Thursday, August 30, 2012



Many welfare schemes for women are implemented by Government of India, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. The details of major schemes under implementation by Ministry of Women and Child Development for the welfare of women are as under:

i. RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL CRECHE SCHEME FOR THE CHILDREN OF WORKING MOTHERS (RGNCS) provides day care facilities to the children in the age group 0-6 years from families with monthly income of less than 12000/-. In addition to being a safe space for the children, the crèches provide services such as supplementary nutrition, pre-school education and emergency health care, etc.

ii. CENTRAL SOCIAL WELFARE BOARD: The main women welfare related schemes and programmes being implemented by CSWB are family counselling centres, awareness generation programme and condensed courses of education for women.

iii. NATIONAL MISSION FOR EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN (NMEW) is an initiative of the Government of India for empowering women holistically. It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme sanctioned in April 2011 and acts as an umbrella Mission with a mandate to strengthen inter-sectoral convergence.

iv. WORKING WOMEN’S HOSTEL (WWH) Scheme envisages provision of safe and affordable hostel accommodation to working women, single working women, women working at places away from their home-towns and for women being trained for employment.

v. SUPPORT TO TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMME (STEP) for Women was launched as a Central Sector Scheme during 1986-87. It aims at making a significant impact on women by upgrading skills for self and wage employment. The target group includes the marginalized assetless rural women and urban poor.

vi. RASHTRIYA MAHILA KOSH (RMK) with a corpus of Rs.100 crore extends micro-finance services to bring about the socio-economic upliftment of poor women.

vii. INDIRA GANDHI MATRITVA SAHYOG YOJANA (IGMSY) is a Conditional Cash Transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating (P&L) women introduced in the October 2010 to contribute to better enabling environment by providing cash incentives for improved health and nutrition to pregnant and nursing mothers.

viii. SWADHAR SCHEME: The Ministry of Women and Child Development had been administering Swadhar scheme since 2001 for Women in difficult circumstances. Under the Scheme, temporary accommodation, maintenance and rehabilitative services are provided to women and girls rendered homeless due to family discord, crime, violence, mental stress, social ostracism. Another scheme with similar objectives/target groups namely Short Stay Home (SSH) is being implemented by Central Social Welfare Board.

ix. UJJAWALA is a comprehensive scheme for prevention of trafficking and rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
This was stated by Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister for Women and Child Development in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha today

IT Minister Kapil Sibal calls for separating regulatory services functions of Department of Post

Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal has called for restructuring of 150-year-old Department of Post by separating its regulatory and services functions to meet challenges of technological age.

"The postal department should also restructure itself to meet challenges of 21st century. The Department of Post (DoP) should look into prospect of bifurcating the ministry from the regulator and the operator, just as was done in the telecom sector," Sibal told PTI.

He said that the DoP should explore possibility of having different entities namely policy making, regulator and service provider. "No decision has been taken yet. It is all a matter of debate and dialogue at the moment," Sibal said.

DoP, which has around 5 lakh employees, is responsible for policy making, regulation and providing postal services, at present.

The over 100-year old Indian Post Office Act bars any individual or entity from delivering letters for commercial purpose. The business of private courier companies is built around delivering documents, parcels and others items which do not fall under the category of 'letter'.

Sources in the ministry said that Sibal held a meeting with DoP officials early this week on the issue of finanlisation of the National Postal Policy 2012 and asked them to prepare roadmap for restructuring as well.

They said that next meeting on the issue is expected to take place in 15 days. They said that the minister, in June, had asked DoP to set up a body to oversee the unbundling of its functions.

An independent body named Postal Development Board (PDB) will be responsible for the overall development and governance of the postal sector, they added. The PDB will also draw a road-map for unbundling of postal department functions.

The minister had also instructed DoP to constitute a Postal Advisory Board (PAB), in line with Telecom Commission, which should have representation from government, industry players, academics and other stakeholders, they said. The role of PAB will be to provide inputs to PDB on policy matters.

The government in 1997 created the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to regulate the sector. Under New Telecom Policy 1999, government further restructured DoT by separating service providing function from it.

Source:-The Economic Times


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Clarification on the admissibility of House Rent Allowance (HRA) during the Child Care Leave (CCL)

Clarification on the admissibility of House Rent Allowance to the Central Government Employees posted at Greater Noida

Kendriya Vidyalayas may soon have two weekly offs

MUMBAI: Over a million Kendriya Vidyalaya students across the country could soon enjoy an extended weekend as authorities are mulling over cutting their working days and making schooling a five-day affair.

