Saturday, April 19, 2014

'Shortage of Plus-II Seats in Malabar a Myth'

The New Indian Express: Thiruvanathapuram: Saturday, April 19, 2014.
According to information furnished by the Directorate of HSE
 under the RTI, Malappuram district had the maximum number of vacant
Plus-Two seats.
The government has often claimed that acute shortage of Plus-Two seats in Malabar region was one of the reasons that prompted it go ahead with the creation of over 34,000 additional Plus-Two seats.
However, statistics accessed through Right to Information (RTI) has revealed just the opposite.
According to information furnished by the Directorate of Higher Secondary Education under the RTI, Malappuram district had the maximum number of vacant Plus-Two seats  - 4,762 - in the 2013-14 academic year.
Even if only vacant merit seats were considered, the northern districts of Kasargod and Kannur topped the chart.
While Kasargod reported 459 vacant Plus-Two seats, there were no takers for 404 Plus-Two merit seats in Kannur.
“These statistics clearly prove the claim of imbalance of Plus-Two seats in Malabar is a myth. Though the government says that first preference will be given to the upgradation of state-run high schools into higher secondary, we suspect that most of these new Plus-Two  batches will land in the kitty of private managements,’’ said S Manoj, state secretary of Aided Higher Secondary Teachers’ Association.
The government recently won a favourable verdict from the High Court which okayed its decision to set up around 680 new Plus-Two batches.
These includes 148 panchayats which did not have a Higher Secondary School and also new additional batches, mostly in Malabar region.
The government’s move to sanction additional Plus-Two batches also comes at a time when the number of SSLC pass-outs dropped by over 13,000 this year when compared to the previous year.
While 4.51 lakh students cleared the SSLC exam in 2013, the number decreased to 4.42 lakh this year. This despite the pass percentage increasing by 1.3 per cent.
“Yes. There is shortage of seats in some areas, but setting up Plus-Two schools in places where there are no such schools is the government’s policy which even the court has found reasonable,’’ Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb told ‘Express’.  Interestingly, while 5.11 lakh candidates applied for Higher Secondary courses last year, only 3.56 lakh actually took admission to 3.81 lakh seats, leaving over 25,000 seats vacant.

Chorus seeking answers for missing voters' names grows

Times of India: Srinagar: Saturday, April 19, 2014.
Voters diligently following the registration process but still finding their names missing from the electoral rolls is a very serious problem and can't be treated as just another administrative lapse, former IAS officer Avinash Dharmadhikari said on Friday.
"What happened in Pune and other constituencies in the state on polling day has serious implications for our democracy and this calls for a significant amendment to the Registration of Electoral Rolls and Conduct of Election Rules," he told TOI.
Right to Information (RTI) activists Vijay Kumbhar and Vihar Durve, meanwhile, have sent complaints to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Pune's district collector, respectively, seeking corrective steps, including release of details related to the missing voters and action against officials responsible for deletion of names from the voters' list.
Former bureaucrat Arun Bhatia, who is contesting from Pune as a candidate of the People's Guardian Party, has also sent a complaint to the CEC, demanding that the Pune constituency polling be declared void and a re-poll be ordered on the grounds of non-registration of voters.
"There was very poor publicity regarding the voters' registration movement in Pune," he said, adding that the district returning officer had neglected his job. Bhatia is also contemplating filing a writ petition in the Bombay high court as an abundant precaution.
Dharmadhikari said, "If a voter's name is missing from the electoral rolls on polling day, he/she is left with no choice but to send a complaint to the Election Commission or the election observers. But the issue doesn't end here. In fact, the larger issue is of the voters who had diligently followed the registration process, but still found their names missing. This can't be treated as one more tragic administrative lapse."
"In countries like the US, there is a provision whereby the presiding officer can verify the identity and citizenship of a voter and let him/her exercise their right. I know that this may have a lot of difficulties for implementing in India. My point is that it's high time to start thinking about an India-specific solution to protect the citizens' right to vote," he said.
Kumbhar said, "As per sections 13 and 26 of the registration rules, citizens have to fill form numbers 7 and 8, for objections regarding inclusion, deletion and correction of entries in the electoral rolls. It is mandatory that the objector's name is in the same part of the electoral rolls as the entry about which the objection has been raised. Now, thousands of voters from Pune are claiming that there names have been deleted from the list without their knowledge. It is obvious that all the forms related to their entries are in possession of the Election Commission."
"As per RTI Act sections 4 (1) (c) and (d), it is mandatory for all public authorities to publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect the public and to provide reasons for its administrative or quasi-judicial decisions to affected persons. The Election Commission has provided this facility on its website, but the portal doesn't work," he said.
Kumbhar added that it was now the duty of the EC to communicate to all the electors whose names have been deleted and provide the reasons for its action.

