Sunday, December 27, 2009

Comprehensive Coverage of RTI Act



Dear Friends ,


One of the topics in Paper 1 of Public administration is accountability and control - in that sub topic is RTI Act .Supposed to be a revolutionary act but finding difficulty in getting implemented sincerely. The article below gives very comprehensive information about RTI and can act as single source of information. 


Regards
GMStudyCenter

(Source : http://secularcitizen.blogspot.com/search/label/Right%20to%20Information )



Right to Information viz. RTI is a part of fundamental rights under Article 19(1) of the Constitution, which says that every citizen has freedom of speech and expression. The people cannot express themselves unless they know what’s happening in the systems that govern them. Every citizen, being the tax payee has the authority as the masters in a democratic system to know how the government bodies and public authorities, meant to serve them, are functioning.


But it is quite unfortunate that the Government authorities are still hesitant to part with the information under their control. It is in this context that the  ‘Right to Information Act’ becomes very significant. Right to Information Act, 2005 is a public drafted legislation to set out a mechanism to avail information in the hands of Public authorities and Government Officials. It does not confer any new right, but simply lays down the procedures on how to apply for information under the control of public authorities, and how to avail it.


The preamble of Right to Information Act, 2005 says - “Democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed”. As sounded by its preamble, the Act envisages a corruption-free and transparent governance and polity. The Act covers not only the Executive, but the judiciary and the legislature also. It extends to the entire gamut of central, state and local government systems including those bodies owned, controlled or substantially financed by government and also those Non-government organizations substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by government. Information relating to any private body that can be accessed by a public authority also comes under the ambit of RTI Act, 2005. 


The RTI Act defines “Information” as any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advice, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, and data material held in any electronic form. It is interesting to learn that “Right to Information” also covers


Inspection of work, documents, records; taking notes, extracts, or certified copies of documents or records; and taking certified samples of material. It implies that any citizen can exercise his right to invigilate the transparency and accountability of governance or even insist that a particular civil work be performed in his presence. Any citizen can avail a copy of every bill settled from funds controlled by any of the public authorities and even the statement of accounts of every activity/project/event funded or organized by the Public Authority. Public authority is also obliged to provide reasons for its administrative or quasi-judicial decisions to affected persons, and publish all relevant facts while formulating important decisions affecting the public. Another interesting aspect of RTI Act is that there is “Penalty for forfeiture of information”.


Section 4(2) of the Act says that “it shall be the constant endeavor of every public authority to provide as much information suo moto to the public at regular intervals through various means of communication, including internet, so that the public shall have minimum resort to the use of this Act to obtain information”. So the dream is the change of mindset from maintenance of Official Information in Secret to Maximum Voluntary disclosure of information.


Having told the philosophy of Right to Information, it is imperative that the ways and means of availing the information shall be set. So the RTI Act directs that ‘ Every Public Authority shall designate as many Public Information Officers (PIO) in all the administrative units or Offices under it as may be necessary to provide information to persons requesting information”. PIO is also required to help any person making the request orally to reduce the same in writing. The Act further stipulates that “every public authority shall designate an Officer at each sub-divisional or other sub-district level as Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO) to receive the applications for information or appeals under this RTI Act for forwarding the same forthwith to the respective PIO or 1st Appellate Authority or Information Commission. The Burden of proving that PIO/APIO has acted reasonably and diligently in discharge of his functions or obligations under RTI Act will be on the respective PIO/APIO.


PIO may seek assistance of any other Officer as he or she considers it necessary for the proper discharge of his or her duties. Section 5(5) of RTI Act says that such Officer will be deemed as PIO for the purposes of providing the information requested. All the Burden including liability for Penalty on defiance of information will stand transferred to the Deemed PIO, if PIO transfers the request to such Officer with a note indicating the same


The Request for information has to be submitted to PIO or APIO in writing or through electronic means in English, Hindi or Official language of the area with a nominal Fee of Rs. 10/-. (There is no fee for persons Below Poverty Line). PIO can demand additional sum of Rs. 2 for each page created or copied for giving it as information to the requestor or Rs. 50/- per diskette/floppy if the same is given in electronic form. Incase if Inspection of work is requested no fee is chargeable for the first hour, but Rs. 5/- each for every subsequent hours.


