Student uses RTI to avail marksheet
3 Oct 2007, 0336 hrs IST,TNN
PATNA: That the Right to Information (RTI) Act is indeed a powerful weapon in the hands of a commoner has been upheld once again. On September 18, the claim of Anil Kumar to get the copy of marks in theory fetched by his son Kishlay in biology pertaining to the 2006 examinations conducted by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for the XII standard was finally conceded.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ordered NIOS to disclose the marks to Kishlay. CIC information commissioner OP Kejriwal has ordered the regional centre of NIOS in Patna to "disclose" the marks "within 10 days of the receipt" of his order. Initially, the NIOS was being obdurate and kept ducking the demand of Kishlay, when he sought "a copy of publication/disclosure of marks of biology theory" he had fetched in the March-May, 2006, examinations. Earlier, he had appeared in NIOS examinations conducted in October-November, 2005.
Since he was not satisfied with the marks he had obtained in the 2005examinations, he had appeared once again in the March-May, 2006, examinations. On January 4, 2007, he wrote to NIOS public information officer (PIO), Patna, seeking a published copy of his marks. He also sought a copy of the "decision of the evaluation director" on his matter.
Incidentally, when Kishlay opted to appear for the March-May, 2006, examinations, he was told not to appear in practical papers of biology, as he had already appeared in 2005 itself!
The gullible Kislay swallowed the advice, little knowing that marks fetched in theory without taking the examination in practical would be meaningless. Faced with the obdurate stance of NIOS, Kishlay went in appeal before the CIC. Interestingly, during the hearing before Kejriwal, the NIOS maintained that it was supposed to communicate to the candidate only the better of the marks obtained in the two examinations, and, therefore, only the marks obtained in the 2005 examinations could be intimated to him. Yet, when Kishlay insisted on getting the marks obtained in the 2006 examinations, the NIOS argued that marks did not come under the category of information. Finally, Kejariwal noted: "This was not acceptable to the commission. Since the department (NIOS) had these marks in their possession, it was their duty under the RTI Act to disclose it to the appellant (Kishlay)."
The RTI Act indeed served its usefulness for a commoner.