Friday, March 31, 2006

Ministries asked to digitalise their records

Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah on Thursday said he had asked various Ministries to put all types of information about their departments in their respective website with the aim to make it easier for citizens to find out routine information.


Complete Article

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Fastest response in RTI

Munish Kumar,-PIO of the Central Information Commission,- should get an award
for the fastest response to a RTI application! I sent my requisition by email at 4.38pm and he replies at 5.00pm! The reply is not merely an acknowledgement, but gives some information, and promises to send the balance soon. PIO replies in 22 minutes! I wish others would take inspiration.

-Shailesh Gandhi

Stealing Money meant for Children

The Madhya Pradesh State Government runs the Indus Child Labor Project funded by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The main aim of this project is to provide primary education to erstwhile child labourers. It also provides for their professional skill development. This three-year project is being implemented in five districts namely, Katni, Jabalpur, Mandla, Satna and Sagar since January 2004.

Rumours about corruption in the implementation of Indus Project have existed since its inception. But citizens had no means of proving the same as they did not have access to any documentation before the central RTI Act came into force.

Complete Article

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Journalists and Academicians take interest in RTI

The Right To Information Act, 2005, needs to be utilised effectively by the citizens and media should take an extra initiative to generate awareness among the masses on this subject. This was concluded by the country's reputed academicians and journalists after a marathon debate in a two-day national seminar organised at the University of Calcutta by the department of journalism and mass communication.

While academicians pondered over and discussed the role of media in the present world, emphasis was given on the importance of the Right To Information Act, 2005.

Complete Article

State brings schools under info law

Parents, rejoice. All private schools have been brought under the
Right to Information Act 2005. The school education department has issued a directive to all private aided and unaided schools to provide information on any queries about fees, admissions, infrastructure, or syllabus. Earlier, the department was responsible for answering queries regarding schools.

Complete Article

Andhra Pradesh: Steps to ensure RTI enforcement by judiciary

State Information Commissioner Ambati Subba Rao on Tuesday said steps would be taken to implement the Right to Information Act in judiciary. He discussed the implementation of RIA with Metropolitan Sessions Judge B Sivasankar.

The Information Commissioner said the commission had discussed the issue with the High Court Chief Justice, who gave his nod to provide information on all except the pending cases, which were under hearing. He said court administrative officials would act as information officers in the districts.

Complete Article

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Patna HC Reprimands Govt For Not Implementing Information Act

Patna High Court today reprimanded the Bihar government for not implementing the Right to Information Act in the state. A division bench comprising Chief Jusice J N Bhatt and Justice S N Hussain expressed anguish over the tardy progress in implementing the act thus depriving people of the state from getting vital information.

During hearing of a public interest petition in this connection, the court ordered the Bihar government to complete all the formalities for implementation of the Right to Information Act and apprise the court within three weeks.

Complete Article

Monday, March 27, 2006

Venkatratnam takes over as Goa's Chief Info Comm

A Venkatratnam, former IAS officer, today took over as the first State Chief Information Commissioner to oversee the implementation of the Right to Information Act.

Surudas G Kambli, a retired civil service officer, took over as the State Information Commissioner.

Complete Article

UP gets Info Commissioner

Retired Allahabad High Court Judge Mohd Asgar Khan was today appointed Chief Information Commissioner under the Right To Information (RTI) Act in Uttar Pradesh.
State Governor T V Rajeswar administered him the oath at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhawan this evening. Justice Khan recently retired as Allahabad High Court judge.

Complete Article

First Satyendra Dubey memorial award to RTI crusader

Arjun Kejriwal became the first recipient of the Satyendra Kumar Dubey Memorial award, given away by Indian Institute of Technology- Kanpur, the alma mater of Satyendra K Dubey.

Kenjriwal, an IIT-Kharagpur alumus, was given the award for his fight against corruption through his non-governmental orgainsation- Parivartan. Addressing the students at IIT-K, Kejriwal said the Right to Information (RTI) was the strongest weapon available with the people and that using this right, the youth of the country could eliminate corruption in the government departments.

Complete Article

Confession under RTI !

Why was auditor transferred? Official reply: Under political pressure.

In response to a Right to Information query on why a special auditor from Nashik was transferred before he completed his term, the Cooperative, Marketing and Textile Department has stated that the decision was taken ‘‘under political pressure’’.

Going one step further, the detailed reply says that the transfer of special auditor A.M.More, probing charges of corruption in the functioning of the Nashik District Cooperative Central (NDCC) Bank, was done on the insistence of Nashik MP and bank’s director Devidas Pingle, who is from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Complete Article

3rd Monthly Meeting of RTI Citizen forum

MAHITI ADHIKAR MANCH
(Citywide group for Right to Information of F-South Ward Citizens Forum)
3rd Meeting will be held on Friday 31st March 2006 at 6.00 PM at:

St. JOSEPH HIGH SCHOOL
JUNCTION OF DAVID BARRETTO ROAD AND NATHALAL PAREKH MARG,
WADALA (WEST) ,MUMBAI 400 031
nearest station Wadala Road(Harbour Lane)

Agenda:

1. Read and approve the minutes of last meeting.
2. Submission of documented RTI Applications.
3. Any other matter brought before the meeting with the permission of the Chair.