In 8 yrs, SKIMS bed strength increases by 19%, patient rush 40%

Kashmir Reader: Srinagar: Saturday, April 19, 2014.
The lone tertiary care hospital in the Valley, SKIMS, has in the last eight years witnessed only 19 per cent increase in bed strength against 40 per cent surge in patient rush in the In Patient Department (IPD).
In 2005, the SKIMS’ IPD (main hospital) received 33,877 patients. The number increased to 48,353 in 2013. However, only 112 beds— from 550 in 2005 to 662 in 2013—were added during the eight year period.
The stagnation in bed strength was witnessed in trust hospital that runs under the aegis of SKIMS and where gynecological care is provided. Its bed strength remained stuck at 27 since 2005 while the patient rush increased by 12.5 percent till 2013; in 2005, the trust hospital received 2,881 patients in its IPD and the figure rose to 3,243 in 2013. The IPD of the SKIMS comprises general admitting wards for the Clinical Department, Intensive Care Units and other intermediate care areas.
These figures were revealed in reply to an RTI query.
The RTI revealed that in 2005 the Out Patient Department (OPD) in the main SKIMS hospital was 393,099 which jumped by 15 percent in 2013 touching 453,475.
The rush to the trust hospital increased by 39 per cent touching 73,890 patients in 2013; the figure stood at 53, 034 in 2005.
The Outpatient facility comprises a polyclinic where patients are screened and filtered for further assessment in the Referral Clinic.
The total bed strength of the SKIMS including trust hospital is 689. It was 577 in 2005.
The RTI reply also said that the hospital has 23 invasive ventilators and eight non-invasive ventilators in different ICUs.

Gun Toters on the Rise in Kerala

The New Indian Express: THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Saturday, April 19, 2014.
Are more Keralites opting to take weapon licences? Going by the recent figures, the state has recorded an increase in the number of gun-toters.
As many as 791 new arms licences were issued in the past four years, with Kottayam topping the list with 142 licences.
Earlier, an RTI info had revealed that a total of 39,444 gun licences were issued across the state till August 2009.
Of the 791 licences for fire-arms which were issued by the state government after August 2009, as many as thirteen were given by the State Home Department.
While the licences issued by the State Home Secretary have a jurisdiction across the country, those issued by the District Magistrates can be used only in the state, according to information collected under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by Kochi-based NGO ‘The Proper Channel’.
Interestingly, the politically volatile district of Kannur has only 21 gun licences issued after August 2009.
In Palakkad, a total of 92 licences were renewed between 2009 and 2013.  “When it comes to licences issued by district authorities, like in the past, Kottayam tops the list. As per an earlier RTI info in 2009,
7,101 people in the district have gun licences out of 39,444 in Kerala. Ernakulam comes second with 5,800 licences, closely followed by Kasargod with 5,634 licences. During that period, Idukki (1,295) and Palakkad (1,811) had more number of people possessing gun licences,” said M K Haridas of ‘The Proper Channel’, who collected the info under RTI.
Generally, weapon licences are issued for possessing pistols, revolvers, rifles, switch-load and muscle-load (single and double barrel) under the Arms Act 1959 and the Indian Arms Rules 1962.
The weapon licences are issued based on the recommendations by the Police Department, as well as the Revenue and Forest departments.

No fixed fee structure in schools affiliated to CBSE: RTI reply

Hindustan Times: Jalandhar: Saturday, April 19, 2014.
Despite the Supreme Court order prohibiting commercialisation of education, exorbitant fee being charged by private schools is breaking the backbone of the middle class families who wish to provide quality education to their children.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) does not have a fixed fee structure for private-affiliated or self-financed affiliated schools, a CBSE reply to a city-based RTI activist Raj Kumar has revealed.
“Some private schools affiliated to the CBSE do not adhere to the SC norms,” he claimed.
In the reply sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Kumar said, the CBSE cited a clause from the bylaws that the fee charged should be commensurate with the facilities being provided by the institution. The clause said, “Fees should normally be charged under the heads prescribed by the department of education of the state for schools of different categories.”
The RTI activist added that the state government has no education act in place, which was disclosed in a high court judgment following a civil writ petition. In the district, 86 schools affiliated to the CBSE are charging admission fees ranging from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 20,000 and are taking security deposit from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 8,000.
“Besides exorbitant admission fee, all private schools charge huge amount as security deposit, which is refunded after the child leaves the school. However, they get to keep the interest money,” he said, adding that there is no fixed rule on the fee structure.
Moreover, nearly 50% schools of the city have not yet updated their websites with the fee structure despite the guidelines issued by the CBSE.
Kumar added that there should also be a regulatory system in place to check fee being charged for transportation purpose by schools. Anil Kumar, a parent of a six-year-old child, said, “The state government or district transport office has not fixed transportation fees due to which the schools charge arbitrarily for transportation.”
‘Court has appointed committees: board’
RJ Khanderao, regional officer, CBSE, said according to the CBSE affiliation bylaws, the schools could charge the admission fees as per the standard of infrastructure they provide. “The Punjab and Haryana high court has appointed committees, one each for Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, to look into the accounts of the schools and find out the reasonableness of increase in fees by schools and work on the fee structure policies.”

