Nation
Parrikar says Chander removed to bring in younger generation in DRDO

The Defence Minister said he had recommended that the position of DRDO Chief should not be held by a person on contract and India needs to introduce slightly younger generation in the scientific world

 

India's Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said there was no controversy in the sacking of Avinash Chander as chief of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Parrikar said it was he who recommended that the position should be held by someone from a “slightly younger generation” and not by someone on contract.
 
Noting that the tenure of Chander had ended in November, he said it was extended on contractual basis due the previous government’s decision.
 
“At these senior positions, they should not be on contract. There are so many eligible, (someone) should be brought among them,” he said.
 
The Minister maintained that there was no controversy in this decision.
 
“I had recommended that this position should not be held by a person on contract. We should introduce in scientific world, slightly younger generation,” he told reporters outside the North Block.
 
Asked who will head DRDO, he said the senior-most person of the cluster head will hold the post temporarily.
 
“We will find out someone good from the DRDO, who has the urge for development,” he said.
 
Asked if the sudden termination of Chander without informing him was right, Parrikar said, “I also got the information from you, from paper and TV”.
 
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last night “approved termination” of the contract of Chander with effect from 31st January.
 
Chander, who was Secretary, Defence Research and Development cum Director General, DRDO and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, had retired on 30 November 2014 on attaining 64 years of age and was given a contract for 18 months.
 

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Who will be India’s next Central Chief Information Commissioner under RTI?
After nearly six months of keeping the post of Central CIC’s post vacant and with 203 applicants responding to DoPT’s advertisement for this post, the screening committee is finally meeting on 16th January to decide a name
 
So, who will be India’s next Central Chief Information Commissioner? 
 
The Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has invited the search committee members comprising cabinet secretary, Rashtrapati Bhavan (chairman); Additional Principal Secretary to PM; Secretary, DoPT; Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs; Secretary, Dept of Expenditure and Professor Ram Chand, National Centre for Agricultural Economics & Policy. They are scheduled to meet at the cabinet secretariat of Rahtrapati Bhavan on 16th January. On the same day, another meeting to draw a panel for information commissioners will also take place.
 
The Agenda note for the meeting states that the 203 applications received for the CIC post have been divided into seven categories to facilitate shortlisting of candidate. The Agenda note procured by Moneylife states: “(the) Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has directed that for the sake of consistency and uniformity in approach, the procedure for selection of information commissioner, which includes amongst other things, advertising the post and short listing by a search committee may be adopted for appointment to the post of Chief Information Commissioner as well. Such short listed panel may then be placed before the selection committee for its consideration.”
 
“Accordingly, a circular was posted on the website of DoPT inviting applications to the post of Chief Information Commissioner on 24.10.2014. The post was also advertised in three leading newspapers (two in English and one in Hindi) as was done for appointment to the posts of information commissioners. The last date of receipt of applications is 24.11.2014. A total number of 203 applications for the post of Chief Information Commissioner in CIC were received. Applications received after the cut-off date of 24.11.2014 are not being considered.”
 
“As per Section 12 (5) of the RTI Act 2005, the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioner shall be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in `law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.”
 
“Accordingly, all these 203 applications have been broadly categorized into seven categories of knowledge and experience as mentioned above. Few applications which do not fall within these seven categories have been mentioned as ‘other’ categories. However, for the sake of categorization, only the main field of knowledge and experience, if any, have not been indicated. 
 
Law: 37
 
Science & Technology: 21
 
Social Service: 09
 
Management: 28
 
Journalism: 03
 
Mass Media: 05
 
Administration and Governance: 89
 
Others: 11
 
Total: 203
 
Here is the list of these 203 candidates…
 

 
“It is pertinent to mention that in a Review Petition filed by Union of India against Hon’ble Supreme Court judgment dated 13.09.2012 in Namit Sharma case, the Hon’ble Supreme Court vie the judgment dated 03.09.2013, inter-alia, gave  the following direction:
 
1. We direct that only persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in the fields mentioned…..be considered for appointment as information commissioner and Chief Information Commissioner.’’
 
The Search Committee would be seeking reports from Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of the shortlisted persons and would ask DoPT to obtain reports from Intelligence Bureau (IB).
 
So, finally it seems the crucial vacancy that had earned ire from activists from across the country is well on its way to be filled up. However, India needs to thank Delhi-based RTI activist Commodore Lokesh Batra (retd) who has been pursuing this issue through RTI applications. Batra says, “Though there is a huge delay in filling up the above posts, I am of the opinion that this time the process of shortlisting is going to be more transparent.’’
 
 
 
Here is the chronology of his efforts as timeline by him:
 
07.09.2014 : Filed RTI in DoPT (No. 1-Attachment)
 
07.10.2014 : CPIO, DoPT sent response and intimated that both the Files are under submission i.e. (i) File No.4/4/2014-IR concerning processing the appointment of Information Commissioners in CIC and (ii) File No.4/7/2014-IR concerning processing of appointment of Chief Information Commissioner" in CIC.
 
29.10.2014, I inspected File No.4/7/2014-IR : concerning appointment of Chief Information Commissioner after it was returned by PMO and collected certified copies of Notings Side from Page NOs 15 to 31 (last page). I also collected relevant 10 pages from Correspondence side.
 
