Delhi University is now an open book: well, almost. Setting a precedent for affiliated colleges, the university has put its budgetary expenses in the public domain for the first time in history by displaying it on their website — du.ac.in.
A simple click of the mouse would be enough for those trying to assess the budgeted spending of the university in 2008-09.
“We have put all our budget expenses online two weeks back. We have been doing a lot of proactive disclosures,” said Jay Chanda, public information officer, DU.
But the university’s example was yet to catch on among colleges that were still making do with vague references to DU rules.
“Only a handful have bothered to put details about their committee and procedures online. Motilal Nehru College (MNC), Zakir Hussain and Indraprastha College have taken a lead in this,” said Aheli Chowdhury, an RTI activist working for the NGO Josh.
“But none have put details of their budget details online. MNC has put up an audited report of their budget for 2007.”
Chowdury said most colleges have tried to pass the buck by simply inserting the phrase — ‘according to DU rules’.
“All public authorities are supposed to post the norms under which they function, like time it takes to get a paper reevaluated or the time it takes to process a form but none of the colleges or DU has done this,” said Chowdhury.
Now the Central Information Commissioner, along with activist Aruna Roy will meet principals of 35 colleges on Wednesday to convince them to be more transparent in their transactions.
The decision was taken under Section 4 of the RTI act that makes it mandatory for public authorities to disclose information about their functioning.