How to use the RTI Act to Empower Yourself

Moneylife: Pune: Saturday, April 19, 2014.
RTI is the only act that allows  you to enforce your rights without moving out of your home, says Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner (CIC)
Sometimes, simple Right to Information (RTI) applications lead to significant results, said Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner (CIC) addressing Moneylife Foundation members today. The key is to keep trying different things, you never know what may work, he said, giving the example of how his simple RTI request seeking information led to decisive action agaisnt a police official who was accused of rape.
Mr Gandhi went though the key provisions of the act and provided important tips on how to file effective applications and carry forward the demand for information through first and second appeals. He explained at length the rationale behind various provisions as well as what information can be provided under the act and what cannot. For intance, he said, the RTI act is only meant to provide information to a citizen as her right, but one cannot demand an explanation for various actions or decisions. Similarly, information that is already available on record can be provided, but a citizen cannot ask for information to be gathered or collated under the act.
Mr Gandhi pointed out that the RTI Act derived its power from the short and succint Section 3 which states, “Subject to the provisions of this Act, all Citizens shall have the Right to Information.” He explained how Section 4 gives a person to right to inspection of documents and was “the heart of the RTI Act” . Mr Gandhi, who evangelises the use of RTI by ordinary people, firmly believes that when a larger number of citizens demand information, the government will be under pressure to put out a lot more information out in the public domain and on their website, leading to a substantial reduction in inefficiency and corruption.
Mr Gandhi also explained what sort of information cannot be obtained under the act and the exemptions to disclosure of information  set out in section 8 and section 9 of the act which allows some applications to be rejected.
This time, Mr Gandhi also informed his audience about another important statute in Maharashtra that could empower citizens tremendously, when used in conjunction with the RTI Act. He said most people were not even aware of the existence of this legislation called the ‘Government Servants Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of Delay in Discharge of Official Duties Act (Act 21 of 2006)’, whose strict provisions of action could lead to better governance and delivery of timely services if citizens filed application under its provisions.
In case if any RTI application is not taken, false information is given, there is non-compliance with section 4,  excessive fees are asked for etc a first appeal to the First appellate authority can be made within 30 days and the second appeal within 90 days of the order. 
 According to Mr Gandhi, certain bottlenecks which impede the effectiveness of this act are lack of a culture of transperancy, awareness of the law and the slow pace of  the Information Commission mainly.
RTI is an act which provides public information and brings transparency and efficiency in the system. It leads to  SWARAJ- a true participatory democracy. It is a tool which can be used to bring about a difference sitting at home. So its time that enough of us try and make democracy more meaningful.
At the closing, Mr Shailesh Gandhi emphasised that we all need  to work together to make our nation a perfect place. He said, "Mera Bharat mahan nahi hai, Per yeh dosh mera hai!"  inspiring the audience to start taking action.

Tejpal resorts to RTI to learn amount spent on his prosecution

Times of India: Panaji: Saturday, April 19, 2014.
Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal has submitted a right to information (RTI) application to the police department to find out the expense incurred by the state on prosecuting him in the alleged rape case registered against him. Tejpal is in custody since he was arrested on November 30, last year for allegedly raping a woman journalist.
Tejpal has filed a RTI application before the public information officer, deputy superintendent of police, Porvorim.
He also asked the police department to furnish details of the total amount of money that has been paid to all the lawyers engaged by the state government in the matter. He also sought information about the number of police assigned to work on his case.
Tejpal wants to know how many Goa-Mumbai-Goa. Goa-Delhi-Goa flights have been taken at the cost of the state in his case.

RTI activist shot dead in UP, police gives security to family

Times of India: Hapur: Saturday, April 19, 2014.
A 70-year-old RTI activist was shot dead by three unidentified assailants outside his house here on Monday, prompting authorities to transfer the probe to special task force and provide security to his family.
Mangat Tyagi, who had filed around 14,000 RTI applications and unearthed various cases of corruption in government departments, was shot dead by three car-borne assailants when he was standing outside his house in Bankhanda village on April 14.
"In view of threats to Tyagi's family, district and police administrations have decided to provide round-the-clock security to them. From today, two police personnel will be deployed outside their house," Hapur district magistrate Rajesh Kumar Singh told PTI.
"We have recommended STF probe into Tyagi's murder and it will begin soon. All accused will be arrested," he added.
Meanwhile, police sources said they have got some leads in the case.
"Police have got some important cues and the case would be solved soon. Police are also scanning the role of corrupt officials, against whom Tyagi had filed RTI applicants," a senior police officer sad.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bombay High Court directs state to release Rs5 crore for building toilets in Pandharpur

DNA: Mumbai: Friday, April 18, 2014.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday expressed shock and disbelief after learning that the state government was allowing the Pandharpur Municipal Council to clean excreta of Warkaris (pilgrims) by employing humans.
A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Amjad Sayyed said, "This shocks the consciousness of the court. It is a violation of fundamental rights of the humans who are employed for the work. Can you justify this practise?"
The court then ordered the state to release Rs5 crore by May 7 to the council for building toilets on a war-footing to cater to pilgrims likely to visit during the Wari starting on July 9. Thousands of Warkaris visit Pandharpur to pay obeisance at the Vitthal temple.
This proposal was forwarded by the council in 2009. The court also noted that poll codes should not stop the government from taking decision on the proposal. The court also directed the petitioners, Campaign against Manual Scavenging in Maharashtra, to include the temple trust and groups of Warkaris as parties in the public interest litigation because it felt that since the problem was created by human beings, their assistance would be required.
According to information obtained under RTI Act, Pandharpur has nearly 900 public toilets and the council provides 800 temporary toilets for pilgrims. However, various surveys have shown that the there is a shortage of 13,000 public toilets in the temple town to cater to the influx of Warkaris. As a result scores of people are forced to defecate in the open, prompting the council to engage human to clean the waste.
In 2009, the council had submitted a proposal to the state for releasing Rs21 crore to build toilets. However, the proposal remained pending. The court has now posted the hearing of the PIL on May 8, and directed the state to file a compliance report.

