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Right to Information – Master key to good governance

TN RTIC Update 6: 21 & 22 July, 2006

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 26, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: nityanand jayaraman <nity68@gmail.com>
Date: Jul 26, 2006 8:00 AM
Subject: TNRTIC Update 6: 21 & 22 July, 2006
To: hrf <hrf@md3.vsnl.net.in>, CAG <cag.india@gmail.com>, Dharmesh < shahdharmesh@vsnl.net>, sharadha narayanan <narayanan.sharadha@gmail.com>, Guru Subbaraman < guru.subbaraman@gmail.com>, Lokesh Ambigapathy <lokesh.ambigapathy@gmail.com>, Varathkanth E <varathkanth@gmail.com >, Sudarshan <sudarshan.suresh@gmail.com>, Ramachandran Balachandran <>, Balaji Sampath <\nbalajisampath@gmail.com>, Karuna Muthiah <karuna_muthiah@yahoo.com>, Navanee Sundaramoorthy <navanee@gmail.com>

Hello all:

Apologies for the delay in sending Update 6. It is below.

TNRTIC Update 6 21-22 July, 2006. Chennai

Update for 21 July, 2006:Friday’s interactive session saw officials from the School education and Social welfare Department explain the measures taken by them to handle RTI applications. The Health Department which was invited failed to show up. Along with the Police Department, Health is the only other department that failed to honour the invitation to meet the public.

Social Welfare Department:

Ms.R.R.Senthamarai, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Social Welfare assured the people that employees had received extensive training which permeated to the officials at the district level as well. Details about the activities of the Department can be checked in it\’s exhaustive website, she added.

PIO- District Social Welfare Officer
APIO- Superintendentbalachan@gmail.com>, Balaji Sampath < balajisampath@gmail.com>, Karuna Muthiah <karuna_muthiah@yahoo.com>, Navanee Sundaramoorthy <navanee@gmail.com>

Hello all:

Apologies for the delay in sending Update 6. It is below.

TNRTIC Update 6

21-22 July, 2006. Chennai

Update for 21 July, 2006:

Friday’s interactive session saw officials from the School education and Social welfare Department explain the measures taken by them to handle RTI applications. The Health Department which was invited failed to show up. Along with the Police Department, Health is the only other department that failed to honour the invitation to meet the public.

Social Welfare Department:

Ms.R.R.Senthamarai, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Social Welfare assured the people that employees had received extensive training which permeated to the officials at the district level as well. Details about the activities of the Department can be checked in it’s exhaustive website, she added.

PIO- District Social Welfare Officer
APIO- Superintendent School Education Department:

Mr.Palaniswamy and Mr.K.Devarajan, who represented the School Education Department, explained at length, the working of the department at different levels. For administrative purposes, the state is divided into Education Districts similar to the revenue districts, in regions covered.

Each Education District is headed by a District Education Officer, who serves as the PIO. These DEOs were also the persons responsible for the redressal of public grievances and could be assisted by their PAs in handling the same, he added.

The appellate authority in these districts would be the Chief Education Officer.

At the City level, the 3 Joint directors(personnel, secondary and higher secondary) would be PIOs, with the Director of School Education acting as the Appellate Authority.

Cases relating to non-teaching staff and teachers of different grades should be addressed to the Joint Director(Personnel). RTI applications requesting information about primary schools should be addressed to an exclusive department called the Department of Elementary Education, he clarified.

Update for 22 July, 2006:

Revenue Department:

[Attended by T.S.Dharmalingam- Assistant Commissioner(vi), E.Saravanavel Raj- Assistant Commissioner(ii).]

Mr.Saravanavel Raj, who represented the Revenue department, took time to explain the working of the department using the it’s hierarchy starting with the districts at the top, followed by the divisions, taluks and the villages. PIOs were appointed in all Districts and taluks, he claimed, adding that they were given extensive training by the commissioners to familiarise officers with the provisions of the Right to Information Act.

As for Chennai, PIO- Deputy Director

Appellate Authority- Director.

Payment for RTI applications may be made using a Money Order or a Demand Draft.
DD must be in favour of the Accounts Officer, Directorate of Social Welfare.
She claims to have responded to all 6 RTI applications received by the department within 5 days.

School Education Department:

Mr.Palaniswamy and Mr.K.Devarajan, who represented the School Education Department, explained at length, the working of the department at different levels. For administrative purposes, the state is divided into Education Districts similar to the revenue districts, in regions covered.
Each Education District is headed by a District Education Officer, who serves as the PIO. These DEOs were also the persons responsible for the redressal of public grievances and could be assisted by their PAs in handling the same, he added.

The appellate authority in these districts would be the Chief Education Officer.

At the City level, the 3 Joint directors(personnel, secondary and higher secondary) would be PIOs, with the Director of School Education acting as the Appellate Authority.

Cases relating to non-teaching staff and teachers of different grades should be addressed to the Joint Director(Personnel). RTI applications requesting information about primary schools should be addressed to an exclusive department called the Department of Elementary Education, he clarified.

Update for 22 July, 2006:

Revenue Department:

[Attended by T.S.Dharmalingam- Assistant Commissioner(vi), E.Saravanavel Raj- Assistant Commissioner(ii).]

Mr.Saravanavel Raj, who represented the Revenue department, took time to explain the working of the department using the it’s hierarchy starting with the districts at the top, followed by the divisions, taluks and the villages. PIOs were appointed in all Districts and taluks, he claimed, adding that they were given extensive training by the commissioners to familiarise officers with the provisions of the Right to Information Act. designation of the PIO, concerned department.

The department that receives most complaints for patta-related cases has received only 2 RTI applications so far. Both have been responded to. (Check the attachment for PIOs at the district, division &Taluk level. )

– “Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.”

The department officials claim to have made the necessary arrangements to help people obtain print-outs of the patta documents @ Rs. 20/- per copy. These documents, containing the signature of the authorities, can act as proof of ownership in court, they added. The same could also be viewed using the touch screens available at the Taluq offices for a fee of Rs.2, according to them.

PIOs (for the city): 6 Assistant Commissioners
Appellate Authority- Commissioner

At the block level,
PIO- Manager to Block Development Officer
Appellate Authortiy- Block development officer

District-level information cannot be requested at the Ministry and should be addressed only to the respective districts, the officials clarified. They also requested the RTI applicants to mention the mode of payment of fee in their application to avoid confusion.

The payment for RTI applications can be made by cash or DD. Payment by cash will be acknowledged by issue of receipts immediately. This provision will be available even in the taluk offices. Those applicants who lived below the poverty line had to show a proof of the same(from the taluq office) along with the Application.
DD to be taken in favour of the designation of the PIO, concerned department.

The department that receives most complaints for patta-related cases has received only 2 RTI applications so far. Both have been responded to. (Check the attachment for PIOs at the district, division &Taluk level. )

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