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Activists slam minister for remark on RTI applicants

RTI activists on Friday slammed minister of state for agriculture, Sadabhau Khot for his comments on RTI applicants and usage of RTI. Khot is reported to have said that some applicants regularly file RTI applications and misuse it. He asked authorities to take action against such by filing cases against them.”What he has said is not justified and rubbish. There are forums that can take action and if they have proof, they should take action against people who are misusing RTI,” said Bhaskar Prabhu, who runs Mahiti Adhikar Manch, an NGO that promotes and propagates usage of RTI.Echoing his views, Vijay Kumbhar, another RTI activist said, “Such a comment coming from a minister is not justified. Why should there be a need to say such a thing when they can just act and be done with it? If there are people misusing the Act, a case should be filed and has been filed in the past. His comments seem unnecessary. Coming from a minister, it can wrongly influence the thought of officials,” said Kumbhar.Anil Galgali, another activist said, “They are defaming RTI movement with this. In last 12 years they have been talking like that. If there are misuse, they can be done filing a case instead of talking about it.
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BMC denies info to RTI applicant

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An RTI applicant was denied information about the occupation certificate and ground floor plan of a ward office by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stating that it will be a threat to security.While denying such information, it cited an order from former chief information commissioner which was itself corrected after much hue and cry as it blocked giving away details of buildings under RTI.Girish Mittal, Borivli resident, had filed an RTI application with the R/Central (Borivli) ward office, seeking details of reason along with file notings on why only one entry gate was open to the public for entry, reason for not allowing public to park in the ward’s premises, the DC rules on the two subject, the occupation certificate and the ground floor lay out.While replying to the information, the public information officer cited an order of former chief information commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad’s order which stated that due to security reasons the building plan not be provided. Often alleged to be the most corrupt department, Gaikwad’s order attracted sharp criticism and a clarification as activists said that terrorists did not need to file an RTI application to access building details.Gaikwad then issued a clarification which categorically stated that parking, cross section of building, occupancy certificate, and other relevant details be provided under RTI except internal details of the building.”It is a classic case of officers being well aware of all the negative orders that block transparency and little that promote it. There was a clarification on this order,” said Shailesh Gandhi, former central information commissioner.”There is no question that such information cannot be provided. What they cannot provide is internal detailing. That is what was decided in the technical advisory committee of the BMC which decides what to give under RTI,” said Bhaskar Prabhu.

RTI applicants allege delayed replies; harassment by authorities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After every short interval comes a time when RTI applicants get replies from public authorities that further delay information that they are entitled to get from authorities in a time bound manner.There are another such set of replies that have come to the fore that range from RTI applications not being responded for lack of postal stamps, application transferred from one desk to another but fails to reach the one that has information, application returned as applicant did not provide proper address, too much time taken to transfer application from one desk to another and raising issues of taxes that are not there in the RTI Act.An application was not responded to because the Mumbai police did not have the postal stamp required to reply. This, when the first option listed for information to be sent to an applicant was email and not by speed post.”In my case they returned the RTI application saying that the postal address of the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation is not proper. I had addressed it to the public information officer of the department it was to be sent it to. Never has this happened when RTI application was sent to other authorities,” said Sanjay Shirodkar, resident of Pune who claimed that he is not associated with political party.”There are some others that I have encountered wherein they are putting exemption clauses without giving any reasons. They put an exemption clause and leave it at that. There is no explanation why that applies. Then they have taken over a month to forward an application when the law mandates that it should be done within five days. I blame the information commissioners for this because they need to take tough stand. Most of the times they are satisfied that information was given even if after a long time when the law stipulates that it should be provided in time bound manner,” said Shailesh Gandhi, former central information commissioner.”Such replies only go on to show that the government does not work in the spirit and intent of the RTI Act. Nowhere it is written in the Act that for the first reply applicants are supposed to give postal stamps or its charges. Applicants are paying Rs 10 in advance for that. With respect to email, they need to follow the RTI Act because it said that even for record retention, these have to be scanned before being disposed off,” said Bhaskar Prabhu, an RTI activist.

