Sharing RTI experiences

Even though it is said that democratic governments, for all their messiness, are less fragile, as they draw their legitimacy from pluralism and political contestation, rather than from high economic growth or nationalist appeals, I do not agree in totality with the same and am constrained to share my RTI experiences.

When RTI Act, 2005 was implemented in October 2005, I was sure I would get justice and transparency of affairs would be exposed with regard to Dr Verghese Kurien as IRMA Chairman who had controversy with NDDB in the year 2002 over the role of dairy cooperatives. I did not know in July 2002 as to why the two years’ contractual assignment was terminated or why I was not given regular position in NDDB. The things were getting sour and I started continuous correspondence with P&A (HR) section of NDDB, Anand after implementation of it as text of RTI Act, 2005 clearly spelt out that every public authority would communicate every decision to affected people, however

I did not receive information pertaining to the following, however

  • Closure of NDDB State Office (even though there was some dispute for transfer of dairies/Milk Unions of Jharkhand by Comfed, Patna for which NDDB has interfered for Dairy Federation in Jharkhand some years back)
  • Renaming of National Information Network (NIN) to Rural Economics & Livelihood, threat for legal actions even though were received from NDDB, Anand
  • Rechristening of “Executive” position to “Manager” in NDDB, Anand along with rechristening of Assistant Executive to Manager in MPCDF, Bhopal (IAS-managed)

Given under the threat of legal actions, I, ultimately sought and received information under RTI Act, 2005 from NDDB, Anand in due manner during 2008-09 after some spate of correspondences. But as per information received I also applied for Senior Manager (SAS) position in NDDB, Anand in 2010 as per an advertisement for vacancy in the Times of India newspaper, the reply to which there was closure of NDDB State offices at Lucknow and Patna and thereafter, no interest was shown for re-instated position in NDDB, Anand.

After creation of states of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttrakhand, NDDB has sought applications for NDDB State Offices during 1999-2000. These state offices had been opened in the locations of the states with dairy cooperative federations with misnomer “state” term. During 2008-09,  Lucknow state office was opened after closing of Bhopal and Kanpur state offices, the same was also closed during 2010-11 along with Patna State Office. NIN was renamed to SAS after IDR and REL. The above two facts also qualify for information under RTI Act, 2005.

Ajay Kumar

I am a post graduate in rural management from IRMA, Anand from PRM 12 apart from BA (honors) in Political Science. I have worked with government organisations, MPCDF, Bhopal, Bhopal Milk Union and NDDB, Anand. I have been placed at Patna also apart from Anand. During last sixteen years, I have been associated with twelve NGOs and Civil Society organisations directly and with several others indirectly. I have worked in various development areas in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. My accomplishments can not be adjudged by financial returns to me or newspaper based recognition but will and motivation to perform and excel with whatever little learning and knowledge I have.

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