Thursday, July 23, 2015

[rti4empowerment] "Time mila toh I'll think about politics" : TOI feature on One of the youngest RTI activists Lucknow girl Aishwarya Parashar


"Time mila toh I'll think about politics" : TOI feature on One of the youngest RTI activists Lucknow girl Aishwarya Parashar

Jul 24 2015 : The Times of India (Lucknow)
Time mila toh I'll think about politics
Saloni Tandon

One of the youngest RTI activists, city girl Aishwarya Parashar has been asking the government pertinent questions about civic issues, governance and Indian history 
Thirteen-year-old Aishwarya Parashar has as many RTI queries to her name as her age, making her one of the youngest RTI activists in the country . The Class IX student of CMS Rajajipuram filed her first RTI query at the age of seven, and there has been no stopping her since then. From questions pertaining to her History classes that her teacher can't answer to governance matters in the country , Aishwarya's RTI applications have even left the concerned authorities stumped at the little girl's knack for questioning.

"My mother, Urvashi Sharma, is a social activist. She would hold sessions with people every Sunday who would come and discuss their problems with her. When I was in Class 3, I heard her telling a few people about the Right to Information. It was then that I came to know what it is," says Aishwarya, as she goes on to tell us about her first RTI query . "I was in Class III only and there was this garbage house right outside our school. Everybody used to complain about it, but to no avail. I filed an RTI to the CM Office asking who would take responsibility if any of the kids fell ill because of the unhygienic condition outside our school. Within a month, the garbage house was cleared and now, a library has been constructed there. Because of the prompt action taken then, I knew it was an effective tool," she adds.

Aishwarya's queries have ranged from local civic issues to more pertinent questions about the country's history . Like her 2012 query to the PMO on the title of `Father of the Nation' given to Mahatma Gandhi."I had read in my history books that Gandhiji was called Father of the Nation. But who gave him that title, since when was he called that and if there was an official order ­ there was no information on that. So I filed an RTI to the Prime Minister's Office, which kept being forwarded to different departments for a long time. Finally , I came to know that the earliest reference of the title was in a speech by Subhash Chandra Bose and there was no official order related to it," she explains.

Aishwarya's latest RTI was addressed to the CM Office in UP and the PMO, seeking details on the funds spent and the meetings called in FY 2014-15 and 2015-16 in the Clean Gomti and Clean Ganga campaigns.
"I filed the query in May 2015. The response I got was that the central government had not spent any money on the campaign in FY 2015-16," she says.

Another RTI by Aishwarya which turned out to be quite a revelation was regarding hockey being the national game of India. "I wanted to know when had the government issued an order to announce the country's national game, and the response I got from the Ministry of Youth Affairs was that there was no official order or notification which gives hockey the status of national game!" she says.

Aishwarya has encouraged her friends and teachers to get RTI-friendly . "It is a misconception that filing an RTI is a long process. I just write the application, pay the `10 application fee by Indian Postal Order and send it to the concerned office by speed post. Initially, I would take my mother's help, but now I can do it on my own," says Aishwarya, adding, "After seeing me, a few of my friends and even my father have also started filing RTIs." Ask her about the problems she faces and she says nonchalantly , "Kabhi kabhi RTI transfer kar dete hain. Kabhi response delay ho jaata hai jisse appeal file karne ka time nikal jaata hai. In that case, I have to file the RTI again. But I haven't faced any hassles as such."

Like other girls her age, Aishwarya is extremely fond of singing and dancing. "Now studies are so much, I don't get much for my hobbies, but I used to attend dance classes when I was in Class VI," says Aishwarya, who aspires to be a cardiologist. "I want to become a heart specialist, but my friends keep saying I should become a politician. But first I'll concentrate on becoming a doctor, phir time mila toh I'll think about politics," she says candidly .

Aishwarya's mother, Urvashi Sharma, attributes Aishwarya's affinity for RTIs to her inquisitive nature. "Bachpan se hi Aishwarya aisi hi rahi hai ­ kya ho raha hai, kyun ho raha hai, she's always been very questioning. She reads the newspapers and all her queries from her classes or current matters which we or her teachers can't answer, she files an RTI for the same," says Urvashi.



