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CIC must do its work seriously

Agencies like CIC (Central Information Commission) have an important role to play in curbing corruption.  We have seen that most of the time the basis on which corruption is unearthed and exposed is information collected through RTI Act, which also serves as vital evidence in courts.

 However, the other side of the coin reveals that that the appeals are not given due seriousness by the CIC.  There have also been instances where information requested is cut down by Information Commissioner without citing any reason.  This is against the principles of natural justice since RTI has been granted the status of a fundamental right.

Former Information Commissioner, Shailesh Gandhi, himself pointed out that “Information Commissioners are not delivering…”.

We are already aware of RTI activists and whistleblowers being attacked and some even losing their lives. When the citizens are daring to come forward, the CIC should also show some amount of seriousness in dealing with complaints and appeals.


Full stop on ragging

For any student who slogs day and night to secure admission in a prestigious college, ragging can be the worst nightmare.

Ragging is more of a mindset problem than anything else. Though a solution to solve this menace appears simple, but it is a difficult task till we do not change the mindset. To initiate some fun interaction between senior and juniors, seniors can ask funny yet intelligent questions. Seniors can give group tasks to their juniors. Socio-cultural student committees and faculty members should be a part of the interaction with the newcomers.

There are many other preventive and strict measures to stop ragging if these steps fail to achieve their aim. Anti-ragging squads represented by different sections including civil and police officials, NGOs, faculty members, parents, etc can be formed. Ragging prone zones should be identified and carefully guarded. Financial assistance to institutes where ragging incidents are reported from can be withdrawn. Government should conduct seminars on ragging and make students aware of its demerits. Government should advertise in all sorts of media available to make the students aware of anti-ragging laws.


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

Political game

The Supreme Court verdict ruling out the intention of PC Chidambaram to cause loss to the pubic exchequer in its judgement on his involvement in the 2G scam might be a setback to Suramaniyan Swamy and Prashant Bhushan. However, it does not mean that there had been no scam; the 2G scam has seen many heads roll. At this time it is important to scan the roll of the BJP and other Opposition parties in stalling the proceedings of Parliament. It is probably the worst way to use the right to protest.

Democracy is based on discussions. Nobody can have his way; neither the government nor the Opposition. The SC decision on Chidambaram has come at the right time for the Congress. BJP boycotted Chidambaram in the earlier parliamentary session and now he has come out clean.

Prof MK SHARMA Amritsar

Falling standards

Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh are round the corner. Steep deterioration in the standard of election campaign particularly comes to mind. Electoral battle is being fought with no-holds-barred. Sadly and strangely, the contesting parties seem brazenly skirting the real issues –hunger, poverty, corruption, mounting unemployment, increasing mal-administration, food, clothing and housing for all etc. In fact, the political parties are concentrating on non-issues.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

People’s property

The arguments advanced by the political establishment against CAG report on coal block allocation for adopting the screening method of coal allocation instead of competitive bidding has a hollow ring (editorial “CAG revelation”, August 20 ). It has been argued by the powers that be that CAG has no constitutional mandate to question the policy issues. Is CAG a mere accountant? Is it not empowered to look into the implementation of its programmes and policies and examine critically whether the private business interests have been favoured under the current phase of crony capitalism?

Secondly, how is it that the adoption of competitive bidding has been delayed for 7-8 years and has now been finalised in the wake of cancellation of 122 2G  licences by the Supreme Court directing the Union Government to follow the auction route in the allocation of natural resources for commercial purposes.

Natural resources are limited and the people of India, and not the government of the day, are the owners. Frittering away the scarce resources for a song raises serious doubts in public mind.


End to black money!

To put an end to accumulation of black money, all financial transactions involving currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 should be suspended. Indian citizens who possess these currency notes should remit them in any bank within a month. All financial transactions above Rs 15, 000 should be made through cheque and money up to Rs 15, 000 should be allowed to be drawn from the bank in one day. Payments exceeding Rs 15, 000 should be made through cheques. Service tax @ 1% should be charged on every transaction made by cheque and remitted to govt account as service tax. Policy can be reviewed after one month for further amendments.




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