DU collges not aware of Right to Info?

NEW DELHI: Even two years after the Right To Information (RTI) Act was enacted, Delhi University (DU) colleges are not complying with the rules pertaining to this law.

Violating the section 4 of the Act, none of the 86 colleges have put up any details, on the website or notice board, regarding the powers and duties of its officers and employees, budget allocated, particulars of plans, proposed expenditures and reports of disbursements made, the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, among others.

As per section 4(4) of the Act, every public authority had to make the details of their functioning public on their website or notice board or newspapers, through media broadcasts, within 120 days from the enactment of this Act, but no effort was made by the colleges.

Colleges, however, justify the violation saying that they don't have adequate staff strength for the job.

"Around 20 posts of non-teaching staff members have been vacant due to the UGC cap on appointments. Unless, we have staff to handle these tasks effectively, it is impossible for us to implement the provisions of the Act. However, we will try to abide by the rules of RTI Act in some time," said Kirori Mal College principal Bhim Sen Singh.

Out of the 17 points stated in the section 4(b) of the Act, colleges have not even disclosed the basic details on their website or notice board. The details to be furnished include, "the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability, rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions and a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public, particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it".

Hans Raj College principal SR Arora said, "We reveal the relevant details whoever asks for any information under the RTI Act."

But in absence of information related to the names, designations and other particulars of public information officers, which is again a violation of the RTI Act, students have a hard time. "It is extremely difficult to trace the public information officers in colleges, and even if they have been traced, the college officials never co-operate with people seeking any reply under RTI," complained Aditya Prasad, an activist of Youth Task Force, an initiative of JOSH, the RTI awareness group on campus.

Some colleges, however, pass the buck to the university.

"We have given the names of our PIOs and appellate authorities to the university but there has been no help and guidance from them. We realise that it's relevant and we will try to make necessary arrangements for implementing the RTI Act," said SRCC principal PC Jain.

DU collges not aware of Right to Info?-Delhi-Cities-The Times of India