Mr. Pramod Patil of "JANIV HAKKACHI" will speak on his experiences and positive results in system by usage of RTI Act

PLEASE COME IN TIME SO AS TO CONCLUDE THE MEETING BY 7.30 PM

Bhaskar Prabhu
For and On Behalf of Mahiti Adhikar Manch

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The hunter and the paper trail

As Mumbai realises the potential of the right to information act, Nainesh Dolas teaches the city how to wield its formidable weight. The 35-year-old human resource executive has an appetite for extracting public information from bureaucrats who would rather not allow those files to open. So they put up stiff resistance each time a citizen asks for something from the records. But now, using the landmark Right to Information (RTI) Act, activists and Mumbaiites across the spectrum are demanding to see the papers.

Complete Article

Assistant PIOs in Department of Posts

Since a number of public authorities do not have offices located at each sub-divisional level or sub-district level, the Department of Posts will provide the services of their Central Assistant Public Information Officers (CAPIOs) to function in that capacity for all public authorities under the Central Government. The CAPIOs will receive RTI applications for various Central Government departments and ministries and will be responsible for forwarding the application to corresponding PIO.

List of Post Office APIO

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Paying by money order, insist on inclusion of message

Dear All,

I sent through Money Order the additional charges for Information. Some of them have accepted and some are returned as refused. Reason at first I was not knowing. In some places they said we did not receive,in some they refused, in some places they said postman didn't come etc.

Then I came to know postal department does not PASS THE MESSAGE SECTION when they pass the M.Order through the VSAT system. I complained to the postmaster who says this cannot the case has told me to give written complaint. On the contrary the Money order counter person told me that they do not pass the message as this is additional work and may be they know less typing. As they do not pass the message which is MANDATORY the money orders are returned or refused since the reason for sending money order is not known to the receiver.

So please any body using the money order as the system of payment make sure the message is passed that you have written on space for SHORT MESSAGE IF THEY DONOT PASS INSIST ON THIS. And complain to Post Master or higher authority.

Bhaskar Prabhu
Mahiti Adhikar Manch

Paisa Vasool: You Can Count On It

In a private house in Dehradun, six people are excitedly discussing the implications of the new Right to Information Act. "It can change the face of this town. It’ll allow us to solve a number of infrastructure-related problems that we complain about," says a retired school principal, who’s organising a seminar to educate the locals about the intricacies of the act.

Complete Article

Friday, March 24, 2006

Study modules being prepared for RSS and BJP members nationwide

It’s the UPA’s showpiece legislation but it’s the Sangh Parivar that’s waking up fast to the potential power of the Right to Information Act as a tool to promote transparency and accountability and expose corruption. The Parivar is training Sangh-affiliated lawyers and preparing study modules to coach RSS and BJP footsoldiers nationwide to learn how to use the RTI.

Complete Article

Sitapur shows Right path to Information

The Right to Information (RTI) Act might still be a distant dream in Lucknow, but barely 80 km from the state capital, it’s helping several persons — from both urban and rural areas — register their complaints and get justice through the Lokvani, an e-governance initiative of the Sitapur district administration and the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

Complete Article

Thursday, March 23, 2006

NGOs pick holes in Shillong project

The Meghalaya government was caught on the wrong foot by a group of NGOs which, by ferreting out statistics under the Right to Information Act, accused it of “using fraudulent means” to execute a beautification project here.

The findings, tabled today by the non-government organisations at the state central library seminar hall, charged the D.D. Lapang-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government with misusing public money while executing the Police Bazar kyndailad (rotunda) beautification project.

Complete Article

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Information Act not properly implemented

With almost five months having lapsed since the launch of the National Right to Information Act in Tamil Nadu, a study has found "large-scale irregularities, inadequacies and confusion" in implementing the Act in the state.

An ongoing study by the Chennai-based citizen consumer and civic action group has found that procedural uncertainties, lack of operational knowledge among Public Information Officers (PIO) and inadequate infrastructure has caused unnecessary delays and frustration amongst citizen consumers seeking information, a CAG release said today.

Complete Article

Friday, March 17, 2006

RTI a powerful tool in the hands of citizens

Dear All,

I filed an RTI application on 27.02.2006 through email to Chennai passport Office for seeking information regarding delay in issuing passport to the applicants. To-day(13.03.2006) I received the mail from the effected person, stating that the pass port has been delivered. This passport application was pending for more than 100 days at passport office. From this we can make out that RTI is a powerful tool in the hands of citizens.

I am waiting for the official reply for my application from the passport office chennai.

with regards,
Anil Kumar
Bangalore

Cooperatives covered by RTI in Maharashtra

Apart from government and semi-government organisations, the Right to Information Act applies to bodies ''body owned, controlled or substantially financed'' and '' non-Government organisations substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government;"

That is why, the University Grants Commission has issued a circular asking universities funded by the Commission and all aided educational institutions
to designate a public information officer under the Act to process requisitions and disseminate information.

