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Dear Concerned Citizen,

This is your chance to tell the administration of NITW to implement RTI act in its true spirit. Help improve the administration of institutes like NIT.Click to sign the petition.Sign the petition

Asthra was formed by a few like minded students and alumni of National Institute of   Technology(NIT), Warangal,Andhra Pradesh. With an aim to bring in more  transparency and accountability in the education system. Since then, we have been trying our best to make sure that the landmark Right to Information (RTI) Act is implemented in letter and spirit in NITW. While we have been partly successful in making them disclose certain details, a lot needs to be done.

This campaign is an effort to pressurize and awaken the administration of NITW. Your invaluable support in this endeavour will go a long way in changing things at NITW and thereby triggering a change in the education system at large.

We request you to sign this petition and show your support.

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2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Asthra Newsletter -Issue 1

Please find first Issue of  Asthra news letter.

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The selection procedure of the chairman of telecom regulator TRAI including all the details of selection committee meeting should be made public, the Central Information Commission has held.

The transparency panel rejected the plea of the Cabinet secretariat that information was personal in nature and cannot be given under section 8(1)(j) of the Right to Information Act which prohibits disclosure of such details.

“We fail to understand how the desired information could be classified as personal information at all…The information sought in these cases is far from personal. “Selection and appointment to certain posts in the government are part of the administrative decision-making process and must be placed in the public domain as soon as possible in order to ensure transparency,” chief information commissioner Satyananda Mishra said.

Mishra directed the Secretariat to allow the RTI applicant the inspection of entire file related to the selection of the chairman, TRAI. The case relates to an RTI application filed by one Ashok Golas, one of the candidate considered for the selection in the telecom commission, who sought to know from Cabinet secretariat information regarding selection of the member (technology) of telcom commission and chairman, TRAI including the file notes of selection committee meeting, annual confidential reports of the candidates, number of candidates considered for the post among others.

The Cabinet secretariat refused to disclose the information citing personal information clause of the transparency law and also said that information could be used by the applicant to further his interests before any court of law against the government. The secretariat citing a CIC order said information which could be used by any information seeker in support of his case before any court of law should not be disclosed as it could affect the interests of the government which as a third party had also the rights to safe-guard its interests.

This argument of the Cabinet secretariat was also not accepted by the chief information commissioner, who said the case relied by it has no relevance in the present matter and “both the cases are quite different.” Mishra ordered the Cabinet secretariat to disclose date of special committee of secretaries’ meeting to select member (services) and member (technology) of telecom commission including the name and designation of all the officials who took part in the process. He also directed that list of all the officers who were considered for the posts should be made public. Mishra also ordered to make public agenda of the selection committee meeting, guidelines followed by it and file-notings of recommendations made by it to appointments committee but said annual confidential reports of candidates can be withheld.

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Goa State Chief Information Commissioner Motilal Kenny on Thursday ruled that the Governor was a “public authority” and does come within the scope of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Mr. Kenny pronounced the verdict on a complaint filed by lawyer-activist Aires Rodrigues against Governor S.S. Sidhu. He directed the Public Information Officer at the Raj Bhavan to furnish Mr. Rodrigues within 30 days the information sought by him under the RTI Act.

Mr. Rodrigues complaint against the Governor follows the stand taken by the Raj Bhavan that the Governor is not a public authority and does not come within the purview of the RTI Act.

Mr. Rodrigues had sought from Raj Bhavan, under the RTI Act, details of the action taken on the complaints made by him to Mr. Sidhu against Advocate-General Subodh Kantak. He had sought copies of noting sheets and correspondence pertaining to the processing of his complaints against the Advocate-General.

“Public authority”

Mr. Rodrigues, in his petition to the State Information Commission, said the office of the Governor was a constitutional post within the definition of “public authority” under Section 2 (h) (a) of the RTI Act. He submitted that as the Governor was a public authority, the Raj Bhavan was bound to furnish the information sought and the refusal to furnish information was unreasonable, mala fide and without reasonable cause.

Lawyers appearing for the Raj Bhavan had argued that the Governor was not a “public authority”.

Mr. Rodrigues submitted that the violation of the law by the Head of a State was a bad precedent and was obstructing the enforcement of the RTI Act.

Even the President complied with the provisions of the RTI Act. Mr. Sidhu was the only Governor in the country who was not complying with the RTI Act claiming that he was not a “public authority,” Mr. Rodrigues submitted.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article1588899.ece

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