The Act mandates that the PIO shall provide the requested information as expeditiously as possible, but in no way later than 30 days. However the public authorities can take 5 days more to part with the information sought, if such request is made through APIO. But in any case where the requested information involves the question of “life or liberty”, such information should be given within 48 hours.


Section 6(2) of RTI Act makes it clear that a person requesting information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details. However this freedom implies that the citizens shall show a greater sense of responsibility on the part of the use of information in the media and elsewhere. (Dissemination shall be in Public Interest.). In view of the national security, Intelligence and Security Organisations such as IB, RAW of Cabinet Secretariat, BSF, SPG, CISF, DRDO, Special Branch CID of Andaman & Nicobar, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Narcotics Control Bureau etc. have been exempted from stringent provisions of the RTI Act. But it is very interesting to note that the information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations are not exempt from disclosure even in the case of those organizations. That conveys the very intention of this Legislation.


Now comes the real question - What is the remedy if the requested information is denied? RTI Act establishes an Independent and Non-judicial appellate mechanism in which a body called “Information Commission” (Central Information Commission and State information Commissions) has been set as the apex body. Further Section 23 of the Act asserts that ‘No court shall entertain any suit, application or other proceedings in respect of any order made under this Act and no such order shall be called in question otherwise than by way of an appeal under this Act’. But this provision cannot be interpreted as a complete bar on jurisdiction of courts, since the options of Writ petitions and Special Leave petitions always subsists. Information Commission also would entertain the complaints from any one who is aggrieved on account of any matter relating to obtaining information under this law including the cases where the public authority refused to accept the RTI Request.


In order to give an opportunity for the ‘public authority’ to review its on decision as to the denial of Information requested from PIO, the Act requisitions that an Officer senior in rank to PIO be appointed as the First Appellate Authority, to whom the aggrieved citizen can appeal within thirty days of expiry of time limits within which he/she should have received the information requested. The First Appellate Authority (AA) shall ordinarily dispose of the appeal within thirty days or latest by the forty-fifth day with reasons for availing such prolonged period. An appeal to the respective Central or State Information Commission may be made within a period of 90 days from the date of decision of the Appellate Authority or from the date of expiry of time limit for the disposal of the first appeal made before the first Appellate Authority.


Information Commission may, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal, impose upon PIO, a fine of Rs. 250 per day, up to a maximum of Rs. 25,000/-, if he/she has without any reasonable ground: refused to accept an application for information; or delayed furnishing of information; or malafidely denied information; or knowingly given incomplete, incorrect, or misleading information; or destroyed information that has been requested; or obstructed furnishing of information in any manner. So the Act has teeth; it can not only bark but bite also. But of course the PIO will be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him.


The RTI Act extends its arm further to declare that if PIO persistently violates his obligations under RTI Act, Information Commission shall recommend for disciplinary action against such PIO under the service rules applicable to him.


Though the Right to Information Act moots complete transparency in the governmental system, it is also equally important that the strategic information pertaining to the State and any personal information devoid of larger public interest be exempted from disclosure. Accordingly Section 8 (1) of the RTI Act bars the disclosure of the following information.


a) Information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence;


b) Information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court;


c) Information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature;


d) Information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, (unless larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information); 


e) Information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, (unless the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information);


f) Information received in confidence from foreign Government;


g) Information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes;


h) Information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders;


i) Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers. (However, after the decision is taken and the matter is complete or over, the decision, the reasons thereof and the material leading to the decision shall be made public);


j) Information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless larger public interest demands its disclosure


Further, Section 9 of the Act insists that any information that infringes the copyright of any person other than the State should not be disclosed. While Section 8 and Section 9 prevents the disclosure of the kind of information mentioned above, the Act maintains vide


Section 10(1) that ‘access may be provided to that part of the record, which is not exempted from disclosure, and which can reasonably be severed from any part of that contains the ‘exempt information’


You would also be delighted to learn about an important decision of the Full Bench of Central Information Commission (Decision dated 23rd April 2007), which declared that there is “No fiduciary relationship” in respect of “Evaluated Answer Sheets”, while maintaining accepting that there existed “Fiduciary Relationship” between a) Lawyer and Client; b) Doctor and Patient; c) Bank and Customer; d) Trustee and Beneficiary; e) Organisation and Reporting Officer in respect of CR of an Employee etc. Therefore the Information Commission directed that the answer sheets should ordinarily be disclosed in all circumstances, but subject to the scrutiny under S. 8 (1) and Section 9 of RTI Act. The Commission stated further that the evaluated answer sheets could be disclosed withholding the name of the Examiner, in view of the fact that the disclosure of identity of the examiners might pose a danger to the life and safety of the Examiner. The decision also implies that marks given by each of the Interview board members are givable without revealing their identity.