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Sunday, July 12, 2015

[rti4empowerment] IndiaToday : : RTI appointments: Babus give cold shoulder to PM's 'demographic dividend'


RTI appointments: Babus give cold shoulder to PM's 'demographic dividend'

Documents reveal that when it came to curbing corruption and empowerment of citizens by filling key posts at the Central Information Commission, bureaucrats chose to introduce an arbitrary provision to keep the youth out.

Jugal R Purohit New Delhi, July 11, 2015 | UPDATED 09:49 IST

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has seldom shied away from referring to India's 'demographic dividend' and goading the youth to do more, the top bureaucrats running his administration share little of his enthusiasm. Documents reveal that when it came to curbing corruption and empowerment of citizens by filling key posts at the Central Information Commission, bureaucrats chose to introduce an arbitrary provision to keep the youth out. They instead opted to empower retired government servants. This occurred in the much-delayed and recently-concluded selection for the post of one Chief  Information Commissioner and three Information Commissioners (ICs).

An application under the Right to Information Act of 2005 (RTI), filed by retired naval officer, Commodore Lokesh Batra has unearthed nearly 250 pages of the official correspondence for the same.

For selection to posts like CIC and ICs, the RTI Act 2005 seeks "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". Based on this, applications were invited. 203 applications were received for the post of CIC and 553 for the three posts of ICs. Documents reveal that of the entire lot, over 400 applications were made by people from categories like Law, Management, Science and Technology, Journalism, Social Service and others. However in a meeting of the 'Search Committee' on January 16, 2015, "...the committee had decided to further consider the detailed applications of persons with experience of 30  years and above". Having done this, in a subsequent 'Search Committee' meeting on April 25, 2015, three retired government servants were shortlisted for one CIC post and nine were shortlisted by three IC posts, no other applications from  any sector specified in the act were found eligible for short-listing. It was based on this short-listing that on June 1, PM Modi, Finance Minister Jaitley and Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge made the final selection of Vijai Sharma as the CIC and Sudhir Bhargava as Information Commissioner. Incidentally since Vijai Sharma was elevated from the post of Information Commissioner to CIC and only one appointment was made to the post of IC, vacancies in CIC remained for three ICs.

"This process of rejecting the names of applicants on this ground has clearly violated the basic right of a citizen of 'equality to status and of opportunity' granted by our constitution. This should be challenged in the court," said Commodore Batra. He also termed the process an 'eyewash' since the new CIC has "just 100 working days" before he retired. Former Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi remarked, " The selection process is being fixed so that the Commission becomes a senior citizens club! Yes, it does look as if they want a smaller number applying and favouring retired persons. A larger problem is that the Commissioners are not working fully and efficiently."

The committee consisted of former Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, Home Secy LC Goyal, Expenditure Secy Ratan Watal, DoPT Secy Sanjay Kothari, Additional PS to PM PK Mishra & Director, National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy, Prof Naresh Chand. When asked for their comments, with questions sent on email, none of the members of the committee responded.

Shortlisted for CIC

Atul Kumar Gupta, retired IAS officer and former UP Chief Secretary
Dinesh Kumar Mehrotra, Retired LIC Chairman

Vijai Sharma, retired IAS officer

Shortlisted for IC

Ashish Bahuguna, retired  IAS

Sudhir Bhargava, retired IAS    
Amitava Bhattacharya, retired IAS

Stuti Narain Kacker, retired IAS

Dr SS Mantha, Former Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education

Rajan K Medhekar, retired IPS

Vijaya Moorthy, retired Indian Audit and Accounts Service officer

Dr Shyamal Kumar Sarkar, retired IAS

R Venkateswarlu, retired Indian Information Service officer

Note :

After Vigilance Clearance reports .....the name of Shri Atul Kumar Gupta, retired IAS officer and former UP Chief Secretary was replaced with Shri  Sanjay Kumar Srivastva in meeting of Search Committee held on 14.05.2015            


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Saturday, July 11, 2015

[rti4empowerment] Poster Free Delhi : Making use of the rains [2 Attachments]

[Attachment(s) from Col Shivraj included below]

Dear Friends,
This is the link for the Delhi HC orders of 6 May 2015, wherein, the Hon'ble Delhi High Court has directed the Civic agencies to clear all Defacement under the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act 2007..