DU student to approach SC for change in guidelines

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Delhi University (DU) concluding the polls for its Student Union body on Tuesday, a law student at the Varsity, along with a lawyer, is set to knock on the Supreme Court’s doors urging it to revise the decade-old Lyngdoh committee’s guidelines, based on which the elections are being held across universities.Vikas Bhaskar, a third year student at DU’s law faculty, and Mohit K Gupta, a lawyer at the Delhi High Court, have decided to file the petition to point out multiple violations of the committee’s recommendation by all the student political groups.”We find money and muscle power is ruling the elections and nothing concrete is being done for student welfare. I have not found any office bearer going to courts for students against the university. I have accessed information under RTI and shall be looking forward to petition the Supreme Court for revising the recommendations which were set a decade back,” said Gupta.An RTI filed by Gupta last year revealed the expenditure being incurred by the university in conducting DUSU elections. The documents revealed under RTI shows how 11 cases were being registered, including Ms Pratibha Jolly, Principal Miranda House’s complaint, under the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 2007.Interestingly, all the elected office bearers have submitted audit reports from chartered accountants of expenses being incurred less than Rs 5,000.The guidelines recommends that the institution should organise leadership-training programmes with the help of professional organisations to groom and instil in students’ leadership qualities.”However, the recommendations donning the shield of judicial order of the SC has not been implemented by the DU for all these years since 2006,” Bhaskar said.Student’s petitionVikas Bhaskar, a third year student, have decided to file a petition to point out multiple violations of the Lyngdoh committee’s recommendation by student political groups

Removal of glass facade from WR building among staff’s top issues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The new Chairman of Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani, in his first speech a few days ago spoke about the welfare of railway employees. Lohani in his speech had asked the administration across Indian Railways to spend more time with the staff, listen to them and address their grievances.However, Western Railway employees are stating that no concrete steps have been taken to address their complaint about the removal of the glass facade that covers the WR’s administrative building in Churchgate. No decision has been taken for the last seven years where nearly 1,500 people work.”The new CRB spoke the need to address our issue. But despite this nothing has been done. It’s like a furnace inside the building,” said a WR employee. In 2011, the WR had gone in for a building makeover costing Rs 10 crore. As part of this makeover, a huge glass facade was installed. The employees have been complaining that since then these huge windows are blocking the sea breeze from the west.There were plans to centrally air-condition the building which also did not take place as the estimated cost was a whopping Rs 14 crore. However, officials said that they have removed a few glass fittings for cross-ventilation. “We did remove a few glass windows a couple of years ago. Right now there seems to be no problem,” said Ravindra Bhaskar, Chief PRO, Western Railway.

DNA relaunched to redefine journalism

Under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Subhash Chandra, the pioneer of TV journalism in India, DNA is all set to change the trends, break barriers and capture changing moods of people without any prejudice and bias <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DNA is relaunched. After satiating the appetite for information and news of Jaipurites for more than 9 years, your favourite newspaper has changed. Changed for betterment. Changed for bringing positivity, brightness and hopes in lives.DNA has made a mark after it was launched under the umbrella of Dainik Bhaskar group in 2008. Now, it’s a homecoming for DNA which is back with its parent Zee Group. Under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Subhash Chandra, the pioneer of TV journalism in India, DNA is all set to change the trends, break barriers and capture changing moods of people without any prejudice and bias. We promise to make you smile everyday, make you laugh and also make you show concern over issues plaguing development of a civic society.Our commitment is to bring truth before you and embark on a constructive and positive journalism which will help a long way in nation building. We are not aligned with any party, any individual or any community. We are here to serve masses. We are here to enlighten public.Let’s brighten our lives. Let news and information be part of your basic DNA.