So RTI Act, 2005 is the most pretty and powerful legislation that the democratic India gifted to its citizens. Its Supremacy is being reiterated in Section 22 of the Act, which states that ‘ The Provisions of RTI Act will be having the overriding effect on any contradicting provisions in Official Secret Act, 1923, and any other law for the time being in force or any other instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act”


Let me add a few sagas of successful RTI ventures as an anecdote here. The first story is from a north Indian village. Mazloom Nadaf, a 70-year old rickshaw puller had no scope for his long-awaited dream until he found light in RTI. The story reads as follows - Nadaf did not get any response for the first five years on his application on Indira Awas Yojana – India’s National housing Scheme. Five years later, authorities demanded Rs. 5000/- from him to process the application. But he refused to give the money and, instead approached the legal aid centre of an NGO working in Madhubani district and sought their assistance in drafting and filing an RTI application. In his RTI request, Mazloom asked for the daily progress report made on his application to avail of the Indira Awas Yojana. The application was filed with the Circle Officer for his block who forwarded the same to the Block Development Officer (BDO). The BDO on receiving the RTI application called Mazloom and treated him like a VIP and with a lot of respect handed over a Cheque of Rs. 15,000 (first installment payment) under the Indira Awas Yojana. He was also promised that he would get the subsequent installments in time.


Right to Information Act was also effectively used by residents of a village in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district to put an end to the practice of selling grains from ration shops in the black market. Mr. Revat Ram, Secretary, Jagruk Yuvak Manch of the areas was Instrumental in this achievement. Revat Ram and his friends used the RTI Act to get all records of their ration shop in Himmatsar village and exposed how grains meant for the poor were being black-marketed at a ration shop in Bikaner. After the move, the villagers got the dealer removed. Besides losing dealership, the ration shopkeeper was also forced to pay poor families in the village over Rupees Four Lakhs, the cash equivalent of the grains he had sold illegally.


“They threatened us and also offered money. But we refused, because we wanted to ensure that people in our village get the grains they deserve from the government. And we did not get scared in fighting for the rights of our people” – Says Mr. Revat


The message of RTI Act is very clear – Uproot corruption and make the governmental system totally transparent and accountable to the people. So Government Employee is no longer a Government Servant. He/She has to transform to a Public Servant in Letter and Spirit.


To End with, I wish to quote the father of our nation


- “The real Swaraj will come not by the acquisition of authority by a few but by the acquisition of capacity by all to resist authority when abused “




Is it that the Independent India needed 58 years to realize what Mahatmaji told?



Friday, December 25, 2009

Tackling Naxalism: Offer clean admn


Dear Friends ,

Any nation can and will always be prepared for external problems - but it is the internal problems which lets any country down. And in India Naxalism has been one of the administrative nightmares and it needs highest administrative calibre to handle the same. The following article discusses about Naxalism by adopting Gandhian approach.You may have your own views - but this is an add on.

Regards
GMStudyCenter

(Source :http://www.centralchronicle.com/viewnews.asp?articleID=22511)





                               (Click On The Image to Enlarge)

Wars, it is said, arise in the minds of men and so they should properly be fought there. The same can be said about Naxalism. It too arises in the minds of men and so it should properly be fought there. Instead, we are trying to fight it with brute force, inviting further retaliation. Let us for a moment think how Mahatma Gandhi would have fought it. He fought the might of a colonial empire not with force but the opposite of it. And, here we are fighting our own people with force and having much the worse of it. To say the least our approach is not Gandhian.