Canadian citizen contests from two seats

DNA: Ahmedabad: Friday, April 18, 2014.
It was curiosity about the citizenship of BJP's Goa MLA Glenn Ticlo it was alleged that he had a Portuguese citizenship that led Roshan Shah, 38, a serial entrepreneur to file an RTI in the PMO requesting information about MPs and MLAs who are foreign nationals or hold passports of other countries.
"The reply I received surprised me. My query was directed to the Election Commission which wrote to me saying that they had no such data available!" said Shah.
"It was then I realised how easy it was for a foreign national to fight elections in India and to get elected to the Parliament," said Shah. To test his hypothesis, Shah decided to contest the elections not from one, but two seats.
"As I filled the form and my candidature was scrutinised, I realised that nowhere do they ask the candidates to state on oath that you are an Indian citizen. They ask about criminal records and assets and liabilities but what about the basic rule that only Indian citizens can contest elections. This shows how poorly the candidates are scrutinised by the returning officer," said Shah.
"After my candidature was cleared and I was assigned the ballot number and symbol (a calculator), I wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner of Gujarat and India Anita Karval and VS Sampath respectively, stating clearly that I was a Canadian citizen and why my candidature was not cancelled."
"Had my intentions been malafide, I would not have revealed my citizenship. What I am trying to show is how poor the process of scrutiny is. How easy it is for anyone to contest a poll in India. I have not lied on oath. There is nothing in Election nomination forms that wants candidate to disclose citizenship," said Shah.
He said it is time the EC takes up the matter and makes it mandatory for candidates to reveal their citizenship. "We also need to know how many of our sitting MLAs and MPs, who frame laws for India and its states, are passport holders of other countries. It is surprising that we have no such data," said Shah.
He further added that more time should be given to returning officers to closely scrutinise what candidates write on their forms. "This is very important if we want to clean up politics," said Shah.
Chief Electoral Officer, Anita Karval said the Election Commission had no mechanism in place to check the candidates' citizenship. "We don't have any such mechanism in to check if a candidate is an Indian citizen or not. We assume that if not an Indian citizen, he will not be contesting the elections," said Karval.
Shah said another reason for contesting was a bad experience that he had with the police and the state administration in general. Shah said he realised how irresponsive the system was after he had to haggle with the police to get a case of cheque dishounoured registered.
"I realised that the system was loaded against you if you are a common man with no connections," said Shah. "My case was registered with the Maninagar police CM's constituency after a long battle. If this is how the police behaves in the CM's constituency you can wonder how it will be in others," said Shah, who lives with his family of five including his parents.
What I am trying to show is how poor the process of scrutiny is. How easy it is for anyone to contest a poll in India. I have not lied on oath. There is nothing in Election nomination forms that wants candidate to disclose citizenship.
- Roshan Shah, Independent candidate from Ahmedabad East & Kheda.

As denizens scramble for water, Railways extract 14.45 lakh litres daily

The Hindu: New Delhi: Friday, April 18, 2014.
The extensive Delhi zone of the Indian Railways, it seems, is still dependent on tubewells for its whooping water demands running into lakhs of litres and has failed to set up Rain Water Harvesting Systems (RWHS) at its stations and colonies.
RTI query;
In an RTI reply, the Railways has stated that 14,45,500 litres of water was consumed daily in its eight colonies in Delhi for domestic purposes and also for cleaning trains. All this water was drawn from tubewells .
The reply was filed to an RTI query by environment activist Vikrant Tongad, who has been pursuing the issue of depleting ground water and the failure of various government bodies in setting up RWHS.
Mr. Tongad had last year sought information on whether there were any RWHS at any of the Delhi railway stations and the source of water used there.
The Railways in its delayed reply has said the 14.45 lakh litres of water comes from 15 tubewells – one in Hazrat Nizammudin Railway Colony, four in Lajpat Nagar Railway Colony, one in Gulabi Bagh, three in Sewa Nagar, one in Lodhi Colony and five in Sarojini Nagar Colony.
Only Gulabi Bagh Railway Colony has a RWHS.
In another reply, the Railways said four RWHS were present in four railway colonies, including Moti Bagh, Panchkuian Road and Tughlakabad, but there was no data on the quantity of rain water collected.
In these colonies, 37 tubewells were also used to meet a daily water requirement of 31.79 lakh litres.
The reply also shows that the Railways does not have any policy on rain water harvesting.
Mr. Tongad said that “despite such huge stations, especially the New Delhi Railway station which is also the headquarters of the northernmost range of the Indian Railways, no space was being used for rain water harvesting.”
He said there was a rule in Delhi that if any agency was discharging huge quantities of used water daily, it has to recycle the same but the Railways was not doing so.
He also said, “rain water can be collected in storage tanks at stations but it should not be sent directly through the recharge pipes into the ground as our stations were dirty and any rain water sent directly into the ground would pollute the groundwater”.
Mr. Tongad said he has also filed a complaint before the Central Information Commission against the Railways for furnishing a delayed and unsatisfactory reply to his RTI application.

