e-Postal order to help Indian diaspora file RTI applications

The Department of Personnel has agreed in principle with the Department of Posts to launch e-IPO which can be easily purchased by the applicant living abroad using their credit or debit cards

New Delhi: Making it easy for the Indian diaspora to seek information under the RTI Act, the Centre has decided to float electronic Indian Postal Order (IPO) for paying RTI fee, which can be purchased using debit and credit cards, reports PTI.

The Indians settled abroad were finding it difficult to seek information under the transparency law as IPO or Demand Draft of Rs10 was not easily available.

The Department of Personnel has now agreed in principle with the Department of Posts to launch e-IPO which can be easily purchased by the applicant living abroad using their credit or debit cards.

Under the proposed scheme, once applicant purchases e-IPO using credit or debit card physical postal order will not be generated, only a number would be generated which could be mentioned on the application by the applicant.

"Information seeker will write this number on his RTI application and send to public authority. Service of e-IPO along with RTI application will be applicable to Central Public authorities", a Personnel Ministry circular said.

The details provided by the applicant will be matched with those on the Department of Posts web site and once transaction details are matched, fee will be accepted.

"Money will not be received physically by the PIO but will be transferred to a consolidated fund of India. This will be on the patten of the payment received by the Department of Posts in the scheme of CAPIOs", it said.

The Ministry directed all Ministries and departments to appoint nodal officers for handling e-RTI applications.

It said the nodal officers will be given training to handling these applications once the modalities are worked out.

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IRDA asks Life Council to prepare single insurance product

The whole question of bundling of insurance with other products is a major issue and we need to examine the implications further then only we will be able to come out with regulatory intervention, the IRDA chairman said

Hyderabad: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has asked the Life Insurance Council to design a single insurance product that will cover life as well as non-life, reports PTI.

"It will be a single product. Basically it is a product to protect life and also against personal accidents. It protects against the loss of assets - cattle and vehicles," IRDA Chairman J Harinarayana said.

"The idea was referred to the life council. Supposing we have only one type of product, will that reduce cost and make it more efficiently distributed. That is something these people will have to study and come out with," he added.

Speaking on the sidelines of a national conference organised by Assocham on 'Financial Inclusion-  Integrating Insurance into Total Package', he said it has come to their notice that microfinance institutions were asking for a high service charge on the sale of micro-insurance products.

"The whole question of bundling of insurance with other products is a major issue. Not just in India but internationally. So we are also studying this why to allow this kind of bundling. We need to examine the implications further. Then only we will be able to come out with regulatory intervention," he said.

He said the Life Council was asked to look into the issue of creating lead insurers in-line with lead bankers for serving insurance products.

Mr Harinarayana also a released whitepaper prepared by Ernst and Young in association with Assocham on 'Need for Financial Inclusion: An Integrated Approach'.

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Empower ministry to take strict action against TV ads: Soni

In the past one year government had issued 105 notices and on 85 occasions advertisements had been changed or dropped by channels concerned, however, in 15 cases the government is facing litigation

New Delhi: Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Tuesday sought support from members of Parliament (MPs) to take strict action against television channels broadcasting objectionable advertisements, reports PTI.

Ms Soni made this appeal in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour as she was flooded with demands for action against television channels showing advertisements which are demeaning and derogatory to women.

She said there were 15 different laws to check content on television and print media and the government had been criticised on many occasions when it had issued advisories to erring media.

"I can work within the ambit of the law. I cannot issue a directive for action against any particular channel or newspaper," Ms Soni said, urging MPs to empower the hands of the ministry to enable strict action against such channels.

Ms Soni pointed out that the government had faced legal notices whenever it had issued advisories to television channels.

She said in the past one year government had issued 105 notices and on 85 occasions advertisements had been changed or dropped by channels concerned. In 15 cases the government was facing litigation, she said.

Ms Soni said a draft Bill to tackle the issue of objectionable advertisements in media has been put up on the website of the I&B ministry and asked members to give their suggestions on the matter.

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