But there is a deeper reason favouring the Gandhian approach. Contrary to popular notion, Naxalism does not arise out of income disparities or differences in social status. We always had unequal distribution of wealth and a stratified division of the society but this kind of unrest was not seen. It is in fact amazing how much of life's so called injustice is accepted peacefully in India, blaming it on our fate or 'karma'. Instead of blaming others we blame ourselves. That should act as a great cushion for the society and the nation. However, what is not tolerated in India is perceived unfairness. That has always given rise to mass movements, be it the events of 1857 or any other regional revolt. People are willing to put up with a lot if they think that the system is fair. That it works. That it treats them equally. If that confidence is shaken unrest manifests itself. Perhaps this is what is causing Naxalism.


Even in the times of the erstwhile ruling States, income disparities as well as social differences were as rife, if not more, but the people, by and large, identified with the rulers and trusted him. 'Kou nripa hoya, hamai ka hani' (Whoever be the ruler, what difference does it make to us?) That was not a statement of indifference to state but a statement of confidence in the system. Whoever rules, rules fairly. Why bother?


Why is that identification missing? Today, the public mind is agitated by doubts about fairness of rule. Let us take a hard look at our public life. How much confidence does it inspire? What is our administrative profile? Illegal accumulation of wealth on all sides. Very poor record of punishing those apprehended. Arbitrary use of police and administrative powers to promote selfish interests and to shield the guilty. Equally arbitrary use of the taxpayer's money for personal convenience of the ruling class.


Indian Airlines awards life-time of free air travel facility to its CMD. A Cabinet Secretary becomes Governor of a state post-retirement before finally being shown the door for foisting personal hospitality expenses on an industrial house. Were there no takers for the jobs or our vigilance mechanism works selectively?


A general impression has been created that cleverness pays and anything can be sorted out if you throw enough money at it. Criminals dominate. All sorts of scams in the works, be it the Bihar fodder case, the Telgi stamp paper theft case (look at its sweep) the Ghaziabad Provident Fund defalcation case or numerous Public Service Commission recruitment scandals. Is that not material enough for creating a lack of confidence in the system?


Add to that thoughtless expropriation of people's traditional rights over common resources, enjoyed by them for centuries and often recognised even in Mughal sanads and British grants. Appropriation of forests by government's Forest Department is a running complaint.


Our disastrous experiments with afforestation with the help of eucalyptus every where and with exotic tropical pine in the saal intensive Bastar region tell their own sad tale of indifference to the lot of the forest dweller. He got nothing from these plantations by way of seeds, fruits or leaves towards his sustenance. Eucalyptus soaked up the surrounding moisture and tropical pine proved a dwarf beside the stalwart saal.


Used to deriving their water supply from traditional sources like ponds and rivers, forest people find them polluted due to atrocious mining and manufacturing activities. The waters of Shankhini and Dankini rivers joining together below the highly revered Danteshwari temple in Bastar area's Dantewara district have been unusable ever since the start of the iron ore mining operations. Nobody has a care. All our attention is taken up with fighting Naxalism mindlessly.


At the other extreme, government regularization of encroached forest lands has given rise to new vested interests like earlier commercialisation of timber interests. We are thus creating a situation where we either do not give anything or give it away for private use. Both ways, the common interest is not served and the dependent community is dislodged. The man looking for basic subsistence is uprooted. Where does he go? Therefore if land is at all to be given away to encroachers in forest lands, it may have to be outside forest areas, otherwise we are establishing a self-defeating wrong trend.


Subsequently trouble makers, criminals and commercial interests have jumped into the fray and taken short-term advantage of a bad situation. They find it a fertile ground. Over the years they have learnt to encash and exploit their nuisance value. They are even levying protection money and overrunning police stations. Look at Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. Their nuisance value is acquiring an independent life as another vested interest. For the administration on the ground level matters are getting so mixed up that it is hard to distinguish genuine unrest from a created one. How do we tackle this situation?


To my mind, we have to begin at the beginning. As the seed of Naxalism takes root in the minds of men, so the battle against it should also primarily be fought and won in the hearts and minds of men. The task is of managing and assisting a society in transition in a fast commercializing world. We have a society faced with abrupt and sudden transformation and a crisis of confidence. That is why our Prime Minister does not see them basically as terrorists. Isn't our own right conduct and understanding behaviour then the correct response?