Minimum CAT percentile for ST candidates at IIM-A stands at 38.34%

Business Standard: Ahmedabad: Friday, April 18, 2014.
In what may have impacted the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A)'s quality of students in admissions, the premier B-school is learnt to have admitted ST students at minimum percentile of as low as 38.34%.
In its recent response to an RTI application, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) has reportedly stated that the minimum Common Admission Test (CAT) percentile at which Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates, both male and female, were admitted fell to 38.34% for the 2013-15 batch.
Apparently, out of the 172,000 CAT takers in 2013, roughly 95,000 scored zero due to either negative marking or by not attempting questions. This had led to a severe drop in high percentile scoring candidates, leaving the IIMs, especially IIM-A with lesser options to fill the quota reservation and still maintain their quality.
An emailed query to IIM-A remained unanswered till the time of this story going in print. However, a senior faculty member on condition of anonymity said, "As an institute we have to follow the quota implementation in admissions. And though some of the candidates may have scored low in CAT, they had proved themselves in the interview process as well as through their past records. Which is why the institute had decided at that time to admit them."
Rohit Kapoor, CAT 2013 Convenor could not be reached despite several attempts.
As per the RTI response, the minimum CAT percentile for ST students has fallen from 83% for 2010-12 batch to 80% (2011-13) and 60% (2012-14) and to finally 38.34% (2013-15).
"Implementation of OBC quota has created much higher variation in the level of prior preparedness in the batches for the PGP. This has created difficulty for faculty to manage the academic process. As a result, the quality of the programme is likely to decline over time. The ideal solution would be to offer the programme on the basis of required credits, to be completed by a student at a pace he/she is comfortable with and not on the basis of rigid time schedule as it is offered today," a senior faculty member at IIM-A had told Business Standard earlier.
It needs to be mentioned here that in 2008 the MHRD has mandated the IIMs to grant 15% of their seats to students of Scheduled Casts, 7.5% to Scheduled Tribes, and 27% to Other Backward Classes (OBC).

