Relative grading of the ACRs no longer remains personal information and should be disclosed as it forms the very basis for the promotion of an individual officer, ruled the CIC under the RTI Act
New Delhi: The relative grading of officers' annual confidential reports (ACRs) during their promotion is not personal information and should be made public, the Central Information Commission has held, reports PTT.
Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra said although the annual confidential reports or ACRs of an officer are personal information which should be disclosed only to him or her, its relative grading during promotion process should be made public.
"Since the relative grading of the ACRs is the basis for recommending a certain officer for promotion, this needs to be disclosed just as the caste certificate of a public servant needs to be disclosed since that serves as the basis for his appointment to the government service," Mishra said.
The case relates to an RTI application filed by Madhu Khare of Bhopal who sought to know from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) the grading chart of select list of 2001-02 for promotion from Madhya Pradesh Administrative Service to Indian Administrative Services (IAS).
The UPSC objected to disclosure of the chart claiming that it contained the grading based on the ACRs and to that extent, the disclosure of this information would amount to the disclosure of personal information of other officers.
"In the present case, the appellant had not sought the copies of the ACRs. She has only wanted to know the manner in which the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) evaluated and assessed the individual ACRs of the officers and arrived at the grading in each case," Mishra said.
He said mere disclosure of the final relative grading will not help.
"Without the entire chart showing the complete assessment of every officer, it will not be clear how the officers have been assessed in a related matrix," he said.
Mishra said it is without doubt that the relative grading of the ACRs is an important input in the final decision of the DPC in recommending some officers for promotion while leaving out others.
"As held by us in several similar cases in the past, in any examination or evaluation process, certain details about the successful or recommended candidates must be disclosed in order to ensure transparency in the selection process," the CIC said.
He said therefor the relative grading of the ACRs "no longer remains personal information" and should be disclosed as it forms the very basis for the promotion of an individual officer.
"In the light of the above, we are of the view that the desired information, namely, the complete chart of the grading of the ACRs of the officers as assessed and evaluated by the DPC and recommended for promotion must be disclosed," the Chief Information Commissioner said.
According to the Finance Minister, private transactions cannot and ought not to be allowed to be questioned on the basis of imputations and insinuations
New Delhi: Ruling out any probe into business dealings between Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and realty major DLF, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said the government cannot look into private transactions unless there are specific allegations of corruption, reports PTI.
"...unless there is a specific allegation of quid pro quo or corruption, I am afraid private transactions cannot and ought not to be allowed to be questioned on the basis of imputations and insinuations", he said while responding to a question on the Vadra-DLF deals at the Economic Editors' Conference here.
Civil rights activist Arvind Kejriwal had demanded an inquiry into business dealings between Vadra and his companies and real estate giant DLF.
Kejriwal had alleged that DLF gave interest free loan of Rs65 crore to Vadra. The company as well as Vadra had denied the allegations.
Chidambaram said he "could not respond (on the issue) on behalf of the government because that is not the issue here. I think those who made their allegations have made their statement, the company concerned has made a statement and the individual concerned has made a statement".
Vadra had earlier dismissed Kejriwal's allegations as "utterly false and defamatory" saying that his business transactions were "fully reflected" in financial statements before government authorities in compliance with the law.
DLF too had rejected the allegations that it had given unsecured loans to Vadra as a 'quid pro quo' for favours and said it had transparent dealing with him as an individual entrepreneur.
Kejriwal had alleged that besides an interest free loan of Rs65 crore, DLF gave properties worth Rs300 crore to Vadra at throwaway prices.