Our administrative image has to change. We need the image of a more upright, considerate, even-handed and people-friendly administration. Only then will we have taken the first steps towards resolving the problem. Once the fertile ground of discontent ceases to exist other improvements will follow. Neither brute force nor appeasement is an answer. Other suggested remedies of political dialogue and economic development merely skirt the key issue.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Decision on Civil Services Bill 2009 still pending



Dear Friends,
This is news bit - a public administration student need to be aware of. Can be used as supporting fact in answers.
Regards
GMStudyCenter


New Delhi: The Civil Services Bill, 2009, which envisages an enforceable code of conduct for all bureaucrats through a new Central Public Services Authority, is still to see the light of the day.A final decision to introduce the Bill has not yet been taken, while the Bill was drafted and was proposed to be passed immediately after the Budget session of the Lok Sabha.In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today, Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Prithviraj Chavan said that a decision on the Bill is still awaited.


The Civil Services Bill, 2009, envisages to provide a statutory basis for the regulation of the Civil Services in India and to regulate the appointment and conditions of the service of Civil Servants.


"It seeks to lay down the fundamental values of Civil Services, the Civil Services Code of Ethics, Civil Service Management Code, to establish a Civil Services Authority for facilitating review and to develop Civil Services as a professional, neutral, merit based and accountable instrument for promoting good governance and better delivery of services to citizens", Chavan said in his reply.


Once passed, the Bill will initially be applicable to the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service.Later, all other services for which the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) holds recruitment examinations, including the Indian Foreign Service, will come under its purview.

Creation of Small States - A Discussion


Dear Friends ,

The discussion of the hour is whether India needs smaller states or not. As you know its not easy take any sides but being students of public administration we should be able view the scenario from the administration perspective. The founding fathers of our constitution wated to have a unified India but with keeping of local aspiration and their needs satisfied according the taste of the people.However administratively speaking an administrator will have good control if 'the thing which is to be administered' is small.The following article favours the small state. So whatever the stand you are taking - it is very important to put your thoughts logically,critically and with supporting facts. The tone of the article is 'debating' but ideally when you write your answer in mains - this tone should be changed.I Have highlighted some important aspects please make a note of the same.

Regards
GMStudyCenter


Small states means Better Administration – Better Government – Participation of common man in the administration .Creation of small state is one of the answers to Reduce corruption or At least corruption amount. 

Why we should support the creation of small states?

In India, when congress declared that a new state Telangana will be created from AP.Everyone in India started to discuss about the creation of small state, is creation of small state is good for India or is creation of small state is bad for India? Many Indians opposed this creation of small states in India by giving many reasons.Following are the few reasons why people oppose the creation of small states.


• Creation of small state will divide India
• Creation of small state will take the India to pre British era
• Danger from China, china wants to divide India.
• Small states in India are not making progress , Chattisgarh and Jharkhand
• Small states Depend on Central Government
• What is the guarantee that small states will make the progress?
• Politicians want to become the chief Minister or for the political power.
• Hatred Among state will increase
• Election vote should be counted who is defeated

Let’s understand and know why small states are good for India?

Before Arrival of British people in India, there was no India.There were small kingdoms and big kingdoms.Today when we say India, there is feeling, My India, in olden times there was no such feeling, all those feelings were for there king or god. I will fight for my king, my God.Today our army when fights it fights for the India, not for any individuals.

During the British rule the thought of India was borned .We got the feeling of oneness among us, one India.In olden times, before the arrival of British, for the people of small states for whom there king, there caste and religion was more important, everyone always obeyed the family of king.


Remember the battle of Plessey, Robert Clive with the help of just 300 white soldiers won the battle by giving bribe. And he won the battle by defeating more than 50000 Indian soldiers. They surrendered because there army head said that I surrender, today if in India one head says that he will surrender to small enemy , drop your weapons ,do you think Indian forces will drop the guns or they will arrest that head and will fight for the nation.


In that times when outsiders came fought with the small states, that time neighboring states did not help that state, when Arab people looted the small kingdoms and become the rulers of that state. Other kings kept enjoying there life and kingdom, they did not thought about the safety of neighbor state.


Today if Pakistan attacks on Kargil, we hear the voice from every corner of India that destroy enemy.After 26/11 we heard voices from every corner of India to Punish Kasab,this never happend in old asian small kingdoms.


