The CIC noted that citizens were exposed to complete substandard and unqualified doctors due to callous attitude of Delhi Bharatiya Chikitsa Parishad. This is the 204th in a series of important RTI judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi
The Central Information Commission (CIC), while disposing an appeal, noted that Delhi Bharatiya Chikitsa Parishad (DBCP), which has the responsibility of registering medical practitioners in the Indian System of Medicine, did not appear to be doing its job.
While giving the judgement on 21 May 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner, said, "Citizens are exposed to complete substandard and unqualified doctors and it is questionable whether such Institutions should be allowed to continue in this manner."
Delhi resident, Rafi Ahmed, on 7 December 2009, sought from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Delhi Bharatiya Chikitsa Parishad under the Department of Health & Family Welfare in Govt of NCT of Delhi, information regarding registration of one Dr Shakeel Ahmad. Here is the information the appellant had sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act...
(with reference to Dr Shakeel Ahmad who was registered with DBCP as a BUMS degree holder).
a) Name of college where Dr. Shakeel Ahmad pursued the BUMS course and year of passing out.
b) Name of the school and the board from where Dr. Shakeel Ahmad had passed his class XII examination and also class XII roll number and year of passing.
In his reply, the PIO stated...
a) Dr Shakeel Ahmad was registered in Delhi Bharatiya Chikitsa Parishad.
b) His certificate of registration has been cancelled with immediate effect vide office letter dated 13/10/2009.
c) He was no more registered with the Parishad.
d) Dr Shakeel Ahmad had requested that no information concerning him should be given to the Appellant.
Rafi Ahmed, the appellant, citing unsatisfactory information provided by the PIO, filed his first appeal.
The First Appellate Authority (FAA), while disposing the appeal gave information to some of the queries asked by Rafi Ahmed.
The FAA stated:
"a) The copy of degree was not available in the official records. Photocopy of marks statement of senior school certificate examination 1994 submitted by Mr Shakeel Ahmed vide roll no 6603447 enclosed.
b) Certificate of registration of Dr Shakeel Ahmed was cancelled with the prior approval of the competent authority. Copy enclosed."
Rafi Ahmed, the appellant, citing unfair disposal of his appeal by the FAA and unsatisfactory information provided by the PIO then approached the CIC with his second appeal.
During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC observed that the appellant has highlighted how Delhi Bharatiya Chikitsa Parishad, which has the responsibility of registering medical practitioners in the Indian System of Medicine does not appear to be doing its job. "He (Rafi Ahmed) had sought information about the degree certificate of Dr Shakeel Ahmad and it has been found that in 2002 Dr Shakeel Ahmad has been given registration on the basis of provisional and internship completion," Mr Gandhi noted.
He said, "It is apparent that subsequently no attempt was made to check if he ever obtained a degree. It is very sad and distressing that Institutions to register and guarantee the basic requirements of medical professionals in the country are running in a very arbitrary manner and appear to be serving their own purpose."
While disposing the appeal as the information was provided, the Bench observed, "In this case after the application of the appellant the registration of Dr Shakeel Ahmad has been cancelled. It is no feasible that citizens go about uncovering fake and unqualified doctors while the registering authorities do not do their job."
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/000666/7817
Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/000666
Appellant : Rafi Ahmed
Inderlok, Delhi – 110035
Respondent : Dr Farhat Umar
Public Information Officer & Registrar
Government of NCT of Delhi
Delhi Bharatiya Chikitsa Parishad
Department of Health & Family Welfare,
CSC – III, 1st Floor, DDA Market, B- Block,
Preet Vihar, Delhi – 110092
The Power ministry had said that supply of excessive stones and boulders especially from Bharat Coking Coal Ltd, a unit of Coal India is a matter of concern, which results in high detention of railway rakes and damage to coal handling system of power plants
The Indian government has set a deadline of next month to constitute a panel of third party sampling agencies amid allegations that stones were being dispatched by Coal India Ltd (CIL) even after the introduction of a mechanism to assess the fuel quality.
According to sources, a panel of third party sampling agencies is to be prepared and the consumer shall appoint his sampling agency from the panel and the deadline for this is 31 August 2014.
The issue of fuel quality being supplied to the power plants had also cropped up in the presentation on coal sector earlier made to the Prime Minister Office.
Last week, Piyush Goyal, minister for coal and power, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha had said that to address the issue of fossil fuel quality, third party sampling and analysis facilities at loading ends have been introduced, and the process is being further streamlined.
He was responding to a query on a tiff between CIL and NTPC in regard to conducting the tests of samples of coal by a third party.