DoPT File No.4/7.2014 : Appointment of Chief Information Commissioner in CIC 2014
 
• PMO after holding the file for over two and half months (from 01.08.2014)..... returned the file to DoPT vide PMO ID dated 17 October 2014. In its note of 17 October 2014, PMO stated that : Quote : "Prime Minister has desired that for the sake of consistency and uniformity in approach, the procedure for selection of Information Commissioners which includes, among other things, advertising the post and short listing by a Search Committee, may be adopted for appointment to the post of Central Information Commissioner as well. Such short-listed panel may then be placed before the Selection Committee for its consideration." Unquote
 
12 June 2014 : DoPT sought clarification from Lok Sabha Secretariat :
"xxx whether any leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha has been recognised. If the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha has not been recognised as such, it is requested to kindly intimate the name of the leader of the single largest group in opposition of Government in the Lok Sabha, for the purpose of selection of Information Commissioners as per the RTI Act."
 
19 June 2014 : Lok Sabha Secretariat responded to DoPT's above clarification and stated : Quote "As on date, there is no Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. Indian National Congress with a strength of 44 members is, however, the single largest party in opposition to the Government in Lok Sabha. As per information received from the party, Mallikaarjun Kharge is the Leader of Indian National Congress in Lok Sabha" Unquote
 
08 July 2014: DoPT sought the advice of Department of Legal Affairs (DOLA) as to whether the Leader of single largest party in opposition can be considered as Leader of the single largest group in opposition, in Lok Sabha, for the sake of section 12(3) of RTI Act.
 
15 July 2014: Pending Clarification from DOLA..... DoPT submitted file with brief to PMO for kind consideration of Hon'ble Prime Minister on 'Appointment of Chief Information Commissioner' in Central Information Commission for :-

 

(i) Nomination of a Union Cabinet Minister for the Selection Committee u/s of the RTI act.

(ii) A convenient date for holding of the meeting of the Selection Committee.

 
21 July 2014: V. Sheshadri, Director, PMO in its note to Secretary, DoPT conveyed that the Prime Minister has nominated Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence, as the Member of the Selection Committee under of Section 12(3) of the RTI Act. The PMO note goes on to say "The undersigned is directed to convey that the matter shall be resubmitted for a decision on date of meeting of Selection Committee, after the issue raised in para 6 of the aforesaid note is decided."
 
17 July 2014: DOPT received clarification from DOLA. DOLA confirmed on DoPT query in affirmative with a rider that "We, however, clarify that this answer is only for the limited purpose of the RTI Act [explanation below section 12(3)] and not for any other purpose"
 
31 July 2014: File was again submitted to PMO. In this note name of Mallikarjun Kharge, the Leader of Indian National Congress in Lok Sabha was included as Member of the Selection Committee and Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence as Member of the Selection Committee.
 
17 October 2014: PMO after holding the file for over two and half months (from 01.08.2014)..... returned the file to DoPT vide PMO ID dated 17 October 2014
 
24 October 2014 : DoPT uploaded a circular on the website of DoPT advertising post of Chief Information Commissioner and later also advertised in English and Hindi Newspapers
 
 
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

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COMMENTS

vswami

2 years ago

S(sss)o much said but still far to realize, what exactly is the real life problem clouding all about or behind (rather the right, center and left of)the long (or short!)talks widely being indulged in ! To be precise,the poser coming to sharp focus is, - whither 'governance' (let alone 'GOOD governance'), 'Responsibility','Answer-ability' so on. No knowing who or whom to question, to try and elicit an answer; if not the valuable "INFORMATION" the RTI Actis meant for/stands to guarantee.

Not long before, one remembers to have read about the most crucial and important similar functionary, under the 'Securities' Act, namely,the Appellate Tribunal left to remain without the 'HEAD'- 'President' for quite long.

SEBI suspends stockbroker Shreenath Kapoor’s certificate of registration

SEBI, while passing the suspension order pointed out that the stock broker failed to furnish any documentary evidence to dispute the dues towards the registration fees 

 

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has suspended the registration certificate of Shreenath Kapoor, a stock broker from Calcutta Stock Exchange till he pays outstanding registration fee. Kapoor is a member of the cash segment of the CSE. 
 
Every stockbroker is required to pay fees as specified in Schedule III.  In accordance with the provisions of Schedule III to the Brokers Regulations, a stockbroker is required to pay the fees on or before 1st October for the preceding financial year as prescribed. It was observed that Kapoor made an initial payment of Rs5,000 on 7 January 1993 towards registration fees. Thereafter, no payment was received from Kapoor.
 
SEBI initiated summary proceedings in the year 2005, in terms of SEBI (Procedure for Holding Enquiry by Enquiry Officer and Imposing Penalty) Regulations, 2002, in respect of the alleged failure to pay the registration fees by the broker. The fee liability as on date of initiation of summary proceedings was Rs4.16 lakh along with interest at the rate of 15% per annum.
 
Subsequently, SEBI vide letter dated 7 April 2010 granted an opportunity to the broker to submit written representations. SEBI vide notice dated 11 January 2011 once again granted an opportunity to the broker to submit written representations. In the interest of principles of natural justice, an opportunity of personal hearing was granted to the broker on 4 September 2014.
 
In spite of repeated efforts by SEBI, the broker failed to make the payment. SEBI noted that during the personal hearing also the broker did not submit any details in respect of payment of fees as per the demand of SEBI. It is also pertinent to mention that the broker failed to furnish any documentary evidence to dispute the registration fees due to be paid by him as on date.
 
Finally, SEBI passed the order suspending the certificate of registration till the time the outstanding registration fee is fully paid.
 

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