Maharashtra has just one FDA officer for 1.35 lakh people
Food and Drug Administration is the only department directly related to the health of a common man, and yet 31% of the posts in this department are vacant, reveals RTI query
As many as 365 posts of the total 1,176 sanctioned by the Maharashtra government in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are vacant, a query filed under Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed.
RTI activist Anil Galgali had sought information regarding the total posts that were allotted to FDA, along with the ones occupied and the ones that have been left vacant.
"31% of the posts have been lying vacant. For a population of 11 crores of Maharashtra, 1,176 posts that have been allotted for the FDA, only 811 posts have been occupied which means that against 1.35 lakh people, there is only one FDA officer in the state," he said.
According to Galgali, FDA was the only department that is directly related to the health of a common man.
The headquarters of the department is in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) area of Mumbai along with divisions at Thane, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Sangli, Satara, Nagpur and Latur comprising 31 districts of Maharashtra.
In all these offices, only 265 posts of Food Security Officers (FSOs) and 161 posts of Drug Inspectors have been sanctioned by the government. But 78 posts of FSOs and 37 of Drug Inspectors posts still lie vacant, the RTI filed this year, revealed.
In the Food Department, 22 Joint Commissioners' posts lay vacant as compared to the 62 posts sanctioned.
In the Drugs Department of the FDA, 13 out of 35 posts that of technical officers, four out of eight senior Technical Officers, 22 out of 52 posts sanctioned for the Joint Commissioners, nine out of the 12 posts that of the Administrative heads, 23 out of 60 posts that of Sample Assistants and two out of three Plant Operators remain vacant, it further said.


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    Centre asks States to replace affidavits with self-attestation

    The Narendra Modi-led NDA government has been emphasising on replacing gazetted or notarised affidavits with self-attestations


    Terming gazetted-officer signed affidavits as a colonial era practice; Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Friday asked all states to replace them with self-attestation in majority of government works.
    “The decision to implement self-attestation is most historic and landmark decisions since independence. A circular has gone to all states. Some of the states have approved it. Some of the states are complacent. But we are pushing the practice of adopting self-attestation in place of affidavits,” Singh said at a seminar here.
    The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has been emphasising on replacing gazetted or notarised affidavits with self-attestations.
    In this regard, all central government ministries have already been asked to review the existing requirements of affidavits and attested copy by gazetted officers in various forms in a phased-manner and wherever possible, make provision for self-certification of documents and abolition of affidavits.
    Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, said the government was committed to end corruption and bring in anti-graft legislations.
    “We have to plan and target a situation or at least endeavour to proceed in a direction where we have a society which is incorruptible by virtue,” he said.
    He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Fighting Bribery in Business Transactions’ organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
    Addressing the gathering, Secretary, Personnel, Sanjay Kothari talked about the twin weapons of transparency and accountability to end corruption.
    “Corruption is bane for governance. It is anti-ethical, anti-Constitution, anti-conscience and anti-common good,” Kothari said.
    In his opening remark, Patrick Moulette, head of anti-corruption division in OECD, said bribery is bad for business and there is huge negative effect of it in the society.
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    Teesta Setalvad, husband get protection from arrest till 19th February

    The Supreme Court said it would independently examine on the basis of FIR whether it is a case for granting anticipatory bail or not which has been denied to Setalvad and her husband


    The Supreme Court on Friday granted protection from arrest to social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand for another six days. The couple is facing arrest in a case of alleged embezzlement of funds for a museum at Ahmedabad’s Gulbarg Society that was devastated in the 2002 riots.
    The apex court said it would independently examine on the basis of FIR whether it is a case for granting anticipatory bail or not which has been denied to Setalvad and her husband.
    “We are not going to quash the FIR,” a bench comprising justices S J Mukhopadhaya and NV Ramana said.
    Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the couple, said: “We are also only for anticipatory bail” and all documents would be placed to satisfy that “it is not the case of custodial interrogation”.
    After hearing for half an hour during which Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed the plea, the Bench deferred the matter for 19th February, asking the parties to place before it the Gujarat High Court judgment and other additional documents.
    In the meantime, the order passed Thursday granting them interim protection, shall continue till then, the Bench said.
    “We will look into the allegations in the FIR mainly. Let it be very clear, we will be looking at the case not by names but like the case of any ordinary individual,” it observed.
    The apex court was hearing the appeal filed by the Teesta Setalvad and her husband against Thursday’s judgment of the High Court by which their plea for anticipatory bail was rejected for not co-operating with the investigation.
    The High Court had also observed that the couple was not cooperating in the probe and that “they cannot be armoured with full-fledged anticipatory bail when applicant did not cooperate with the investigation.”
    Setalvad and her husband have been booked by the Crime Branch of Gujarat Police on charges of cheating, breach of trust and under the IT Act, in a matter relating to the construction of “Museum of Resistance” in the Gulbarg society in Ahmedabad which was hit by communal riot in 2002.
    On 28 February 2002, in the aftermath of the Godhra train burning incident, armed rioters had swooped on the Gulbarg society and killed 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri.
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    5 years ago

    Let the law take it's own course. In case the allegation of non co operation in investigation is upheld by apex court, then it will mean that those threw stones at others, threw them unmindful of the fact that they themselves were living in glass house.

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