting, road signs and other traffic control devices; (f) undertaking major maintenance such as resurfacing of pavements, repairs to structures, and repairs and refurbishment of tolling system and other equipment; (i) operation and maintenance of all communication, control and administrative systems necessary for the efficient operation of the Project Highway; (k) maintaining a public relations unit to interface with and attend to suggestions from the Users, government agencies, media and agencies; and (I) complying with Safety Requirements. The NHAI and Reliance are also bound by the NHAI’s Safety Manual as well as Citizen Charter besides the contract agreement. Both are flouting all norms at the expense of innocent lives being snuffed out. As per the information procured from the Rajgad Police Station by the writer, in the 29 km stretch between Katraj tunnel and the Neera Bridge, there have been 174 deaths and 111 serious injuries from January 2011 to 31 October 2013. Strangely, the safety report does not have a dateline of when it has submitted the report to the NHAI though it says that inspection took place on 12 November 2013. The inspection report does not even give any timeline to conduct the necessary repairs. So, is this all just a farce?
  13. Reported by newindianexpress.com on 04 Sept 2013 RTI speaks for mute man in HC - The New Indian Express RTI speaks for mute man in HC It is not for nothing that the politicians are seeking to dilute the Right to Information (RTI) Act. For, the path-breaking legislation can give voice even to the speech impaired and make their cry for justice heard loudly in the corridors of the judiciary. This is not an exaggerated projection of the power of the RTI Act, as an ongoing case in the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) would prove. K Ganesan, a hearing and speech impaired man from Madurai, who was rejected for the post of watchman in Government schools, has used the RTI Act to catch some of the senior officials of the School Education Department with their pants down. In June last year, on the basis of the sponsorship list of the Employment Exchange, the District Educational Officer (DEO) in Melur at Madurai had called Ganesan for an interview for the posts of watchman and sweeper in Usilampatti Education District. However, he was not given the job though three per cent of the posts were reserved for the physically disabled. Not to be bogged down, Ganesan, a dalit who had studied up to class VIII and was well versed in reading and writing in Tamil, then filed an application under the RTI Act wanting to know how the selection was made. While the DEOs of Madurai and Melur remained mute to his applications, to his shock the Usilampatti DEO replied that most appointments were made on the basis of recommendations of politicians. The recommendation letters were given among others by the Cooperation Minister, MLAs of Madurai North, Madurai South, Usilampatti and Thirumangalam constituencies. Armed with these documents, Ganesan approached the High Court seeking to quash all appointments made in the Usilampatti Education District. Astonished by the RTI Act documents, which revealed that of the 25 jobs for watchman and sweeper, only 12 were selected on merit, Justice S Nagamuthu summoned the Education Department officials and questioned them how appointments are made. One of the officials, - Desk Superintending Officer A Mayan - told the judge that on July 26, 2012 he had received a call from the office of the Director of School Education (DSE), instructing him to make the appointments based on the recommendation letters given by politicians. Mayan also said that after the appointments were made, they were duly forwarded to the office of the DSE along with the recommendation letters. Justice Nagamuthu remarked that this was a fit case for being probed by external agencies like the CBI or CB-CID and said he would not order an inquiry by the local police as no justice would be rendered by them. The case will be taken up for hearing on September 6.
  14. siddharth khandelwal

    Unlimted possibilities of RTI Act.

    Friends, RTI dosen't uncover financial irregulartities only but social also.In one RTI we asked question related to scholarship given to students under M.P.Govt. scheme.The information received in response amazed us.As you can see casteist tags were used for students.A story was also published in Times of India,Indore edition too.RTI Act has unlimited possibilities.
