Thursday, December 25, 2008

RTI - part 2

Some information that is not about RTI, but it was available from case studies explained by Maj Gen (reted) SCN Jatar.

Literate - anyone who can sign in his / her mother tongue, based on this definition our country has 65% literacy.

Signs of corruption:
1. delayed decision
2. lack of transparency
3. hasty/rapid decision approvals (last minutes proposals)

Habituated corruption - some people do the same thing over and over again in spite of being caught.

Newspapers / media want news of corruption from new people every time. If the information is about old corruption or person, it is treated as stale news and is not accepted / published.

Pune people pay 44 lakhs extra every month for water supply.

BRT - Costly Volvo buses bought even though there wasn't any requirement. AC is ineffective because of the bus stops at each 200 - 300 mtrs. Earlier Tata buses were recommended which are much cheaper, but the decision was changed within 1 week and unwanted AC buses were bought.

MLAs go to parliament for collecting DATA (Dearness Allowance / Travelling Allowance) :D

[When Mr. Jatar was asked if you get threatened, he said smiling, he gets friendly threats like, people ask him why does he do all this, he is an old man now, we will settle this within us, etc.]

Part 3 : Why did I attend that seminar and my thoughts about RTI

Info about Right To Information - part 1

Couple of weeks back I attended one seminar on RTI. The seminar was organized by MCCIA on 11-Dec-2008. Mr. Nitin Sonawane and Maj Gen (reted) SCN Jatar were the speakers. It was quite informative. Here are the highlights of the seminar (mainly from the intro given by Mr. Nitin Sonawane).

RTI was introduced in Sweden in 17th century, 200 yrs back. In India, Tamilnadu was the first state to implement it (state level act) in 1997. In Maharashtra it was implemented in 2002 and central government implemented it in 2005.

The Rights that we get under RTI are:
1. View (almost) any document.
2. Get it photo copied.
3. Get it authorized.
4. Get samples of the material used in any activities like construction, food supply etc.
5. Get copy of electronic data on CD, floppy. (some states allow DVD as well.) [Bihar allows to provide information on phone. PIO provides the information on phone. Voice recording of the call is done and appropriate charges are added to your telephone bill.]

Official secrets act (1923) is overruled by RTI act (2005), with some exceptions.

If information is related to some ones life / death it must be provided within 48 hrs.

Except J&K rest of the states are covered by RTI Act 2005.

You can get information related to any of the public authorities, such as:
1. Loksabha, Rajyasabha or any organization created by them
2. Vidhan parishad, Vidhan sabha or any organization created by them
3. any organization that is substantially funded by government
4. Co-operative sector

1. security of nation
2. information prohibited by law / legal decisions
3. patented / copy right protected info
(but you can ask for information related to corruption or human rights etc. Such info is sent after getting due permission from concerned authority.)

Information can be anything like records, memos, papers, logbooks etc

As per the section 3 of the act, no officer can ask you, why you need this information.

In general the steps are:
1. you make an application for information.
2. if you don't get satisfactory reply within 30 (depends on situation) days, you can make 1st appeal within 60 days since you made the application for information.
3. if you don't get reply from the concerned officer within 30/45 days then you can make the 2nd appeal at higher authority.

There are some charges for providing the information, around 10 Rs. but if the applicant is below poverty line, s/he need not pay anything.

If proper information is not provided in time, it should be provided free of cost and the officer has to pay 250 Rs / day for the delayed days or 25000 Rs max.

The question should be phrased properly. Instead of asking "why did you do this?" you should ask "Based on which rule you did this?".

RTI can not stop corruption, but expose it.

Officer is custodian of information of government, s/he can not hold back the information.

Part 2 : Some more info, not about RTI

Sunday, November 23, 2008

online telephone directories

online telephone directories:

MTNL Mumbai:
MTNL Delhi:

in general if u want to search for a telephone number anywhere in the world, you can check: - it's the old URL but easy to remember.
it will redirect you to:

if any of you know how to search for info about mobile numbers or land line numbers of private service providers, please let me know.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

a joke

The previous post reminds me a joke.

One person is brought to a jail. His companion in jail, asks him why is he here?

First person: I started a business in competition with government and that's why I've been jailed.

Companion: Thats ridiculous!! What kind of business had you started?

First Person: I had established a printing press, to print currency notes.


few questions

So the Diwali, Laxmi Poojan has given some upswing to BSE, NSE index and built some good hopes for the upcoming period.

For last few days (or weeks) I had been as curious as many others regarding the subprime crisis, bankruptcy and recession. I read few articles about all this, in newspapers and online. The more I read about it, the more I got confused, and worried too. :-s

I couldn't understand few things. May be my brain is too small to understand these complex topics like economy, finance and so on ;). So thought of sharing my doubts with you. Here it goes...

1. Can a person or financial institution declare bankruptcy even if he (or it) is holding some assets, that may or may not be worth of loan amount (debt)? What are the rules related to declaring bankruptcy?

2. US government considered some bailout package that will help the banks that have gone bankrupt. What I understood is, it is the money that government has collected in the form of tax from all the people. Is it the only way to handle this? This will reduce the money that the government has. I guess thats the same as the net assets of the country? If so, instead of reducing the money that you are holding, isn't it possible to print few more currency notes ;) [ssshhh... don't laugh] What are the rules related to printing new currency notes (or coins)?

btw: I had received a mail couple of months back in which it was mentioned that to handle the inflation some country has printed notes with denomination of 100 mln, 250 mln etc. This has added to my confusion. [I'll find that mail and post it on]

I'll be glad if someone of you can clarify my doubts.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Diwali

Finally, got some free time on the occasion of Diwali. It's been long time since I had posted something on any of my blogs. But now I've got some time and moreover I'm at my home town - MUMBAI. So hoping to jazz up my blog(s) a bit ;).

And yes, Wish you and your family a very HAPPY DIWALI.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

forwarding chain mails

Here is an article by Atul Kahate where he has mentioned about the mentality behind the act of forwarding chain mails and underlines our gullibility. It's really a good article and an eye opener for those who forward the chain mails without giving a serious thought to it.

(chain mails = the mails that say something like "forward this mail to ........ ")

original article:

pdf version: Forward Kashasathi?