Exercise Your Right to Information, It Works, But How!

Filed Under (Motley) by Rajesh Kumar on 10-06-2010

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I had heard of Right to Information Act as a powerful tool so when a premier academic institution delayed issuing the certificates to the course participants, I filed a query using RTI. My query was as follows:

Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, in association with NIIT Imperia conducted a certificate programme called Executive Programme in Supply Chain Management (or EPSCM). The first batch of the programme completed its requirements in January 2010.The institute has chosen not to inform the participants of the programme about the status of the certificates. The undersigned is one of the participants of the programme.

Please provide :

· the status of the certificates of the of EPSCM batch that finished the exams in Jan 2010

· the reasons of the extraordinary and ongoing delay

· The reasons for non-communication by the institute regarding the reasons for the delay to the participants.

Sure enough, I received the response soon enough. Reproduced below for your reading pleasure.

rajesh_cert

Look at the way the non-specific response has been craftily drafted, which defeats the purpose of seeking information.

Let’s examine:

Q 1: Please provide the status of the certificates of the of EPSCM batch that finished the exams in Jan 2010.

Ans 1: Certificates have been either dispatched or are being dispatched  (Oh God, why did they invent present continuous usage in English language at all?!) depending on(variable – it depends, you see) the status of the students(rich, poor, what?).

Q 2: Please provide the reasons of the extraordinary and ongoing delay.

Ans 2: The delay is routine (A 4 month delay is just ‘routine’, you see. Reminds me of passenger train somehow). There is no extraordinary or ongoing delay (Really? The Chandrayaan took only few days to reach the moon) in cases where students have followed the proper procedure(conditional if, and what is an ‘improper’ procedure, pray? Isn’t a procedure a procedure?).

Q 3: Please provide the reasons for non-communication by the institute regarding the reasons for the delay to the participants.

Ans 3: The service provider (NIIT Imperia) (Blame it on them) had been informed regarding the reasons for the delay(Finally, they accept, there was delay, but then, what if it did not reach us).

PS: Curiously enough, between the filing of this RTI query and the response, I received the certificate!

If you would like to access some quality discussions and resources on how citizens can use Right to Information Act to your situation, please check out  RTI India portal.


About Rajesh Kumar. Rajesh is based in Chennai, where he works for Defiance Technologies in Marketing. The views on this blog are his own. Rajesh Kumar