Ticket booking no basis for foreign travel leave nod

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Civil servants belonging to IAS, IPS and IFS cadre will not be granted leave for foreign visit or tour on the pretext of booking tickets in advance, the Department of Personnel (DoP) has clarified, saying that such applications will not be entertained.The department has issued guidelines on the issue of foreign travel of senior civil servants, comprising IAS, IPS and IFS officers posted with Rajasthan cadre.It was highlighted by the department that the officers used to book air tickets prior to applying for the leave.According to the department, this ploy was used by many officers as a tool to exert pressure on the administration to sanction their leave.To stop and discourage such practice in future, the department has come up with fresh guidelines, restricting the booking of air tickets in advance as the basis for sanctioning the leave to personnel for foreign travel.The department has clearly stated that any official who wishes to go on a foreign tour must seek the permission before booking air tickets and hotel accommodation.“Henceforth, IAS, IPS and IFS officers planning to travel abroad must make necessary arrangement only after getting the leave sanctioned by the department.In future, booking of the ticket and other arrangements for the stay will not be taken as the basis for sanctioning the leave,” read the guidelines issued by department secretary Bhaskar A Sawant.A copy of the same was sent to the chief minister Vasundhara Raje who is also having the charge of DoP.PERMISSION MUSTAccording to the department, this ploy was used by many officers as a tool to exert pressure on the administration to sanction their leave.To stop and discourage such practice in future, the department has come up with fresh guidelines, restricting the booking of air tickets in advance as the basis for sanctioning the leave to personnel for foreign travel. The department has clearly stated that any official who wishes to go on a foreign tour must seek the permission.

North 24 Parganas SP removed over Basirhat violence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Superintendent of Police of North 24 Parganas district Bhaskar Mukherjee has been removed from his post in the wake of recent communal violence in West Bengal’s Basirhat. C. Sudharkar Rao will join as the new Superintendent of Police in West Bengal. Besides the Superintendent of Police, ten IPS officers have also been removed. Earlier, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Dipendu Biswas was removed as the in-charge of West Bengal’s Basirhat area where clash broke out over a social media post last week. Following the clash heavy security forces were deployed in and around the area to ward-off violence. The leaders of political parties also tried to visit the area to take stock of the situation, but were barred to enter. Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had appealed the warring groups to maintain peace and communal harmony in the area.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

5 new IAS officers join home ministry as assistant secretaries

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five newly-recruited IAS officers have joined the home ministry as assistant secretaries on deputation as part of an initiative to familiarise them with the functioning of the central government. Vijay Dayaram K, Arvomd Kumar Chauhan, Pooja Kumari Parth, Akanksha Bhaskar and Raja P, all belonging to the 2015 batch of the Indian Administrative Service, have joined the home ministry and will work for three months before proceeding to their alloted cadre, an official said. Dayaram has been allocated the Chhattisgarh cadre, Chauhan Uttar Pradesh, Pooja Kumari Parth Rajasthan, Akanksha Bhaskar West Bengal and Raja P the Karnataka cadre. The initiative of appointing new IAS officers as assistant secretaries in various central government ministries and departments was started by the Narendra Modi government to familiarise them with the functioning of the Centre and enable them to get themselves introduced to various functionaries. The young IAS officers joined the central government after completion of their training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Disproportionate assets case: MV inspector gets 3 years RI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special ACB court in Telangana has convicted a motor vehicle inspector, working in Khamman district of the state, for possessing disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 30.99 lakh. P Bhaskar Rao, the special judge for ACB Cases in Karimnagar district, yesterday convicted Pitta Prathap and sentenced him to three years rigorous imprisonment, an ACB release said here today. The judge also slapped a fine of Rs 5 lakh on him for the offence punishable under relevant sections of the PC Act, 1988, it added. Earlier, ACB had registered a case of disproportionate assets against Prathap and filed a charge sheet in the ACB court in 2010, said the release.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Three lower rung naxals arrested in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada

Based on a specific tip-off, the cadres identified as Pandu Bhaskar, Podia Bhaskar and Raju Bhaskar were apprehended last evening from Kamaloor village under Bhansi police station limits, Dantewada Additional Superintendent of Police Gorakhnath Baghel told <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three lower rung naxals were arrested from Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Dantewada district, police said today. Based on a specific tip-off, the cadres identified as Pandu Bhaskar, Podia Bhaskar and Raju Bhaskar were apprehended last evening from Kamaloor village under Bhansi police station limits, Dantewada Additional Superintendent of Police Gorakhnath Baghel told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

IT raids at Tamil Nadu Health Minister’s residence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Income Tax Department on Wednesday conducted raids at state Health Minister C. Vijaya Bhaskar’s residence in Pudukkottai here.On May 3rd, the IT department had issued summons to Vijayabaskar’s wife.Earlier this month, several income tax officials raided Vijayabaskar’s Greenways Road residence and other locations in Pudukkottai and Trichy.The I-T officials also raided several premises belonging to the minister and his relatives in Chennai and other districts owing to allegations of involvement in cash distribution to voters in R.K. Nagar constituency where a by-election was held on April 12.In his defense, Vijaybaskar said the Income Tax Department was harassing him despite his full cooperation.Meanwhile, the IT is conducting raids at 23 different locations across the state.As per preliminary reports, raids are being conducted as they were not paying their income tax regularly.