This is aimed at allowing students to "pursue self-learning" and follow their passion and indulge in non-academic activities. In a meeting last week, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan heads felt that five-day week would give "space" to children who, for years, merely get an off on Sundays besides the second Saturday of the month. "Keeping them bound to the school routine six days a week is detrimental to their natural growth of talent in various fields," noted the minutes of the meeting (a copy is with TOI) that took place on Thursday.

The KVs outside India, in Iran, Moscow and Khatmandu, work for five days. "While the Western system of education is quoted and applauded in ways, the important aspect of giving autonomy to students to pursue their hobbies and interests away from the Vidyalaya binding is overlooked," noted All India Kendriya Vidyalaya Teachers' Association president A S Mazumdar. He added that there are several institutions that follow a five-day-week time table.

Most teachers acknowledged that such an arrangement would also reduce their work stress.

"It is possible for schools to follow a five-day week and maintain academic rigour too. We have always followed such a work schedule and there has been no problem that we have faced. We do work more on a case-to-case basis when someone needs more attention," said Mumbai's Podar School principal Avnita Bir.

But Bir pointed out that under their job profile, the KVS staff has a lot of paperwork to do and she was not sure how teachers would manage that.

When the recommendation was discussed with some officials, they initially shot it down and said that the proposal was not sounding feasible and that working hours for teachers as stipulated under the Right to Education Act had to be adhered to. But while the KV students have a heavier week academically than their counterparts in most other schools, teachers feel they too work more than their peers in other institutes.

After the implementation of the RTE, working hours for teachers have been raised from six hours to seven- and-a-half hours, a matter that is before the court.

Private CBSE schools too follow a five-day work schedule. When Mazumdar raised that point, officials hinted at considering the five-day week and that the teachers' association would have to submit a list of schools that have the weekend off. Till such a standoff between the government and the Sangathan, there will be just one day a week for some fun for lakhs of children.

Times View

Giving school children an extra day off in the week can indeed help in reducing their stress levels. However, if that is to work, both teachers and parents must bear in mind the purpose of the long weekend. If the school uses it to give a double dose of homework to the children, it would be defeating the purpose. Equally, if parents see it as an opportunity to squeeze in some more tuitions or extra hours of study on Saturday, the measure is doomed to fail. Ultimately reducing stress on kids requires a change in mindsets. Logistical measures like an extra day off or lighter schoolbags can help only if accompanied by that change.

Source : The Times of India, August 29, 2012


In view of Supreme Court’s decision against following reservation policy for Promotion in employment, Government is cautious now and postponed its plan to bring an amendment bill to provide Constitutional Validity to Reservation in Promotions for SC and ST Employees.

An All party meeting was conducted by Prime Minister Shri.Manmohan Singh in this connection. Prime Minister said in the meeting that the Government is in favour of allowing reservation for Promotion and that Government would review the bill again for examining the legal aspects before bringing theamendment bill again.

The leaders of other parties have also adviced that before this bill is tabled it has to be examined properly so that the enacted bill is legally valid in all aspects.

Earlier, in the month of April 2012, Apex Court had decided against the Uttar Pradesh Government’s order to follow reservation policy for SC and ST employees in Government posts.

Source: Zee News


Q.1. What is Information?

Information is any material in any form. It includes records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form. It also includes information relating to any private body which can be accessed by the public authority under any law for the time being in force.

Q.2 What is a Public Authority?

A “public authority” is any authority or body or institution of self government established or constituted by or under the Constitution; or by any other law made by the Parliament or a State Legislature; or by notification issued or order made by the Central Government or a State Government. The bodies owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Central Government or a State Government and non-Government organisations substantially financed by the Central Government or a State Government also fall within the definition of public authority. The financing of the body or the NGO by the Government may be direct or indirect.

Q.3 What is a Public Information Officer?

Public authorities have designated some of its officers as Public Information Officer. They are responsible to give information to a person who seeks information under the RTI Act.

Q.4 What is an Assistant Public Information Officer?

These are the officers at sub-divisional level to whom a person can give his RTI application or appeal. These officers send the application or appeal to the Public Information Officer of the public authority or the concerned appellate authority. An Assistant Public Information Officer is not responsible to supply the information. The Assistant Public Information Officers appointed by the Department of Posts in various post offices are working as Assistant Public 2 Information Officers for all the public authorities under the Government of India.