  15. CIC directs Cabinet Secretariat to instruct Ministries to put up Gazette notifications free of charge on their websites In a recent order, CIC has instructed the Cabinet Secretariat to instruct all Ministries that Gazette notifications issued by them should be available free of charge on their respective websites. Members might know that the the Official Gazette in its printed as well as e-form is a "priced" publication and therefore available on payment from the Government. In a well argued order, the CIC said: 4. Information*as*defined*in*Section*2(f) *of*the*Right*to*Information*(RTI) *Act includes*both*hard*and*soft*information.*Therefore,*digitised*gazette*notifications*are also*very*much*information*just*as*the*paper*version*is.*A*citizen*has*surely*a*right*to get*a*copy*of*the*gazette*notification*in*either*form.*Unless*the*gazette*notification*is*a priced * publication, * it * has * to * be * made * available * to * an * information * seeker * against payment*of*the*prescribed*photocopying*charges.*Similarly,*if*it*has*to*be*provided*in the*form*of*soft*copy,*then*the*charges*prescribed*under *the*relevant*rules*would apply. * In * other * words, * if * it * has * to * be * accessed * in * either * of * these * forms, * the citizen/information*seeker*has*to*make*a*payment*towards*the*charges*as*prescribed under*the*rules.*In*that*sense,*the*Appellant*is*not*right*in*expecting*that*it*should*be made*available*free*of*charge. 5. A*gazette*notification*is *an*announcement*by *the*executive*government*of particular*decisions/proposals,*such*as*a*bill,*a*law,*an*order,*a*notification,*a*tender notice*and*such*other*decisions*as*are*to*be*published*as*a*gazette*notification.*The announcement*is*meant*for *the*public.*In*fact,*sometimes,*the*text*of*the*gazette notification*is*also*published*in*the*media*for*everybody*to*see*and*read.*While*it*is reasonable*to*expect*a*payment*for*obtaining*a*hard*copy*of*a*gazette*notification,*it*is quite*difficult*to*appreciate*why*the*digitised*version*uploaded*in*the*website*of*the Ministry/Department*should*be*priced.*If*the*uploading*in*the*website*is*intended*to propagate*the*gazette*notification*among*the*citizens,*it*is*reasonable*to*expect*that*it should*be*allowed*to*be*seen,*read*and,*wherever*the*citizen*wants,*to*be*downloaded without*any*restriction*or*payment. The full order of the CIC is attached to this post. Gazette notifications on websites.pdf
  16. As reported by Siddaharth Gadkari in opunemirror.com on 31 May 2012: Octroi chief uses RTI to up revenue , News - City - Pune Mirror,Pune Mirror [h=1]Octroi chief uses RTI to up revenue[/h] When flying squads and crackdowns failed, Munde caught tax evaders with the Act The Centre’s Right to Information (RTI) Act, has empowered citizens, especially in cases of corruption involving civic officials. But after its effective and sometimes excessive use by citizens aiming to bring about accountability in government, civic officials are now making use of the Act to boost the government’s revenue. Asst Municipal Commissioner of Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s (PCMC) octroi department, Ashok Munde, took this unique approach when he wanted to increase octroi revenue especially on gold and liquor. Once one of the richest municipal corporations in the country, the PCMC lost this status after small-scale industry units shifted out from under its jurisdiction. Since the civic body’s main source of income was octroi, they had been trying hard to boost octroi collection. When, Munde took charge of the octroi department in March 2009, the revenue was Rs 717 cr. Knowing there was a large amount of octroi theft, Munde used techniques like checkposts to crack down on the octroi department employees-octroi evaders’ nexus. It helped increase revenue collections, but not on expected lines. Finally, Munde decided get to the root of the problem. He concluded that octroi evasion could effectively be known by the quantum of business carried out in the city, especially when it came to commodities like liquor and gold. In March 2009, the department submitted an application to the State sales tax department asking for information of the sale of these items from 2007-09. Owners have to pay sales tax to the government and cannot bypass paying sales tax as easily as paying octroi. Initially, Munde filed an application for the information twice, but was denied any. He then moved an RTI application for the information as the assistant commissioner of the PCMC’s octroi department, but was told by the information officer of the State sales department that they were not bound to share the information with him. Munde then appealed to his superior Ashok Nimbalkar. When Munde explained the purpose of seeking the information, the sales tax department provided the information consisting of 1.73 lakh pages. Munde paid Rs 2.26 lakh from the PCMC coffers to avail the same. When he checked the information against the octroi collections, Munde found that liquor dealers had to pay an amount of Rs 26 crore to the PCMC with a fine for the period between 2007 and 2009. In case of gold shipments, the amount reached Rs 13 crore. On this basis, Munde’s department sent notices to all the octroi evaders. Acting against liquor dealers, Munde sealed properties of the city’s 27 top dealers. He did the same for jewellery stores. Munde said, “There are 27 octroi posts in the city. When I joined the PCMC, revenue was below Rs 1,000 crore, now, it is above Rs 1,200 crore per annum. When I decided to depute flying squad and raid checkposts, I thought it was enough to increase revenue, but learnt otherwise. After I secured the information, I initiated action on octroi evaders. Some of them went to the High Court, but the court ruled against them. Due to the RTI application, I came to know of arrears of Rs 26 crore for the liquor business and Rs 13 crore for gold jewellery businesses. For the last two years, we have been getting a revenue of Rs 2.5 crore from jewellery dealers. Earlier, the collection was Rs 15 lakh. In case of liquor businesses, the amount went from Rs 3 crore to Rs 13 crore,” he added.