RTI Judgement Series: Provide information on MTM position of banks

Moneylife: Pune: Friday, April 18, 2014.
The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing an appeal, directed the Central Public Information Officer (PIO) of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to provide information relating to mark-to-market (MTM) position of banks obtained by the central bank for discharging the regulatory and supervisory functions.
While giving the judgement on 7 December 2011, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner, said, "While banks may have given information to RBI in confidence or in trust, there does not appear to be any duty cast upon RBI to act in their benefit. RBI being a regulator of the banking sector obtains and maintains such information in regulatory or supervisory capacity. Therefore, there is no element of choice as such available to banks. There does not appear to be a creation of any fiduciary relationship between RBI and the banks."
Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu resident, Raja M Shanmugam, on 12 October 2010, sought from the PIO information regarding mark to market losses on account of currency derivatives by banks and action taken by the RBI. Here is the information he sought and the reply provided by the PIO..
1.    Before the Orissa High Court, RBI has filed an affidavit stating that the total mark to market losses on account of currency derivatives is to the tune of more than Rs32,000 crores. Please give bank wise breakup of the MTM losses.   
Reply of the PIO- The information sought is exempted under Sections 8(1)(a) and (e) of  RTI Act.
2.    What is the latest figure available with RBI of the amount of losses suffered by Indian business houses? Please furnish the latest figures bank wise and customer wise.
Reply of the PIO- NIL
3.    Please update on action taken against the erring banks who sold the exotic derivative products in contravention to FEMA Act and RBI Guidelines as per the RBI's submissions to the Orissa High Court.
Reply of the PIO- NIL
4.    Recent press reports suggests RBI has also issued Show Cause Notices to Several banks that have violated RBI guidelines on the sale of exotic derivative products. Give the list of banks to which show-cause notices were issued along with the copy of the notice issued to banks.   
Reply of the PIO- NIL
5.    Whether any reply received from any of the banks in response to the Show Cause Notice? If so please furnish copies of the same.
Reply of the PIO- NIL
6.    RBI has listed out several violations of RBI guidelines by banks in the sale of exotic derivative products in its report filed before Orissa High Court. Whether periodical Audit of Sank branches in the years 2007 and 2008 revealed any such violation? If so, please furnish RBI Audit Report indicating the said violation.
Reply of the PIO- NIL
7.    RBI has issued a circular dated the 29th of October 2008 asking the banks to park the proceeds on account of derivative losses in a separate account. However, few banks, especially State Bank of India is said to have refused to adhere to the said circular despite repeated demands from the exporters. Whether R5 has received any complaint stating that any bank is refusing to adhere to the specific circular cited above? If so furnish as copy of the same.
Reply of the PIO- NIL
8.    Also if any complaint is received by RBI as stated above, please give the detail of enquiry and action taken by the RBI on the erring banks.
Reply of the PIO- NIL
9.    Whether the issue of derivative losses to Indian Exporters was discussed in any of the meetings of Governor I Deputy Governor or senior official of the Reserve Bank of India? If so please furnish the minutes of the meeting where the said issue was discussed.   
Reply of the PIO- The CPIO, Foreign Exchange Department did not have information on this query.
10.  Any other Action Taken Reports by RBI in this regard.   
Reply of the PIO- The CPIO, Foreign Exchange Department did not have information on this query.
Citing the information provided by the PIO as incomplete and unsatisfactory, Shanmugam, the appellant filed his first appeal.
The First Appellate Authority (FAA) noted that queries 1, 2, 9 and 10 were replied to by the CPIO of Foreign Exchange Department (FED) against which first appeal was filed by the appellant. Queries 3 to 8 were replied to by the CPIO of Department of Banking Supervision (DBS).
In his observations, the FAA noted...
Query No. 1:
The appellant has sought for bank wise break up of the MTM losses, CPIO has claimed exemption from disclosure under S. 8(1)(a) & (e) of RTI Act.
FAA observation: I agree with the CPIO that disclosure of bank wise break up of MTM losses in the derivative transactions would affect the economic interests of the state as such disclosure to the public could be detrimental to the interest of the subject bank and to the banking system in general. Also, information relating to MTM position of banks are obtained by Reserve Bank for discharging the regulatory and supervisory functions and are held by the Reserve Bank in fiduciary capacity; Therefore, I do not find any infirmity in the exemption claimed by the CPIO under S. 8(1)(a) & (e) of the RTI Act. The decision of the Hon'ble Delhi High Court, referred to by the appellant, is not applicable to the facts o this case. The observations of the Full Bench of CIC in the case of Shri Ravin Ranchchodlal Patel & ----. Reserve Bank of India (Decided on December 7, 2006), wherein absolute discretion was granted to the Reserve Bank to assess the desirability of disclosure of Inspection Report in individual cases, are equally relevant to the kind of information sought by the appellant especially when he desires to have bank wise break up. I do not consider that this is a fit case warranting invocation of S. 8(2) of RTI Act by the CPIO and accordingly, no fault can be found on the part of CPIO in not disclosing the information sought by the appellant.
Query No. 2.
The appellant desired to know the amount of losses suffered by Indian Business Houses and its latest figures, bank wise and customer wise.
FAA Observations: CPIO has not given a separate reply to this Query. Instead, he has made a cross reference to his reply to Query No. 1. I direct the CPIO to clarify to the appellant whether the information relating to the losses suffered by Indian Business Houses is available with the Reserve Bank. If available, CP is directed to consider the request of the appellant subject to the exemptions provided under the RTI Act.
Query Nos. 9&10:
The appellant wanted to know whether the issue of derivative losses to Indian exporters was discussed in any of the meetings of the Governor/ Deputy Governor or senior official of Reserve Bank and if so, to furnish the minutes of the meeting. In Query No. 10, the appellant sought for Action taken Reports by RBI in the matter. CPIO has replied that no information is available.
FAA Observations: Whether a particular state of fact exist or not, ideally has to be replied either in the affirmative or in the negative. Replying that no information is available is not appropriate. In my view, based on the records, CPIO should state whether there were any meetings or action taken reports, as sought by the appellant.  Therefore, I direct the CPIO to revisit Query Nos. 9 & 10 and give appropriate replies to the appellant. However, I wish to clarify that disclosure of minutes of meetings or copies of reports, if any, shall be subject to the exemptions provided under the RTI Act."
Not satisfied with the FAA's order, Shanmugam, then approached the CIC with his second appeal.
During the hearing on 15 November 2011, the CPIO of RBI neither appeared nor did submit any documents or letter before the Bench. Shanmugam, the appellant, who was present, sought the attention of the Bench to a judgement of Orissa High Court in WP (Crl) No344/2009. Mr Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner, then reserved his order.
During the hearing on 7 December 2011, Mr Gandhi said, he perused the papers including submission of the appellant, who was seeking information on queries 1, 2, 9 and 10.
The PIO denied the information on the basis of Sections 8(1)(a) and (e) of the RTI Act. The FAA has upheld the PIO's reply in query 1 and cited the CIC's decision in RR Patel vs RBI (CIC/MA/A/2006/00406 and 00150 dated 7 December 2006). As regards query 2, the FAA directed the CPIO to consider the appellant's request subject to the provisions of the RTI Act.
Relying on the CIC's decision in the RR Patel case, the FAA observed that disclosure of bank-wise break-up of MTM losses in the derivative transactions would affect the economic interests of the State as such disclosure to the public could be detrimental to the interest of the subject bank and the banking system in general.
Mr Gandhi said, "In RR Patel's Case, the Full Bench was considering the issue of disclosure of RBI's inspection report of a Cooperative Bank. One of the issues before the Bench was whether the inspection report was exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act. The Full Bench relied on a decision of the Punjab & Haryana High Court in RBI vs Central Government Industrial Tribunal (dated 07/05/1958) which had observed that 'In an integrated economy like ours, the job of a regulating authority is quite complex and such an authority has to decide as to what would be the best course of action in the economic interest of the State. It is necessary that such an authority is allowed functional autonomy in decision making and as regards the process adopted for the purpose'."
Based on the above, the Full Bench, in paragraph 16, ruled inter alia that, "In view of this, and in light of the earlier discussion, we have no hesitation in holding that the RBI is entitled to claim exemption from disclosure u/s 8(1)(a) of the Act if it is satisfied that the disclosure of such report would adversely affect the economic interests of the State. The RBI is an expert body appointed to oversee this matter and we may therefore rely on its assessment. The issue is decided accordingly".
"It appears that the Full Bench was of the view that if RBI concluded that disclosure of inspection reports would adversely affect the economic interests of the State, the said information may be denied under Section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act. There is no observation that the Full Bench had come to this conclusion by itself. Further, the observations of the Punjab & Haryana High Court in RBI vs Central Government Industrial Tribunal (dated 7 May 1958) relied on by the Full Bench were made much before the advent of the RTI Act and cannot therefore, be a guide for deciding on exemptions under the RTI Act," the Bench noted.