We should make use of this opportunity and help the civic agencies to make Delhi Poster Free.

During the raining season, the Posters get soggy and can be easily removed.

Request come out in large numbers in your areas and clean up.
Pl spread this message to all your Friends and relatives in Delhi.

Col Shivraj
Munirka Vihar Welfare Association
210 Munirka Vihar
New Delhi-110067
Phone: 26102999
Mob: 9810433842


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Thursday, July 9, 2015

[rti4empowerment] UP CM requested to grant compensation package to the family of slain RTI activist Guru Prasad of Bahraich


Get complete details and attachments at

Email as sent : urvashi sharma<>      Attachment

Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 9:07 AM
To: cmup <>, cmup <>, csup <>,
csup <>, dgp <>, uppcc <>,
uppcc-up <>, dmluc <>, ""
<>, ssplkw-up <>
Cc: covdnhrc <>, ionhrc <>, hgovup
<>, hgovup <>, hgovup <>,
uphrclko <>

Ref. No: 20150710/ YSS/2015-16/ GuruPrasad-email         Date :10th July 2015


1-      ShriAkhileshYadav
Hon'ble Chief Minister,
Govt. of Uttar Pradesh,
Luncknow,Uttar Pradesh.
Ph: 0522-2236181 2239296 2215501
Fax: 0522-2236838 2236985
E.mail: "cmup" <>, "cmup" <>,

2- -     ShriAlokRanjan,
Chief Secretary,
Govt. of Uttar Pradesh,
Uttar Pradesh.
Ph: 0522-2221599
Fax: 0522-2239283
E.mail: "csup" <>, "csup" <>,

3--      Director General of Police,
Police Headquarters,
No.1, TilakMarg,
City Lucknow,
Pin: 226001.
Uttar Pradesh
Ph: 0522-2206104
Email, "uppcc-up" <>, "uppcc" <>,

4-- District Magistrate,
District Headquarters
Lucknow District
Uttar Pradesh.

5- S.S.P. – District Lucknow
Lucknow,Uttar Pradesh-226001

Sub. : Request to grant the compensation package to the family of RTI
activist Sri Guru Prasad of Bahraich who was hacked to death over RTI.

YAISHWARYAJ    Seva  Sansthan is a Lucknow based registered society
(Registration No. 1074-2011-2012) with its camp office at  101,Narayan
Tower,Opposite F Block Idgah ,Rajajipuram , Lucknow-226017,Uttar
Pradesh,India. The organization is actively involved in raising and
solving  Youth-awakening , Agricultural , Industrial & unorganized
sector-child-labor  ,Social , Health  , Women-empowerment ,
Atmosphere-conservation , Rehabilitation   , Yoga-awakening,
Anti-Corruption &  Judicial  Issues  with the People ,for the People,

In its recently held RTI award 2015 ceremony in April 2015,YAISHWARYAJ
has rewarded Sri Prasad with prestigious RTI Ratna Award (IIIrd Prize)
for his exemplary selfish work in the field of transparency. In June
2015, Sri Guru Prasad was  beaten to death by the village pradhan and
his relatives for seeking information on development work in the
village under the Right To Information Act.

Its unfortunate to see that in place of an uniform compensation policy
to the murders of whistleblowers,RTI activists,news reporters etc., UP
state government is awarding compensation on its own whims and fancies
which is largely unconstitutional.

