Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Students try to corner Ramadoss with RTI

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 13, 2006

Students try to corner Ramadoss with RTI

[ 12 Jul, 2006 0234hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]


NEW DELHI: Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss is facing another challenge. Soon after the court stayed the sacking of AIIMS director Dr P Venugopal, anti-reservation students invoked the Right to Information Act (RTI) against the minister for ‘misusing’ his powers as president of the institute.

They also filed an RTI application with the HRD ministry, seeking information on the status of quota-related admissions in universities across the country.

Members of Youth for Equality (YFI), the body which took the initiative, claimed that the position of president of AIIMS came under the office of profit and alleged that the minister had taken advantage of it for benefits. “We want to know exactly what he is entitled to and why.

Supreme Court had ruled that the health minister could become the president of AIIMS by default but the AIIMS Act was later amended to say that nobody in the governing body was allowed to hold a government position,” said Jiten Jain, member of YFI.

The minister had “parked himself in the AIIMS guest house,” appointed an OSD and brought his relatives into the AIIMS governing body, alleged members. They also want a clarification on why the minister landed up in AIIMS during the anti-reservation strike for treating patients there.

“How could he treat patients at AIIMS just like that? Does that mean that any doctor can come and start practising at the institute?” asked Jain.

The second RTI application sought information from various universities in the country on reserved and general seats, excluding those in the handicapped and sports quotas how many were filled up and what was done with the vacant seats.

“We want figures about reserved and general category admissions since Mandal-I to see what the government has managed to achieve till now. The government has been bluffing and even Arjun Singh doesn’t have data. With this information we are sure that the government will be exposed,” said Jain.

“The government should indicate the number of reserved category students whose family income was above Rs 2 lakh per annum since 1992. We also want information on how many of such students were given scholarships to pursue their studies,” said another member.

The national commission for the YFI is scheduled to meet on July 15 to discuss its course of action.


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