Furthermore, the RBI in RR Patel's case claimed that if inspection reports of banks were to be disclosed it would affect the economic interests of the state. The Full Bench decision appears to rely on the submissions of the Deputy Governor of RBI provided vide letter dated 21 November 2006 and were as follows:
  i.          Among the various responsibilities vested with RBI as the country's Central Bank, one of the major responsibilities relate to maintenance of financial stability. While disclosure of information generally would reinforce public trust in institutions, the disclosure of certain information can adversely affect the public interest and compromise financial sector stability.
 ii.        The inspection carried out by RBI often brings out weaknesses in the financial institutions, systems and management of the inspected entities. Therefore, disclosure can erode public confidence not only in the inspected entity but in the banking sector as well. This could trigger a ripple effect on the deposits of not only one bank to which the information pertains but others as well due to contagion effect.
iii.        While the RBI had been conceding request for information on actions taken by it on complaints made by members of the public against the functioning of the banks and financial institutions and that they do not have any objection in giving information in respect of such action taken or in giving the substantive information pertaining to such complaints provided such information is innocuous in nature and not likely to adversely impact the system.
iv.        (iv)However, disclosure of inspection reports as ordered by the Commission in their decision dated September 6, 2006 would not be in the economic interest of the country and such disclosures would have adverse impact on the financial stability.
v.         It would not be possible to apply section 10(1) of the Act in respect of the Act in respect of the inspection report as portion of such reports when read out of context result in conveying even more misleading messages.
Mr Gandhi noted that the RBI argued that that it did not wish to share the information sought as some of it could "adversely affect the public interest and compromise financial sector stability". RBI was unwilling to share information, which might bring out the 'weaknesses in the financial institutions, systems and management of the inspected entities'. It was further contended that 'disclosure can erode public confidence not only in the inspected entity but in the banking sector as well. This could trigger a ripple effect on the deposits of not only one bank to which the information pertains but others as well due to contagion effect'.
He said, "It appears that the RBI argued that citizens were not mature enough to understand the implications of weaknesses, and RBI was the best judge to decide what citizens should know. Citizens must be given selective information about weaknesses exposed in inspection, to ensure that they have faith in the banking sector. They must see the financial and banking sector only to the extent, which RBI wishes. If the RBI made mistakes, or there was corruption, citizens would suffer. This appears to go against the basic tenets of democracy and transparency."
The CIC cited a clarion call in State of Uttar Pradesh vs Raj Narain (1975) 4 SCC 428, by Justice Mathew that stated...
"In a government of responsibility like ours, where all the agents of the public must be responsible for their conduct, there can be but few secrets. The people of this country have a right to know every public act, everything that is done in a public way by their public functionaries. They are entitled to know the particulars of every public transaction in all its bearing. Their right to know, which is derived from the concept of freedom of speech, though not absolute, is a factor which should make one wary when secrecy is claimed for transactions which can at any rate have no repercussion on public security".
Mr Gandhi said, "The idea that citizens are not mature enough to understand and will panic is repugnant to democracy. The exemptions under Section 8 and 9 of the RTI Act are the constraints put by Parliament and adjudicating bodies have to carefully consider whether the exemptions apply before denying any information under the RTI framework."
"It is pertinent to mention that in RR Patel's case, the Full Bench did not come to any specific conclusion that disclosure of inspection reports would prejudicially affect the economic interests of the State. Instead it left it to RBI to determine whether disclosure of the said information would attract Section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act. This was primarily on the basis that RBI is an expert body and that any decision taken by it should be relied upon by the Commission. No legal reasoning whatsoever was given by the Bench for concluding the above. There is no evidence or indication that the Commission after taking cognizance of RBI's views had come to the same conclusion."
"If the position of the Full Bench is to be accepted, it would lead to a situation where RBI would have the final say in whether information should be provided to a citizen or not. Extending this logic, all public authorities could be the best judge of what information could be disclosed, since they are likely to be experts in matters connected with their working. In such an event the Information Commission would have no role to play. Parliament evidently expected that the Information Commission would independently decide whether the exemptions are applicable. The Full Bench did not give any independent finding that the disclosure of information would affect the economic interests of the State in its decision. This would completely negate the fundamental right to information guaranteed to the citizens under the RTI Act. In the case being considered by the full bench, it decided to accept the judgment of RBI. It is open to a Commission to defer to a judgment of another body, but this does not establish any principle of law, and would apply only to the specific matter," Mr Gandhi said.
The Bench said, "It is apparent from the scheme of the RTI Act that the Commission is a quasi- judicial body which is responsible for deciding appeals and complaints arising under the RTI Act. While deciding such cases, the Commission would necessarily have to consider whether there were any cogent reasons for denial of information under Sections 8 and 9 of the RTI Act. Since the Full Bench has not recorded any comment which shows that it consciously agreed that Section 8 (1)(a) of the RTI Act was applicable in such matters, it does not establish any legal principle or interpretation which can be considered as a precedent or ratio. Thus the decision is applicable only to the particular matter before it, and does not become a binding precedent."
Mr Gandhi said, the powers of the Commission are limited under the RTI Act and certainly do not confer upon it the power of review. "It is clear from the Full Bench ruling in RR Patel's case that it was reviewing the two decisions of Professor MM Ansari, then Information Commissioner on merits. The Full Bench certainly did not have the power to do so, given the provisions of the RTI Act and the law laid down by the Supreme Court in this regard. In fact, the Supreme Court in the Kapra Mazdoor Ekta Union Case clearly considered and clarified the ruling in the Grindlays' Bank Case (relied upon by the Full Bench). It appears that the Full Bench reviewed the issues based on merits in RR Patel's case in ignorance of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in Kapra Mazdoor Ekta Union Case. In other words, the RR Patel Case is per incuriam and is consequently, not binding on this Bench," he added.
"Having laid down the above," Mr Gandhi said, "this Bench is of opinion that even if the information sought was exempted under Section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act,-as claimed by the Respondent,- Section 8(2) of the RTI Act would mandate disclosure of the information sought."
Section 8 (2) of the RTI Act states, "Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 nor any of the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), a public authority may allow access to information, if public interests in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests".
Mr Gandhi noted that the RBI is a regulatory authority which is responsible for inter alia monitoring banks and financial institutions along with flow of public funds and forex in accordance with applicable law. "In the present matter where MTM losses on currency derivatives are to the extent of more than Rs32,000 crores, it is certainly a matter of national importance. There appears to be a large financial scam affecting the economy as a whole and citizens have a right to know about the same," he added.
The Bench then considered whether information sought in queries 1 and 2 is exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act.
Section 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act exempts from disclosure "information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;".
Mr Gandhi said, "This Bench, in a number of decisions, has held that the traditional definition of a fiduciary is a person who occupies a position of trust in relation to someone else, therefore requiring him to act for the latter's benefit within the scope of that relationship. Information provided in discharge of a statutory requirement, or to obtain a job, or to get a license, cannot be considered to have been given in a fiduciary relationship."
The PIO has denied information on queries 1 and 2 on the basis of Section 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act. This was upheld by the FAA which further observed that information relating to MTM position of banks are obtained by RBI for discharging the regulatory and supervisory functions and are held by RBI in fiduciary capacity. 
However, Mr Gandhi said, "Information provided by banks or institutions subordinate to RBI is done in fulfilment of statutory compliance. This would not create any fiduciary relationship as such between RBI and the subordinate banks or institutions. The criteria defining a fiduciary relationship, as described above, must be satisfied which does not appear to have been done in the present matter. Inspections, audits and investigations are done by RBI officers as part of statutory duty and banks have to undergo this in compliance with statutory requirements. Therefore, the denial of information on queries 1 and 2 on the basis of Section 8(1)(e) is rejected".
While allowing the appeal, the Bench directed the CPIO of FED to provide complete information to Shanmugam on queries 1, 2, 9 and 10 before 5 January 2012.