  17. As reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 23 April 2012: Private trusts running public plots may come under RTI - The Times of India Private trusts running public plots may come under RTI MUMBAI: The amended draft policy on open spaces is ready and the BMC plans to bring private trusts managing public spaces under the RTI Act. If the plan is approved , trusts looking after recreation grounds (RGs), playgrounds (PGs), parks and gardens-on adoption or caretaker basiswill have to share details of their operationswiththe public . The move comes after the BMC caught flak at a civic improvementscommittee meeting in March over the ambiguity in the draft guidelines . The draft policy will be sent to civic chief Subodh Kumar for approval before being tabled again before the improvements committee andthe generalbody meeting of the BMC. It will then go to the government for final approval. TOI is in possession of the circular on the amendment . A civic official said : "Plots given away on adoption or caretaker basis are reserved public lands . We felt the public has the right to know details of the plots , how they are being developed , how funds are being secured and utilized etc. To make the system more transparent , we proposed to bring private trusts managing open spaces under the RTI Act." Private trusts will have to put up a board with details of the plot they are in charge of. The caretaker policy will continue to apply to RG plots with over 5,000 sq m area . The draft policy had recommended that for RG plots above 5,000 sq m given on caretaker basis , only 25% would be in the private trust's possession . The remaining 75% would be with the BMC. Activists contended that allotting 25% of RG plots to private players would leave them vulnerable to commercial exploitation . It was also suggested in the draft policy that private trusts be asked to pay Rs 3,000/ sq m for the remaining 75% of the RG plot to the BMC, which the civic body would utilize to develop the ground or provide other civic amenities . "There are 7-8 clubs that have got plots on caretaker basis . Their owners have developed open plots given to them . So , this amount will not be imposed on them ," the official said . The amended draft plan for open spaces states that the caretaker policy will stay and apply to RG plots with an area of more than 5,000 sq m. BMC's earlier draft open space policy had recommended that only 25% of an open RG plot (5,000 sq m and above) would be in the possession of a private trust if given away on caretaker basis and the remaining 75% would be with the BMC. Activists objected to 25% of an RG plot remaining with private players, arguing that this would make it vulnerable to commercial exploitation. They also said this was an "ecologically unsound" concept and could cause damage to the city's ecology.