The Sensex does not seem to represent the Indian economy correctly. The index needs to be made more broad-based in terms of number of companies and sectors. Also emerging companies should be adequately represented in Sensex, so as to reflect the Indian economy fully
How do you gauge the mood of stock market in India? How do you decide whether things are hunky-dory or depressing in the stock market? How do you take a call to make an entry into the market or exit out of it? Though the answers to all these questions are not very easy, one very obvious parameter which gives a good understanding with respect to these questions is to look at the ‘Sensex’ and its movements. The Sensex has always been termed as the barometer of the economy and no wonder daily analysis of the stock market for business news channels starts with a mention of movement in the Sensex and ends with the same as well. Sensex commands the same position in the stock market which ‘Xerox’ has in the photo copy business and ‘Bisleri’ has for mineral water. This is say that if we treat Sensex as a brand then it has a very strong brand recall. But does ‘Sensex’ indeed reflect the mood of the stock market and is it indeed barometer of the Indian economy? Do we indeed need to follow ‘Sensex’ the way we do it?
Let us look at some interesting facts to understand certain limitations which Sensex has as an index. These limitations can be classified as follows:
Sensex movement is extremely sensitive to 6 companies: Sensex is made of 30 companies representing different sectors of the economy. But the fact is that six companies alone can easily alter the movement of the index and give us false impression of market movement in general. Let us look at the data Sensex data in this connection:
It is very obvious that because of the dominant representation of the top six companies in the Sensex, the much-tracked index becomes extremely sensitive to price movement of these companies. Do these six companies mirror Indian economy? Not really.
Surprisingly two out of these six companies are from one corporate house only i.e. HDFC. If 14% of an index is one corporate house of the economy, then it goes on to show how the Sensex can easily get influenced by a decision making activity of this corporate house, though it may not be intentional. It is understood that the Sensex is built on free market capital capitalization method which gives representation to stocks broadly based on their market capitalization but had the Sensex been more broad-based, this shortcoming would have been removed.
Sensex has skewed sectoral representation: Like dominance of certain stocks having the ability to influence the Sensex movement, sectoral representation in the Sensex also looks skewed. Let us look at the data below for sectoral representation of the stocks in the Sensex.
Finance, Oil & Gas and IT have around 50% weightage in the Sensex. Issue is not with only skewed sectoral distribution, but also the fact these sectors are extremely sensitive in terms of price movement and provide undesirable volatility to the index. History shows us that the financial sector has been extremely sensitive to monetary policy, oil and gas to international crude prices and IT to foreign exchange movement. The Sensex volatility exposes investors to portfolio risk in case they try to replicate the Sensex in their portfolio.
Sensex does not capture the mood of change in economy correctly: If you look at the way stocks have been included and excluded from the Sensex since June 2006, you get an idea that inclusions and exclusions are not always based on logic. How can one explain the fact that Sun Pharma, which was included in Sensex on 12 January 2009, was excluded on 3May 2010 and was again included on 8August 2011? Inclusions and exclusions should not be so frequent in any index, especially considering that an index like the Sensex is often projected as an index which measures barometer of the Indian economy.
Additionally, several stocks have been making a come back in the Sensex frequently. Out of 15 stocks which have been excluded from the Sensex post June 2006, six have made a comeback in Sensex which is clearly evident from the table below.
If stocks make such frequent come back in the index, won’t it be fair to say that the index is not capturing the mood of the economy correctly. Ideally new stocks which reflect the emerging economy should also be included in the Sensex by making it more broad-based.
Usage of Sensex can be manipulated by fund managers: Many fund managers use the Sensex as the benchmark index for measuring and showing performance of schemes of their funds. These schemes do not replicate stocks in the index, barring cases of index funds which have stocks almost in the same pattern as the index. It is very easy for fund managers to manipulate the performance of their schemes operating against the Sensex because of limitations such as skewed distribution of the sectors and stocks in the Sensex. It is a different story that many of fund managers still find it difficult to beat the benchmark index.
The Sensex does not seem to represent the Indian economy correctly. The movement in the Sensex often misrepresents the behavior of the Indian economy in general and stock market in particular. The index needs to be made more broad-based in terms of number of companies and sectors. Also emerging companies should be adequately represented in Sensex.