Q.5. What is the Fee for Seeking Information from Central Government Public Authorities?

A person who desires to seek some information from a Central Government Public Authority is required to send, along with the application, a demand draft or a banker’s cheque or an Indian Postal Order of Rs.10/- (Rupees ten), payable to the Accounts Officer of the public authority as fee prescribed for seeking information. The payment of fee can also be made by way of cash to the Accounts Officer of the public authority or to the Assistant Public Information Officer against proper receipt. However, the RTI Fee and the mode of payment may vary as under Section 27 and Section 28, of the RTI Act, 2005 the appropriate Government and the competent authority, respectively, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.

Q.6. What is the Fee for the BPL applicant for Seeking Information?

If the applicant belongs to below poverty line (BPL) category, he is not required to pay any fee. However, he should submit a proof in support of his claim to belong to the below poverty line.

Q.7. Is there any specific Format of Application?

There is no prescribed format of application for seeking information. The application can be made on plain paper. The application should, however, have the name and complete postal address of the applicant.

Q.8. Is it required to give any reason for seeking information?

The information seeker is not required to give reasons for seeking information.

Q.9. Is there any provision for exemption from Disclosure of Information?

Sub-section (1) of section 8 and section 9 of the Act enumerate the types of information which is exempt from disclosure. Sub-section (2) of section 8, however, provides that information exempted under sub-section 3 (1) or exempted under the Official Secrets Act, 1923 can be disclosed if public interest in disclosure overweighs the harm to the protected interest.

Q.10. Is there any assistance available to the Applicant for filing RTI application?

If a person is unable to make a request in writing, he may seek the help of the Public Information Officer to write his application and the Public Information Officer should render him reasonable assistance. Where a decision is taken to give access to a sensorily disabled person to any document, the Public Information Officer, shall provide such assistance to the person as may be appropriate for inspection.

Q.11. What is the Time Period for Supply of Information?

In normal course, information to an applicant shall be supplied within 30 days from the receipt of application by the public authority. If information sought concerns the life or liberty of a person, it shall be supplied within 48 hours. In case the application is sent through the Assistant Public Information Officer or it is sent to a wrong public authority, five days shall be added to the period of thirty days or 48 hours, as the case may be.

Q.12. Is there any provision of Appeal under the RTI Act?

If an applicant is not supplied information within the prescribed time of thirty days or 48 hours, as the case may be, or is not satisfied with the information furnished to him, he may prefer an appeal to the first appellate authority who is an officer senior in rank to the Public Information Officer. Such an appeal, should be filed within a period of thirty days from the date on which the limit of 30 days of supply of information is expired or from the date on which the information or decision of the Public Information Officer is received. The appellate authority of the public authority shall dispose of the appeal within a period of thirty days or in exceptional cases within 45 days of the receipt of the appeal.

Q.13. Is there any scope for second appeal under the RTI Act?

If the first appellate authority fails to pass an order on the appeal within the prescribed period or if the appellant is not satisfied with the order of the first appellate authority, he may prefer a second appeal with the Central Information Commission within ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made by the first appellate authority or was actually received by the appellant.

Q.14. Whether Complaints can be made under this Act? If yes, under what conditions?

If any person is unable to submit a request to a Public Information Officer either by reason that such an officer has not been appointed by the concerned public authority; or the Assistant Public Information Officer has refused to accept his or her application or appeal for forwarding the same to the Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be; or he has been refused access to any information requested by him under the RTI Act; or he has not been given a response to a request for information within the time limit specified in the Act; or he has been required to pay an amount of fee which he considers unreasonable; or he believes that he has been given incomplete, misleading or false information, he can make a complaint to the Information Commission.

Q.15. What is Third Party Information?

Third party in relation to the Act means a person other than the citizen who has made request for information. The definition of third party includes a public authority other than the public authority to whom the request has been made.

Q.16. What is the Method of Seeking Information?

A citizen who desires to obtain any information under the Act, should make an application to the Public Information Officer of the concerned public authority in writing in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area in which the application is made. The application should be precise and specific. He should make payment of application fee at the time of submitting the application as prescribed in the Fee Rules.

Q.17. Is there any organization(s) exempt from providing information under RTI Act?

Yes, certain intelligence and security organisations specified in the Second Schedule, are exempted from providing information excepting the information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations.

Source : DOPT