  18. As reported in Janwani on 17?01/12 डीएम से की शिकायत मवाना : नगर पालिका मवाना के वार्ड-4 सदस्य पद को अनुसूचित जाति के आरक्षित करने के विरोध में डीएम को पत्र सौंपकर आपत्ति दर्ज कराई गई है। शिकायतकर्ता नवीन कुमार रस्तौगी पुत्र चंद्रपाल रस्तौगी ने पत्र में कहा है कि वार्ड-4 में 1400 मतदाता हैं एवं उनमें अनुसूचित जाति के लगभग 80 मतदाता शामिल हैं। यह संख्या कुल वोट की लगभग 5 प्रतिशत ही है। आरटीआई तहत मांगी गई सूचना के आधार पर नगर पालिका ने जानकारी दी थी कि वर्ष 2011 की जनगणना के अनुसार अनुसूचित जाति की जनसंख्या 597 बताई गई है। शिकायकर्ता ने कहा कि वार्ड-4 को अनुचित रूप से आरक्षित किया गया है। उन्होंने उक्त वार्ड को सामान्य श्रेणी में किए जाने की मांग की है। Source: Details
  19. Prisoners use RTI to get remission info Karthika GopalakrishnanKarthika Gopalakrishnan, TNN | Oct 18, 2011, 06.47AM IST http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Prisoners-use-RTI-to-get-remission-info/articleshow/10396730.cms CHENNAI: For them, file notings and deliberations on government policy may not mean as much as accessing information about their basic entitlements. Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's speech on the Right to Information Act has triggered discussion, lawyers say prisoners in Tamil Nadu are increasingly using it. "There is greater awareness about the RTI Act among prisoners today. The prison department conducted several awareness programmes last year," said V Kannadasan, former special public prosecutor of the human rights court. A growing number of prisoners are seek-ing information about whether they have been granted a remission of their sentence as officers do not often tell them details, advocates say. E Premkumar, a convict at the Trichy central prison, is among those kept in the dark about being awarded a remission. Only after an RTI application was filed did he realize that he was given a remission of more than 400 days on his 10-year sentence. "There are many convicts who do not know the status of their case and are left to the mercy of the jail authorities. More often than not, officers neglect to inform convicts if they have got a remission. When a convict continues to be detained in prison longer than he is required to be, it amounts to illegal confinement. But many prisoners are unaware of this," said advocate M Rajasekar, who represented Premkumar in the Madras high court.
  20. As reported by Serena Menon in hindustantimes.com on 05 July 2011: http://www.hindustantimes.com/RTI-launches-own-smartphone-app/Article1-717480.aspx RTI launches own smartphone app To help make the Right to Information (RTI) act even more accessible to citizens, RTI India has now launched a mobile application for Android phones. Available to download for free from the site http://www.rtiindia.org,'>http://www.rtiindia.org, the application works as a cross between a social networking site and a RTI encyclopedic help book. “It basically allows members of the website to access all the information, forums and questions on their mobile phones,” says CJ Karira, who moderates the online portal http://www.rtiindia.org, which in a matter of four-odd years, has gathered over 2.25 lakh members and growing. The Android mobile application will allow users to send and receive personal messages and post questions about the RTI act on various forums, apart from other services. For those interested in exercising their rights, for those interested in exercising their rights, it will also catalogue all the information regarding the state and central government rules. Android, an open source software (does not dictate ownership terms, allows anyone to develop software further), was the first to get the application, as it was free and easy. But soon, RTI applications for iPhones, iPads, iPods, Windows 6.1 and Windows 6.5 will also be available to download online. “The younger generation needs newer ways to access concepts,” says Karira, adding that enquiries on the mobile and online portal can be streamlined by picking one of the two main sections — RTI queries and RTI questions. “For instance, if someone wants to know what the correct format of filing an RTI letter is and in a manner that will not get rejected by the PRO, they can be guided on how to get a speedy response in the RTI question section.” As of now, only a handful of people have downloaded the application, but Karira believes the number will grow when they begin catering to all the other softwares as well. However, Nokia and Blackberry phones will not fall in that category. “With all the applications out, we hope to cover at least 75 per cent of the market,” he says. Right to Information Act 2005 mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information. The RTI portal is meant for quick search of information on the details of the first appellate authorities and PIOs amongst others, besides access to RTI related information or disclosures published on the web by various public authorities under the government of India and state governments.