Doctors treating Eman Ahmed seek apology from her sister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Doctors treating Egyptian national Eman Ahmed have sought an apology from her sibling Shaimaa Selim, who alleged that the hospital authorities used her sister for mere publicity and made false claims about the former’s weight loss. Senior BJP leader Shaina N C also came out in support of the demand by the doctors of Saifee hospital, which treated Eman for weight loss. “All said and done, it would be in order for her (Shaimaa) to apologise to Dr Muffazal Lakdawala and the hospital authorities for the good work they had done for Eman. “Her action is not only an insult to the doctors and hospital authorities, but to the governments of Maharashtra and India,” Shaina said. The BJP leader along with Lakdawala and Dr Aparna Bhaskar called on Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao last evening to seek an apology from Shaimaa Selim. “Eman Ahmed was looking quite well and it can be seen that she had lost considerable amount of weight,” Shaina said, adding, “I have already spoken to Eman assuring her that the hospital authorities and the government are her well-wishers.” The Saifee hospital has already made it clear that they would not be charging any fee from Eman’s family. Eman, believed to be world’s heaviest woman, weighed around 500 kg when she was brought to Saifee Hospital here in February.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DNA Morning Must Reads: Kejriwal introspects after MCD drubbing, North Korea test-fires ballistic missile; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’Yes, we made mistakes’ admits Kejriwal in introspection after MCD drubbingFollowing the mass exodus and reports of in-fighting within the party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal struck a note on Saturday by admitting that the party made some crucial mistakes which led to their heavy defeat in the Delhi civic polls. Read more here.Kashmir unrest: Stop throwing stones, talks will follow, says SCThe Supreme Court (SC) proceedings originally meant to hear a petition challenging the use of pellet guns in Kashmir Valley took a different tangent on Friday. A SC Bench, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar and comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Sanjay Kisan Kaul, in a rare intervention, offered to set the stage for talks between the various stakeholders and influential public voices in Kashmir and the Centre. Read more here.North Korea fails in fourth successive attempt to test-fire ballistic missileNorth Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday, the South Korean and US militaries said, defying warnings from the United States and the reclusive state’s main ally, China, which have tried for years to rein in its arms programmes. Read more here.Heavyweights Nadal and Murray advance to semi-finals at the Barcelona OpenRafael Nadal survived a difficult start to see off Chung Hyeon of South Korea in straight sets and reach the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open for a 10th time on Friday. The unseeded Chung, 20, went 3-1 up against the 14-time Grand Slam champion in the first set on the newly renamed Rafael Nadal​ Court at the Real Tennis Club and forced a tie-break, which the Spaniard eventually won with little trouble. Read more here.I was groped at the airport during Prem Ratan Dhan Payo: Swara BhaskarSwara Bhaskar’s last release — Anarkaali of Aarah — saw her playing a victim of sexual abuse and violence, who finally takes revenge. It’s just a reflection of the society we live in, albeit that it’s not any film and everyone doesn’t have the courage to fight it out, thanks to the societal pressure. In this interview, Swara speaks about the different issues that plague society, especially Indian women today, explains her take on feminism and how people misuse it as well. Read more here.