So now I think you got the point that today when we create the small state, the feeling of one India, oneness will not go. Mere creation of small state will not destroy the feeling of one ness , the feeling of Indian on the contrary it will increase this feeling and love towards India and will reduce the feeling of love towards there language or state. For small states love for India will grow.


And also small state will be created from the big state so there will be 2 states or more states which will speak same language. In this way we will solve the problem of language also.


On the contrary in the future when states will become rich, there are chances these big states will make there police force very strong and will demand the independence from India.When we divided India on basis of language we made mistake, and today you may not agree with me, but when States will make progress and will make money and other states will not make money, these states will demand the independence and because of finance and big nature of state, they will do this very easily by purchasing arms from china.


So remember big states will divide the India in future not the small states. A small state is the only one solution which can keep us integrated as India.


As India is divided on the basis of language, the power of states are increasing as they are becoming and because of big nature of state , and under one big roof all one speaking people are staying , the hatred is rising as few states are making progress and others come to this state, this gives rise to hatred. This is not gift of small state. And we do not see language problem in small states, if media will stop giving importance to this problem automatically this language problem will go to dustbin, anyways after 25 or 30 years I am sure they will not find language problem takers... Today power of knowledge is with Indian youth and no one can make them fool for a long time.

Few Facts about our Indian states –


1. Uttar Pradesh with population of more than 167 million is bigger than Germany + France or Russia ,Pakistan
2. China, America, Brazil and Indonesia are the only few nations who are bigger than Uttar Pradesh.
3. TamilNadu (62.2 million) is bigger than Britain and Italy,
4. Andhra Pradesh (76.4 million) is little bigger than Germany and Vietnam
5. Bihar is bigger than Mexico
6. Maharashtra with 92.1 million is bigger state than Germany. Maharashtra has ten million more than Germany.
7. Bengal is bigger than the Philippines

(Comments from GMStudyCenter - Here you need to carefully verify the facts - its stating only the population but neither any geographycal advantage nor the size of the land.In the following paragraphs too there is always counter argument for every point but the author is taking what he wants to prove his point)


If the big states means progress then why India has not made progress like America, Germany, France or Hong Kong or England.America, Hong Kong both were ruled by England just like India.Do small states suffer? Not if one views Punjab , Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.This shows that there is no guarantee that big state will make progress or small state will make progress.Remember it does not matter state is small or state is big, most important thing is who is our law maker and how honest he is with his job and nation.If law maker, politician is not good then small or big it does not matter, he will do the corruption and he will take the wrong decisions. When law maker, politician is corrupt no one can save the nation.But when law maker is good he can take the small state to such heights that the small nation can rule the world.


Our democracy works like this - one head of the state, then other elected members, run the state with the help of IAS officers and bureaucrats.When the state is big, those officers and elected politicians, law makers are not able to watch carefully every project and how the money is utilized by everyone in every project.Today budget of Government is becoming so big that common people find it difficult to understand, and even studied accountants find it very difficult to understand and find out the mistakes.If common man does not understand how the fraud and cheating is made by the politician or law maker then how he will fight with them. When states are big, it becomes very easy for the law maker and politician to make frauds.


When state is small, if any government employee or law maker or politician will do the fraud, immediately it will show the effect on the other projects as it will become very difficult for that chief minister to bring new funds or hide his black deeds.Just take the example of classroom of 100 students and classroom of 25 students, so in this case which classroom will be easy to manage and give the results.


Today as our states are big, many times villagers from remote places even find it difficult to reach the place of district court, forget about the High court of state.When small state will be created it will give easy access to high court.Small state means small government, small budget, and small departments, very less chance to show fingers on each other by saying that, that department is not doing the work so file is pending.Small states will create competition among each other; this competition will be with the same mother tongue speaking language population.


Because of big nature of states today indirectly the law maker, politician has become the king of that particular area.Because of this honest people will rarely get chance to rule the state or to get elected.Small states will not give chance to politician or law maker to hide his failure or fool the people by saying that this time we have given funds to west or north, as small state means the population will know in real what is happening in every part of his state.


Big states does not benefit towards saving money ,but the nature of big states help to waste the money as well as it gives unlimited scope to do corruption which benefits to the law maker or politician.In small state if any politician will amass wealth, the people of that state can easily notice that and will know how he is earning and making the money, this will help to expose the wrong contracts and his hidden property.