  21. dr.s.malhotra

    RTI in syllabus

    'RTI in syllabus' Mangalore, Aug 4, DHNS: can be seen here : http://www.deccanherald.com/content/181431/rti-syllabus.html A proposal has been submitted to the government to include a chapter on Right to Information in the college syllabus and the Information Commission is waiting for the positive response from the government, said State Information Commissioner Dr H N Krishna. Speaking to media persons after chairing the grievance meet at DC’s office of Thursday, Dr Krishna said that inclusion of a lesson on RTI in the college syllabus would help to bring awareness among the youth about the significance of the RTI. No examination should be conducted on the lesson on RTI, but it should be introduced only to inform and educate the students about the Act, he said adding that it would be better if the lesson is introduced in PUC level. He also informed that Information Commission has contemplated to add a column on the response to RTI, in its Annual Performance Report (APR). “An analysis on the status of RTI shows that the applicants are confined to urban areas. The awareness level is yet very low in the rural areas and the current challenge before the Commission is to take RTI to the grassroot section of the society,” informed Dr Krishna. The highest number of RTI’s are filed seeking information from the municipality/corporation followed by the Revenue Department and the Panchayat Raj system. RTI is still a child and it has a long way to go, he said.
  22. As reported by Neha Shukla in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 11 July 2011: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/9186299.cms 'Text books should include a chapter on RTI' Lucknow: It is better to catch them young and tell them about the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Teaching the basics of the Act to school students can go a long way. Driven by the same thought, law students in the country have started an initiative to press for inclusion of a chapter on RTI in school textbooks of political science. "We have got support from several people and organizations who have been working for effective implementation of RTI in the country," said Sachin Upadhyay, a student of Ram Manohar Lohia National Law university, Lucknow, who is associated with the endeavour. The group of law students will be handing over a petition to NCERT in this regard soon. The petition argues that when a student files an RTI application and gets access to government documents, he will learn more about how government works. Inclusion of a chapter on RTI in the school curriculum will also encourages students to take up further studies on the subject. The reasons offered by students as to why RTI should be included in school curriculum are many. Including RTI in syllabus will also tap the enthusiasm and idealism of young students. When students come to know the power of RTI, they can file an application to seek reasons for garbage dump outside their schools, pot-holed roads in their locality and several other problems. Children doing so will act as role-models for their peer groups. The said campaign was started by Tanuj Kalia, a law student at National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata in April. Adoksh Shastry, a student researcher in Christ Law College, Bangalore and Upadhyay in Lucknow are forwarding the efforts.
  23. As reported in starofmysore.com on 05 July 2011: http://www.starofmysore.com/main.asp?type=news&item=28870 VISIT MCC WEBSITE AND GET PROJECT INFORMATION Caption: District in-charge Minister S.A. Ramdas launching the Web-based Project Management System at the MCC Old Council Hall in city this morning. MCC Commissioner K.S. Raikar, Mayor Pushpalatha Chikkanna, Deputy Mayor M.J. Ravikumar and others are seen. Mysore, July 5 (KK&KMC)- Now, any citizen can avail any official information pertaining to the projects undertaken by the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) instantly by merely visiting its website http://www.mysorecity.gov.in instead of going through the rigmarole of putting up an application under the Right To Information (RTI) Act and waiting for months for a reply. This claim was made by District In-Charge Minister S.A. Ramdas, after launching the ambitious 'Web-based Project Management System' at the Old Cou-ncil Hall of MCC this morning. Ramdas clicked open the Home Page of the website which displays classified information, including weather updates. The website has tied-up with google.com through which browsers may even know about the location of the project through the google map. Speaking on the occasion, MCC Commissioner K.S. Raikar said that such a project was launched for the first time in the State, with the objective of bringing in total transparency and accountability. "There will be no chance of hiding any information about the government projects. It would also go a long way in gaining the confidence of the citizens as they will be abreast of the works going on in their localities," he said. Ramdas, addressing the gathering, said that apart from the project’s multiple benefits, the only ones to be inconvenienced might be some contractors who do not complete works in time and unnecessarily delay projects. The information about the works would also include the targeted date of completion, he said, adding that information of all the ongoing works of the MCC for the financial year 2011-12 are uploaded on the website, which will be updated on a daily basis by the MCC staff, who have been imparted special training. Further training to all MCC staff will be given in modules. The tender process also will be carried out through website, for which networking is being done, he said. Under this new system, MCC officials can upload information to the site directly from work spot through their cellphones, along with pictures, Ramdas said. The website will also carry information about underground sewage drain problems and water pipelines repair, he said. When Star of Mysore reporter pointed out to the Minister that the website was in English and not Kannada, the language most conversant among elected reps, officials and citizens of the city, Ramdas conceded that it was a drawback and the lapse will be made good soon by incorporating a translated version also.