PM Modi’s terrorism remark, a reminder about nature of challenge Defence expert

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> As Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a veiled swipe at Pakistan, asserted that a ‘thought process’ in South Asia was inspiring and nurturing terrorism, defence expert Uday Bhaskar on Sunday said the statement is a timely reminder about the nature of this challenge. Bhaskar said it is clear that Pakistan nurtures terrorist groups, adding that religious consensus over the same is the need of the hour. ?Prime Minister Modi?s observation about terrorism during the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheik Hasina in Delhi is both, a significant statement and also a very timely reminder about the nature of the security challenge at the regional and global level. It is tragic and relevant that Prime Minister Modi made this statement just in after the aftermath of tragedy in Stockholm,? Bhaskar told ANI. The defence expert further said Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina?s visit to Delhi is a very important visit, perhaps the most critical visit for Prime Minister Modi in terms of regional cooperation. The fact that Prime Minister went to the airport to receive the Bangladesh Prime Minister is indicative of the way in which this visit is being seen by the Modi Government. ?Prime Minister Modi is reminding the global community and religious leaders about the nature of this challenge. It is interesting that he did not refer to Pakistan by name. It is clear about the way Pakistan is nurturing terrorist groups and the need for regional consensus, which had come up even last year when the Prime Minister was talking to the SAARC leaders in a different context. So, I would characterise this as a very significant and timely political statement by the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh,? he said. Prime Minister Modi yesterday said that a ‘thought process’ in South Asia is inspiring and nurturing terrorism. He further said that India has always wanted its neighbours to progress along with itself, but certain elements in the region are thriving on destroying instead of developing. Speaking in the presence of his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister Modi expressed his desire to see other nations proceeding along India on the path of development. “India’s development alone is incomplete and we can’t even imagine that we will go forth and succeed alone in this region. We want peace, prosperity and progress for our neighbors as well. ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ is not only limited to India but our neighbors development as well,” he said at the ‘Sommanona Ceremony’ honoring the Indian Martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the liberation war of Bangladesh. Further stating that India has always extended the hand of friendship to every nation, the Prime Minister opined that the ties of friendship between India and Bangladesh are testament to that fact. In a veiled attack on Pakistan, he then proceeded to state that there is a ‘thought process’ in South Asia, which is inspiring and nurtutring terrorism, whose value system is based on violence instead of humanity. “Their only objective is to spread terrorism, destroy instead of develop and betray instead of trust. This thought process remains a steady challenge to us.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Ex-Union minister Dasari Narayana Rao responding to

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Veteran Telugu filmmaker and former Union minister Dasari Narayana Rao, who has been hospitalised with respiratory and kidney problems, is responding positively to the treatment, doctors said today. “Dasari Narayana Rao’s condition is better today than yesterday. He’s recovering…But we will review after another 24 hours. He is responding to the treatment,” said Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) Hospitals’ MD Dr B Bhaskar Rao. Dasari, who has been operated on for kidney failure, sepsis and respiratory failure, is responding positively for the treatment being administered, he said. “His health is being constantly monitored by a team of experts and everything that is required to ensure for his speedy recovery will be done,” the MD said. Dasari was admitted to KIMS here on Monday evening and put on dialysis and ventilator support. He was Union Minister of State for Coal in the earlier UPA government.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Car falls into ditch killing 3 of family in Nainital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three members of a family died and as many got injured when their car fell into a deep gorge near Mangoli village in the district while they were returning from Garjya Temple, Ramnagar. Police said the car carrying six members of the family from Ayaarpatta met with the accident while returning from the Temple late last evening. The car bearing number UK 04 TA 6801, got out of control and fell into a 500 metres ditch, they said. Hearing the cries for help, people from a nearby village gathered and pulled out three survivors– including the mother and two children. “Kundan Prasad, Chandan, and Heera Singh, the family driver, died on the spot while Mother Hema and two children Bhaskar and Shubham were taken to BD Pandey Hospital Nainital for further treatment by the 108 helpline service,” said Arun Kumar, SHO Tallital. The SDRF and police team have reached the accident site and recovered two of the three bodies so far.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Karnataka gets Lokayukta after a year, Shetty sworn in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former High Court judge Justice P Vishwanath Shetty was today sworn in as the Karnataka Lokayukta, a year after the post fell vacant following a bribery scandal that had hit the office of the anti-graft ombudsman. Shetty was administered the oath of office by Governor Vajubhai R Vala at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, state ministers, judges of the High Court and senior officials were present at the ceremony. The Governor had given his assent to Shetty’s appointment on Thursday after the government replied to clarifications sought by him. Vala had returned the file seeking some clarifications, reportedly following allegations that Shetty’s family owned a site in violation of norms. The post had remained vacant since Y Bhaskar Rao, a former High Court Chief Justice, stepped down in December 2015 amid public pressure to quit over an alleged bribery scandal involving his office and son.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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