Complete Article

Who's my PIO? That's not your worry

The Department of Personnel and Training of the Government of India (DoPT) — the nodal agency for the implementation of the Right To Information Act, 2005 (RTI) — has put the onus on the relevant department for ensuring that the RTI applications filed by citizens reach the appropriate public information officer. It will no more be the headache of citizens to find out who is the relevant PIO in government departments which have appointed several of them, Though,. it is advisable to file your application with the right PIO, if you are aware of who it is.

Complete Article

PMC study tours are all about play and no work

What does the Pune Municipal Corporation do when it's time to plant trees in one of its gardens? Why, send members of the tree authority on junkets all across the country to "study" gardens.

So, between 2000 and 2005, members of the tree authority - whose duty is to protect and preserve all trees within its jurisdiction, carry out a census of existing trees ever five years and develop and maintain nurseries and organise fruit and flower shows — along with a few officials, gardeners and peons of the PMC's garden department ended up spending Rs 30 lakh on "study tours". What's more, there is no evidence of any official correspondence by way of reports or recommendations from these officials.

Complete Article

Army creates RTI link on website

Getting the Army to respond to your questions just became easier, with the Army creating a link on its official website(www.indianarmy.nic.in) to address queries under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

As long as your curiosity does not breach the clauses of Section 8 of the Act, which debars petitioners from raising issues prejudicial to the security and integrity of the country, or causes unwarranted invasion of someone's privacy serving no public interest, the Army will gladly bare it all before you.

Complete Article

RTI can't get BJP 'Q' defreeze notes

The BJP has slammed the UPA government's implementation of the Right to Information Act, calling it an ineffective tool after an attempt by the party to obtain information regarding the defreezing of Quattrocchi accounts under the RTI Act was turned down by the CBI.

Complete Article

Indians find information too costly

When Rakesh Shukla, a poor farmer from the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, asked local authorities for information on paddy field purchases in his area, he was handed a bill for 182,000 rupees ($4,100).

Authorities told him that the bulk of the expenses - 108,000 rupees ($2,400) - had been spent photocopying over 90,000 copies of official papers relating to the purchases. The documents filled an entire room. Mr Shukla, who earns less than $1 a day, was shocked - he was, after all, using a landmark new freedom of information law which gives Indians the right to access information held by the government.

Complete Article

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Home Department of Punjab Civil Secretariat: RTI, huh??!!?

It has been more than four months since the Right to Information Act, 2005, came into effect, but the Home Department of Punjab Civil Secretariat is conveniently sleeping over it. To top it, the Additional Secretary, Home Department, Gurpal Singh Bhatti is blissfully unaware of the Act and its details.

This fact was brought to light when two advocates, Bhanu Partap Singh Rana and Nandan Jindal visited the Home Department to seek some information and asked for the form needed for the query.

Complete Article

PMC: Volunteers to help citizens with RTI

Acting as a facilitator between the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the citizens and in order to help and guide people about ‘Right To Information’ Act, a three-day mobile squad will be set up in the main building. The squad is being set by policeman-turned-RTI activist S M Mushrif and other civic activists.

The idea behind setting up the squad, Mushrif said, was to encourage people to use the RTI Act. ‘‘Many people register complaints with the civic administration, but they are not lodged under the RTI Act. If it is done so, then people will get immediate results,’’ he said.

Complete Article

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Central Info Commission's direction to Department of Personnel

In a letter from P. K. Gera, Jt Sect and Registar to Pratyush Sinha, Sect, Dept of Personell, PG and Pensions, the CIC has directed the latter amongst other things to:

- Take steps to enable people to file their applications by Post. To publicise through print and electronic media the name of the bank account into which Demand Draft or Banker's Cheque could be accepted.

- Issue clarification stating that where there are several PIOs in one office, the application can be received by any one PIO whose duty it would be to direct it to the PIO concerned under intimation to the applicant.

- In case a person writes directly to the Head of Department/Offices enclosing the required fee, it should be ensured that the application reaches the proper PIO under intimation to the applicant.

- Ensure that applications for information are received even on plain paper and replied within the prescribed time limit

- Issue necessary orders to all officials in the Ministries/Deptartments/Public Authorities to comply with the directives of the Act and not to ask unnecessary questions regarding the application from the complaintants/applicants.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Rana sworn in Himachal Chief Information Commissioner

Retired IAS officer P S Rana was today sworn in as the Chief Information Commissioner of Himachal Pradesh. Governor V S Kokje administered the oath of office to Rana, a retired Himachal cadre IAS officer of 1970 batch at a simple ceremony in Raj Bhavan.

Complete Article

R.B. Gupta Jharkhand's first Chief Information Commissioner

Law secretary and legal adviser to the Jharkhand government R.B. Gupta is set to become the state’s first chief information commissioner.Sources said Gupta, an IAS officer, is resigning from his present post to take up his new assignment.

The names of Prafulla Mahanta, principal of Patamada College, Jamshedpur, Shristidhar Mahto of Seraikela, Harish Chandra Patar Munda and Gangotri Kujur have been recommended by the panel for appointment as state information commissioners.

Complete Article

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