Even Indian constitution has article 3 which favors and talks about the creation of new state. It states that -Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.


If party who support the creation of small state does not win the election this does not mean that the people of that district do not want separate state. The election is held to choose leader ,MP or MLA and they do not vote for the creation of state. Even if when there is not 100% voting how can it become the will of that district ?


Our constitution of India does not have this provision, to get the peoples vote to decide regarding the creation of small state . The ball is ,power is with the parliament.Again I will come to the point that Small states will divide India, one of the best parts of our Constitution is that the duties between state and central government are divided.


Central government is in charge of our army, naval and air force.
The heads of these forces do not report to the chief minister, further more brilliant clause, is that our forces do not have common one head of all the forces.This means we got 3 heads, Army head, Naval Head and Air Force Head, and all these 3 heads report to the Prime Minister and President. We do not have one head of all these 3 forces, if there is one head then he will become so powerful that he can with the help of few states can form the new nation, but as we do not have one head, army forces will not obey the head of the naval force, each one has there own ranking.


So when you say that small states will divide India, think again now?


When there is no money, no big budget, no big police force, and no big coastal guards how can small state will become Independent and will think about waging war against India.Remember big states are good for political parties and corrupt leaders or uneducated leaders.


Big states are good for the government servants.Our complete Indian working system has become rotten and dirty and these corrupt people have become so rich and powerful that honest common man will not be able to fight with them and win We will need another civil war to repair this corrupt system or to repair this corrupt Indian system we need creation of small states which will help us to break this nexus, friendship of government servants and businessmen and politicians and political parties.


Today in India we got different political parties, but do we see any difference between there political vision.Every party has only one vision, win the election, get the chair and make money.Regarding our political situation in India I am not dreamer, No politician will make changes in this system, a system which makes them as well as there future generations the king of India.


To change this we need civil war in India or reforms like creation of small states which will give chance to common Indian know and understand how the chief minister and his office is working. Small state will give chance to participate in the administration of government, we can monitor them.


With small states there are unlimited benefits and with big states benefits are less and finally everything depends on Good law maker.When small state will get corrupt law maker or politician we can have satisfaction that the corruption amount is not big which will be also in millions.

Let’s hope that in future States Reorganization Commission (SRC) will not give more importance to language when dividing or creating new states. States should be created only after consultation with scientists, engineers and taking consideration of geographic area and advantages.

Monday, December 14, 2009

RTI amendment only after due consultations



Dear Friends,


The following Article is a news update related to public administration. The topic covered is RTI which makes the part of Public Administration Syllabus. Consulting Civic Society Organisations is definitely a good step. But RTI is not implemented effectively across India.There are only handful of states where RTI is effective. There was never a dearth of law making but the implementation of those laws was mostly ineffective.


Regards
GMStudyCenter


NEW DELHI: The government assured Rajya Sabha on Thursday that any decision on amending Right to Information (RTI) Act will be taken only after Consulting expert and civil society organisations. During Question Hour, minister of state for personnel Prithviraj Chavan said there was a proposal to strengthen RTI by suitably amending the law to provide for disclosure by government in all non-strategic areas.


The minister said the government was looking into the proposal as suggested by the second Administrative Reforms Commission to put a check on vexatious and frivolous applications, but there would be enough safeguards to ensure information was not denied on these grounds by public authorities.


"The government is also examining a proposal for incorporation of provisions in the RTI Act regarding constitution of benches of the information commission and rejection of vexatious and frivolous applications," Chavan said.


The amendment would be done with a view to expanding the scope of RTI and withdrawing exemptions given to some agencies.It would, however, not be carried out before consultations with NGOs, civil society organisations, experts and information commissioners, he said.If strengthening of RTI can be carried out without amending the law, it would be done, he said.


Asked whether the Chief Justice of India had approached the government, the minister said there were apprehensions in the Supreme Court whether RTI law would hamper its work. "We will examine this issue very carefully," he added.

