Right to Information
Mizoram School Board demands Rs500 for answer sheet; CIC orders to give it for Re1
The Board of School Education Aizawl denied information under RTI for a student’s answer sheet and insisted on Rs500 as fees. But CIC of the Mizoram Information Commission set it aside helping the cause of millions of students
 
The issue of providing answer sheets to students under RTI Act, has been made loud and clear by a Supreme Court order and various High Court (some ongoing) and Central Information Commission (CIC) orders. Despite that, denial or demanding of exorbitant fees, by Public Information Officers (PIOs) and Appellate Authorities of various school boards and universities, compels applicants to file second appeals. It also results in harassment of students who are poised at the crucial crossroad of their academic life.
 
Here is one such recent case of the North-East, which needs to be hailed. The CIC decision of 8th February, 2016, overruled the school board’s insistence on providing answer sheets at Rs500 per subject and ordered it to provide it at Re1 per page, as per an amendment made by Mizoram’s state government under the RTI Act.
 
Miss R Lalhriatpuii, daughter of Malsawmkimi (RTI applicant) appeared for the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) Examination, 20l4-20l5, which was conducted by the Mizoram Board of School Education (MBSE). When Lalhriatpuii got her mark sheet, she was disappointed with her marks. She believed she fared very well in most of her subjects. 
 
Her mother submitted an RTI Application dated 14th May, 2015 to the State Public Information Officer (SPIO), MBSE, Mizoram Aizawl. She requested copies of answer sheets of all the subjects - Mizo, English, Social Science, Science, Mathematics and, Information Technology.
 
The School Board insisted that it is ready to provide the required information only as per its MBSE bye-laws, by payment of the requisite fee of Rs500 per subject’s answer sheet. Thus, the PIO and the AA of the Mizoram School Board of Education denied her copies of answer sheets under RTI. However, the student’s mother insisted that she had sought this information under RTI Act at the rate of Rs2 per page as prescribed for documents under the RTI Act and RTI Rules (She was not aware of the amendment in which she would have to pay Re1 per page). The student’s mother was thus forced to file second appeal with the CIC, challenging the exorbitant fees charged by the school board and for not furnishing information under RTI rules. She appealed to the CIC to direct MBSE to provide her copies of the answer sheets as per the rates prescribed under the Mizoram RlI Rules, Rs2/- per page (A-4 size); to impose penalty against the erring officials of the MBSE as provided under the RTI Act, 2005. 
 
The CIC hearing was conducted by CIC Mr Lal Dineliana and the Information Commissioner (IC) Mr L Hranenawna. The School Board representative argued that: “MBSE was willing to furnish the evaluated answer-scripts, however, if the answer-scripts are disclosed liberally as desired by the appellant under the RTI Act, then it would adversely affect the functioning of MBSE. He further, mentioned that the disclosure should be under the bye-laws of MBSE, which was also in line with the practices of several other Boards of different States, therefore, in the larger public interest, it deserves to be exempted from disclosure under the RTI Act.”
 
During the second appeal hearing, the student’s mother stated that she had asked for copies of answer sheets of all subjects in which her daughter had appeared in the HSLC Examination 20l4-2015, under RTI Act and she had nothing more to say in this matter, over and above her written complaint to CIC. The CIC informed her that the revised rates for procuring copies of answer sheets is Re1 per page.
 
The Mizoram Information Commission, while considering the second appeal of Mrs Malsawmkimi Vs Mizoram Board of School Education (MBSE) carefully examined several RTI and writ petition cases concerning furnishing of certified copies of answer-sheets to students which were dealt, on-going and stayed in the Central Information Commission; in High Courts of different States and in the apex Supreme Court of India
 
The CIC order states, “this Commission agrees with the most recent decision of the Central Information Commission, dated 15th January 2016 that answer sheets of students can be furnished under the provisions of RTI Act 2005 and RTI rules and examining bodies can only charge the rate fixed as per RTI Rules.
 
“Accordingly MBSE is directed to furnish the answer-sheets of Miss R Lalhriatpuii to her mother, Mrs Malsawmkimi (the appellant) within 15 days of the receipt of this order under intimation to Mizoram Information Commission (MIC) at the rate of Rupee One (1) for each page (in A-4 or A-3 size paper) created or copied, as per Rule 4(a) of The Mizoram RTI Rules.”
 

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Retire later and live longer!
New York : If you are 65 and still working, it can be an add-on for you to live longer while retiring early may increase your chances of dying early, says new research, suggesting that there is a strong relationship between work and longevity.
 
The findings showed that healthy retirees who worked a year longer of age 65 had an 11 percent lower risk of death while unhealthy retirees who worked a year longer had a nine percent lower mortality risk which indicates that factors beyond health may affect post-retirement mortality.
 
"It may not apply to everybody but we think that work brings people a lot of economic and social benefits that could impact the length of their lives," said lead study author Chenkai Wu from the Oregon State University in the US.
 
The team analysed 2,956 people who had retired from 1992 to 2010 and looked at effects of retirement on health.
 
Poor health is one reason people retire early and also can lead to earlier death, so researchers wanted to find a way to mitigate a potential bias in that regard.
 
They divided the participants into unhealthy retirees -- who indicated that health was a factor in their decision to retire and healthy retirees -- who indicated health was not a factor. 
 
The results indicated that during the study period, about a 12 percent of the healthy and a 25.6 percent of the unhealthy retirees died. 
 
Working a year longer had a positive impact on the study participants' mortality rate regardless of their health status.
 
"Most research in this area has focused on the economic impacts of delaying retirement. I thought it might be good to look at the health impacts," Wu added in the paper published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Srinivas Sreeram

9 months ago

It is a trash idea at least in the indian context. One is expected to spend time with grandchildren & plan for the next spiritual life. Working till late years means no time for spirituality. The suggested article is relevant only for those who do not believe in rebirth and only think that they can take the money to heaven or hell and do not have grandchildren.

Satish Yashwant Sabnis

10 months ago

I agree with this 'Retire Later and live longer' I can vouch for this as My Father worked post retirement after 58 years of age and lived till 83 years of age and that too very energetically. Unfortunately he was asked to retire at 83 years and that took a toll on his psyche and he died of heart attack that was uncalled for. I too am thinking of working actively post retirement due after 60 years age.

Odd-even not a solution to Delhi pollution, says AIIMS doctor
New Delhi : The problem of air pollution cannot be tackled by the odd-even formula alone, but the government should also subsidize electric cars which do not pollute the air, said a senior AIIMS doctor.
 
"By implementing the odd-even strategy, only the number of cars can be brought down to some extent, but air pollution and toxicity cannot be brought down at any cost," said Randeep Guleria, head of respiratory medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
 
Speaking at an event ahead of World Asthma Day, Guleria said the odd-even policy won't work in the long run and instead the government should come up with a multi-pronged strategy to deal with the problem.
 
"We need to subsidize electric cars and two wheelers. They are environment friendly. We have to be realistic," he said.
 
Guleria, who is among the world's top pulmonary medicine specialists, also said there was need to improve the quality of cars and fuel. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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