  24. A column by Osama Manzar in livemint.com on 27 June 2011: http://www.livemint.com/2011/06/26205310/The-IT-Act-of-India-needs-to-m.html?h=D The IT Act of India needs to make provision for constituency websites Such websites can serve as online gateways to these constituencies, allowing representatives to showcase the work they are doing and interact with their voters without meeting them physically Union information technology (IT) and communication minister Kapil Sibal invited more than 200 people a couple of weeks ago to discuss a revised IT Act the government is working on. Amid the general flow of ideas, I had the chance to put forth a point as well. India has about 250,000 electoral constituencies at the parliamentary, assembly and panchayat levels, I said, and more than three million elected representatives. Under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, they are all supposed to provide all kinds of constituency-related information to voters. Yet, hardly anyone has an official website. The minister replied: “It is more a matter of adoption of technology or media rather than that of policy. For example, I have my own website and others could also develop theirs and their constituency’s websites.” I googled the minister’s name; the website he said he has does not show up on the first few search pages. There is, however, an up-to-date Wikipedia page on him, which carries a link to his website kapilsibalmp.com. I clicked on the link and came up with an error message. I similarly searched for the two junior IT and communication ministers—Sachin Pilot and Gurudas Kamat. Pilot, too, has a Wikipedia page, while his personal website, sachinpilot.com, shows it is under maintenance. Googling Kamat gave me his personal website, gurudaskamat.com, as the first link, but the site is still in 2009 election mode—appealing people to vote for him. Several other elected representatives, particularly young parliamentarians, also have websites, but they almost invariably have the dot-com extension, which is typically meant for commercial activities. I wonder why elected representatives will use such an extension. It indicates the websites are just personal initiatives, not the official websites of the constituencies or the representatives. It also shows why it is important to have a policy that obliges elected representatives to put online all official information that can be of use to their constituency members. Such websites can serve as online gateways to these constituencies, allowing representatives to showcase the work they are doing and interact with their voters without meeting them physically. Several years ago, I had said the same thing to Pilot. He agreed, but told me the member of Parliament local area development (MPLAD) fund—given to every MP for development work in their constituencies—does not have provisions for such expenditure. I offered to do it through the Digital Empowerment Foundation if he could help us get all the information. Pilot invited me to accompany him to his constituency, to collect information and witness the ground realities, so they could be reflected in the website. We built the parliamentary constituency website as an example for others. IT has changed the world over the past two decades and helped India come on a par with the developed world in a number of ways. But for the country to reap the benefits of IT optimally, it is imperative for the government to adapt to the information revolution and for elected representatives to make information easily available to people online. Experience shows this will only happen through changes in policy.
  25. As reported by UNI in newkerala.com on 28 May 2011: http://www.newkerala.com/news/world/fullnews-218686.html PA Sangma for 'oath of transparency' Guwahati, May 28: Former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma today stressed that Ministers must take the 'oath of transparency' rather than 'oath of secrecy' to ensure unhindered flow of information to the public for a corruption-free regime. Pitching for a more transparent government mechanism, Mr Sangma said implementing legislations for controlling corruption was as important as enacting them. Speaking at a seminar on Right to Information (RTI) Act here, he said, "Our country is prolific in having laws, but not in implementing them." "Enactment of the RTI Act must not be the end of the movement (against corruption), but the beginning," he added. While the government must be active in checking corruption, the civil society must also be vigilant, the former Speaker said. Stressing for more transparency in government functioning, Mr Sangma said the Official Secrets Act must either be repealed or amended in such a manner that it does not stand as a shield for the government to hide corruption. He also advocated amendment of the Schedule 3 of the Constitution, under which ministers take the oath of secrecy while assuming office. "The ministers should rather take the oath of transparency," Mr Sangma added.
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