On 09-07-2015, wife of Sri Guru Prasad visited us in Lucknow and told
us that though she has formally raised her demand for a compensation
package involving 25 Lakhs cash, a government job, a house and safety
& security to her family, you had not awarded any compensation package
to her. She has authorized us to fight her case further so that she
should get justice.

We are hereby serving this one month's notice to you to call her and
award her a suitable compensation package. If your office fails to
award the desired compensation within this time period, we shall be
constrained to hold an indefinite DHARNA/ANSHAN along with the family
of RTI activist Guru Prasad for which you and your government shall be

Copy for necessary action by e-mail to :
1-      The Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission,
Block-C, GPO Complex, INA,
New Delhi – 110 023
Email: "covdnhrc" <>, "ionhrc" <>,

2-     Sri Ram Naik
  The Governor of Uttar Pradesh,Uttar Pradesh Government Lucknow,
Uttar Pradesh,India,Pin Code-226001
"hgovup" <>, "hgovup" <>, "hgovup" <>,

3- Mr. Justice Tarun Chatterjee,
U.P. State Human Rights Commission,
TC-34 V-1,
Gomti Nagar,
Fax No.: 0522 – 2305808


Truly yours,

Urvashi Sharma
101,Narayan Tower, Opposite F block Idgah

Uttar Pradesh,India
Contact 9369613513
Right to Information Helpline 8081898081
Helpline Against Corruption   9455553838


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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

[rti4empowerment] सपा की चुनाव 17 रणनीति के अनुसार जिलेवार फोल्डर वितरण पर अखिलेश ने खर्चे 4,68,975 रुपये !


कहने बालों ने सही ही कहा है 'माले मुफ्त, दिले बेरहम', यानि कि अगर मुफ्त का माल हो तो उड़ाने में दर्द नहीं होता है। इसीलिये तो आजकल सरकारें जनता के पैसों को मनमर्जी उड़ाने में कतई संकोच नहीं करती हैं और सरकारी खजाने को अपनी राजनैतिक महत्वाकांक्षाओं की पूर्ति के लिए जमकर इस्तेमाल करती हैं।


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[rti4empowerment] No proposal to 'dislodge' tiger and make lion national animal


No proposal to 'dislodge' tiger and make lion national animal

,TNN | Jul 8, 2015, 04.05 PM IST

LUCKNOW: Reacting to an RTI query from Lucknow's 'RTI girl' Aishwarya Parashar, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India has said that it has no proposal to make lion the national animal.

There were reports that the central government was deliberating on making lion the national animal instead of tiger. To know the truth, Aishwarya asked for records of government proceedings on changing the national animal on May 4.

On June 17, the union ministry said it has no proposal in this regard.

In April, it was reported that the Modi government is considering a proposal to make lion India's national animal instead of tiger which has been the one since 1972. Wildlife activists had raised concern that it would dilute the campaign to protect tigers.

The reports said that it was Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand Parimal Nathwani, an industrialist, who sent the proposal to the environment ministry. The proposal was then passed on to the National Board of Wild Life (NBWL) for consideration.


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Monday, July 6, 2015

[rti4empowerment] कायम रहेगी बाघ की बादशाहत,शेर को राष्ट्रीय पशु बनाने का कोई प्रस्ताव नहीं - पर्यावरण मंत्रालय [1 Attachment]

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उन बाघप्रेमियों के लिए यह खबर राहत देने बाली हो सकती है जो बीते अप्रैल में  केंद्र सरकार द्वारा बाघ की बजाय शेर को राष्ट्रीय पशु बनाने पर विचार करने की  ख़बरों से  परेशान थे।
यूपी की राजधानी लखनऊ निवासी 'आरटीआई गर्ल'   13 वर्षीय ऐश्वर्या पाराशर  द्वारा दायर एक आरटीआई अर्जी  पर भारत सरकार के पर्यावरण, वन  एवं जलवायु परिवर्तन मंत्रालय  द्वारा दिए गए  जबाब से यह स्पष्ट हो गया है  कि फिलहाल राष्ट्रीय पशु की  पदवी पर बाघ की ही बादशाहत कायम रहेगी


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