Make babus accountable



Dear Friends,


I am giving you one more article on Accountability. But the question is - is it sufficient if only babu's are accoutable ? what about politicians?. I have highlighted the important stuff. Please make it part of your notes


Regards
GMStudyCenter


(Source : Internet)


The current system of endless procedural delay in deciding whether a Government employee has violated rules or indulged in corrupt practices ensures that the guilty are never punished. Often honest employees are needlessly harassed. We need a new system


If anything infuriates citizens, it is the absence of accountability among Government employees. Confronted with examples of this almost everyday, it is assumed that corruption within the system allows wrong-doers to get away. The real reason is because the disciplinary rules that govern the conduct of Government servants require impossibly long and cumbersome procedures to be observed, in the name of natural justice, leaving loopholes galore. The result: Not even a fraction of those that deserve punishments ever get penalised; instead a number of honest officers get stigmatised by remaining under investigation for years together. A simple, sensible and fair system of dealing with misconduct is badly needed.


The second Administrative Reforms Commission lamented that “dilatory disciplinary proceedings make a mockery of any attempt to instill discipline and accountability”. But the Commission instead of suggesting a workable alternative capable of immediate adoption grandiloquently recommended the repeal of Article 311 of the Constitution; also adding a new legislation under Article 309 to its wish-list.


First the history: Sardar Patel independent India’s first Home Minister favoured giving civil servants protection to enable them to be frank and impartial. So Article 311(which embargoes the dismissal, removal or reduction in rank of a Government employee without enquiry) came into being and has remained in the Constitution ever since. The ARC felt that the protection given by the offending Article had bred a false sense of security and given excessive protection to Government servants. Hence the recommendation that Article 311 be repealed — a step which was not attempted even during Emergency when the Article was amended to provide for specific situations when an enquiry could be dispensed with.


The recommendation to repeal Article 311 is just hot air. First there is the implausibility of Opposition parties ever unifying to pass a constitutional amendment and that when it is clearly anti-sarkari mulaazim. Second, the amendment process would require the co-operation of State Governments in respect of the All-India services which will never come. Third, the possibility that the repeal of Article 311 might be seen as an attempt to alter the basic structure of the Constitution (shades of Keshavanand Bharti) cannot be ruled out. Besides it is no one’s case that an enquiry should not be held at all. That would be untenable in a democracy and would straightaway militate against the principles of natural justice.


Instead, the ARC should have suggested urgent modification in the existing disciplinary rules. These rules notified in 1965 draw their authority from Article 309 of the Constitution and not Article 311. It is there that change is needed. If there is one thing that terrifies Government employees it is the fear of getting caught in the web of a vigilance enquiry — a predicament which by itself is worse than being penalised. It suspends the official’s chances of getting promoted or posted in a position of significance for years together — decades in several cases. The situation has a catastrophic effect on the social standing of the officer, distresses his family, and worst of all, it deters him and numerous others from displaying any initiative — ‘better safe than sorry’ as the saying goes.


But the more dangerous fallout of the vigilance enquiry phobia is the proliferation of the committee culture. Files and decisions move higher and higher up the hierarchy and in the process the purchase of essential equipment critically needed for defence, infrastructure needs, and health gets deferred, often causing irretrievable harm to our preparedness on vital fronts.


An overhaul of the CCS CCA Rules 1965 is, therefore, urgently required. Since the Rules draw their strength from Article 309 of the Constitution and not Article 311, the modifications can be effected straightaway through an executive order; as neither Parliament nor State Governments can or will impede the process.


All enquiries should start with the issue of a written chargesheet, and proceed to the consideration of the charged officer’s response before an interview board, (this is the system in the UK and has been mentioned by ARC also.) The present judicial kind of enquiry should only be preferred if at the end of the meeting the interview panel feels that the facts and officer’s defence points to something serious, which could result in dismissal, removal from service or reduction in rank.


For all other cases, the finding of the panel on the culpability of the officer or his exoneration as also the quantum of punishment to be meted out should be final — allowing one appeal where the appellate authority would have powers to mitigate, but also to enhance the punishment, if warranted.


By bringing in a new set of disciplinary rules under Article 309, the Government can change the way its officers perform. It would boost the morale of honest officers and restore lost initiative. Prompt punishment if given to a few will immediately instill a fear of wrong-doing and a respect for discipline-attributes which have become anachronisms in our feudal systems. When the upright can be dangled as criminals while culpable courtiers can get rewarded, where is the encouragement to demonstrate probity in public life?