NTPC buys a little more than 140 million tonnes of coal and supplies have been coming from both Eastern coalfields and Mahanadi coalfields. It was found that the higher grade slippage (about 7.5%) occurred from supplies emanating from Eastern Coalfields.
Because of the quality issue, NTPC had held up payments, withholding as much as Rs3,035 crore against coal supplied. After a series of discussions and the introduction of third party sampling and strict enforcement of "cash and carry" mechanism by Coal India in October 2013, NTPC cleared its dues since then, but no decision could be made on the old dues. Finally, in the meeting held on 6th March both the companies decided to settle remaining dues based on sampling results at every mine's end for the previous three months.
The issue of third party sampling of coal had also come up for discussions during the Coal India board meeting held this month.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during his Budget 2014-15 speech had said that a stringent mechanism for quality control of coal were being put in place.
A system for third party sampling of coal is already in place since October last year at loading points.
The Power Ministry had earlier alleged that stones and boulders were still being dispatched to the power plants.
"Supply of excessive stones and boulders especially from BCCL (Bharat Coking Coal Ltd), a Coal India subsidiary, is a matter of concern. It results in high detention of railway rakes and damage to coal handling system of power plants," said a Power Ministry document.
The mechanism could not address the quality issue and so there is a "need to be done at unloading point", it said.
The issue of coal quality last year had resulted in a standoff between the country's largest power producer NTPC and the world's largest coal producer CIL.
After the government intervened, it was decided that a third party mechanism would be introduced to check coal quality.
The absence of hand holding at every step, essential for business success, is proving to be a bane for MSME start-ups
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play a critical role in the economic growth in India. Apart from being the second largest contributor in the employment generation in the country, they play a key role in gross domestic product (GDP) growth and foreign exchange earnings. India UnInc ( A term used by Prof R Vaidyanathan), in spite of being the backbone of the economy, continues to suffer from several issues, which hinders its growth. While financing remains a big constraint, with most of the MSMEs left to themselves to mobilise funds for business needs, the biggest problem that MSMEs face today is the lack of hand holding mechanism for a start up business in India.
Starting a business is a big challenge in India. Most of the people associate the challenge of starting a business to the availability of capital. While funding is a pre-requisite to run a business, the matter does not end here. There are three critical steps that a small business unit will have to take. The first is a set of approvals required to start the business, followed by production of goods and services and the last stage is marketing or selling of goods. Most of the small start-up businesses have no clue about this three-stage process apart from managing the challenge of managing funds.
Let us look at the first step. A business unit needs a set of approvals before it starts functioning. The approval ranges from obtaining a no-pollution certificate for registration with tax authorities to obtaining a no-objection certificate from the fire department, wherever applicable. For instance, not many entrepreneurs know that if they start a business involving household electrical appliances, an approval from Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) would be required. Even a non-polluting unit would need to file an application with relevant pollution department and obtain an acknowledgment.
A small business unit, in order to avail benefits of various schemes offered by the government needs to be registered with the District Industries Center (DIC). This registration is obtained by submitting a Entrepreneurs Memorandum (EM-1 & EM-2). Since many MSMEs may not understand the significance of this, they may miss out on the benefits provided by the government. Typically EM-I registration is required for for industrial land, credit and pollution clearance. EM-2 is required for eligibility for marketing support, raw material, assistance under industrial / MSME policies such as VAT reimbursement, capital investment subsidy and interest subsidy. Unfortunately, most of the MSMEs remain unregistered in India and fail to become eligible for these benefits.
After a business unit has been set up and is ready for production or providing services, the problem for MSMEs is not over. There can be cost overruns causing businesses to run out of money and fail. There is a complete absence of understanding on lean manufacturing for MSMEs. MSMEs have limited bargaining powers and along with cost escalation, the viability of the business becomes questionable. One simple example of cost escalation could be management of heating, ventilation and air conditioning, which can add to its power supply bills.
The biggest support is required at the time of sales. Lack of awareness about the right market place, where goods can be offered for sale is one of the biggest challenges that MSMEs face. In spite of the government coming out with plans such as purchase preference policy, MSMEs find it difficult to sell their products. There is an online portal which National Small Industries Corp (NSIC) is providing to sell products but such schemes are not very effective. MSMEs often fail to realise the significance of branding their products and at best end up becoming a supplier of raw material for large corporations.
The most significant point in the entire cycle of MSMEs business is its growth from micro to small to medium and to large entities. In this growth path, the first stage is very critical. This phase of successful launch of business can take it further to take off stage. Till the stage of take off, capital is as critical as hand holding for MSMEs.
(Vivek Sharma has worked for 17 years in the stock market, debt market and banking. He is a post graduate in Economics and MBA in Finance. He writes on personal finance and economics and is invited as an expert on personal finance shows.)