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City colleges ignore RTI guidelines

Seven years after the Right to Information Act was implemented for greater transparency in governance in 2005, the callousness of education fore bearers in Ludhiana can be gauged from the fact that six leading colleges of the city, falling under the ambit of RTI, have failed to comply with major provisions in the act.

punjab Updated: Aug 23, 2012 22:51 IST
Divya Goyal

Seven years after the Right to Information Act was implemented for greater transparency in governance in 2005, the callousness of education fore bearers in Ludhiana can be gauged from the fact that six leading colleges of the city, falling under the ambit of RTI, have failed to comply with major provisions in the act.


The erring colleges are: Government College for Women, DD Jain College of Education, Guru Nanak Girls College, Arya College, Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women and Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women.

Provisions violated by colleges

Under the RTI Act, an institution is a "public authority" if the Centre or state government directly or indirectly fund it. All six colleges fall under the ambit of the act, and have failed to comply with the mandatory directions of the act, which makes it compulsory for colleges to "carry suo moto declarations of the information covered under various sub sections of Sec 4(1)(b) of the RTI Act within 120 days of the implementation of the act".

"The colleges have miserably failed in declaring the suo moto information on their websites. It should have done this within 120 days after the act was implemented on October 12, 2005," RTI activist Rohit Sabharwal said.

Under Section 4(1)(b), the colleges must have declared on their websites the information such as the particulars of their organisation, functions, duties, the procedure followed in decision making, rules, regulations, manuals, records, employees information, statement of the documents and records under it, statements of boards, councils, committees, directory of officials and employees, monthly remuneration of employees, budget, expenditure reports, permits, authorisations, particulars of the facilities for citizens like timings of library if maintained for public use, names and designations of public information officers and "such other information as may be prescribed and thereafter update these publications every year" as per the act.

On being contacted, though all college principals did not have an explanation as to why the information had not been updated, they either said they would update the websites or were in the process of doing it.

The officiating principal of Arya College, HR Saini, said: "I had joined a few months ago. I will check the problem and get it rectified."

His counterpart at DD Jain College of Education, Vijay Lakshmi, too, had a similar answer. "I will now check and get it done," she said.

RTI activist Rohit Sabharwal said that by not posting up-to-date information the colleges were misleading the people. "They have to answer that why even after seven years information posted on their websites is incomplete," he said, "It should have been done by February 12, 2006."

Contacted, the principal of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women, Parveen Kaur Chawla, blamed the "burden of work" for the delay. "It might have skipped. It's not that we want to hide something. We will get it done," Chawla said.

The principal of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Kawaljit Kaur, was the only one who said they were in the process updating the website. The principals of Guru Nanak College for Girls and the Government College for Women, too, said they would post up-to-date information on their websites soon.


RTI update

I took over the post a few months ago and will check and get it done.
H R Saini, officiating principal, Arya College

I will check the problem and get it rectified
Vijay Lakshmi, principal, D D Jain College of Education

It's not like we want to hide something. We will get it done
Parveen Kaur Chawla, principal, Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women

It must have skipped. We will update our website as soon as possible.
Dr Charanjit Mahal, principal, Guru Nanak College for Girls, said,

We are not aware of any such provision. But now when you have told us, we will get it done.
Gurminder Kaur, principal, Government College for Women

We are already updating our website.
Kawaljit Kaur, principal, Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women