RTI reveals rampant wastage of donated blood in Mumbai hospital.

Mid-Day: Mumbai: Friday, April 18, 2014.
The reply to a query filed by a doctor has revealed that in 2012 and 2013, a total of 93 litres of the life-saving substance reached expiration date before use in Cama and Albless Hospital.
While citizens are encouraged to donate blood and blood donation camps dot the city’s charitable events calendar, the reply to an RTI query filed by a doctor has revealed that in the past two years, 93 litres of precious blood 266 blood bags, that is went to waste in Cama and Albless Hospital in Fort.
With each blood bag costing R450, the expired blood bags cost a total of Rs 1,19,700. The in-charge of the blood bank attributed the wastage to the unpredictability involved in the requirement of blood of different groups.
Blood donation camps are frequently held across the city, where citizens are encouraged to donate, so that the dire shortage faced by hospitals can be met. Ironically, several blood bags ended up gathering dust in state-run Cama and Albless hospital’s blood bank in the years 2012 and 2013.
The RTI reply revealed that in the year 2012, as many as 176 blood bags expired in the hospital, while in 2013, another 90 blood bags expired. Each blood bag contains 350 ml of blood, meaning that 93 litres of blood was lost in these years – blood that could have saved lives, if there had been better coordination between different blood banks in the city.
The other sideCama and Albless Hospital’s blood bank in-charge Dr Vikas Maindad said, “We can use blood bags only for a certain period of time, before the blood expires.
It is difficult to predict when there will be requirement of certain blood groups, and there are times when we get more blood bags of a certain blood group, for which there isn’t any requirement.
There are times we have roughly 10 per cent more blood bags of a specific blood group, and then our social worker coordinates with other blood banks to see if there is a requirement.”
Dr Rajashri Katke, medical superintendent of the hospital, said, “I am unaware of any such RTI reply. I doubt that there is any wastage. When we have extra blood bags, we send them to other hospital’s blood banks.”

4,000 cases still pending with Konkan RTI

Times of India: Navi Mumbai: Friday, April 18, 2014.
The Konkan division RTI office, situated at Konkan Bhavan, Belapur, has to hear a total of 4,265 cases that are pending in Konkan division since March due to government's failure to appoint an State Information Commissioner (SIC).
Thousands of pending RTI applications, filed since 2011, are finally coming up for hearing after the new full-time SIC T F Thekkekara took charge from March 4.
"The new commissioner has been conducting the hearings of the pending cases. On an average, 10 cases are being heard and the number may go up to 15," said an official from the RTI office.
"SICs are approached when the applicant is not satisfied with the response given by Public Information Officer (PIO). So the urgency with which the applicants have asked for the second appeal by paying the court fee is evident. In absence of the commissioner, the very purpose of RTI act is defeated and the applicant's Constitutional rights are being denied," said an RTI activist and Kharghar resident, Santosh Shukla.
Shukla had posted several reminders on the RTI website about appointing a full-time commissioner.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No records of Rs20,000 crore spent from MP LADS in public domain

Moneylife: Pune: Thursday, April 17, 2014.
Over Rs20,000 crore from the MP LADS were disbursed since a decade, but there are no records. The funds allotted for MPs to use for providing drinking water, public health, education, sanitation, sports and roads are either unused or misused
The Member of Parliament (MP) Local Area Development Scheme (LADS) funds, which were instituted in 1993 at Rs50 lakh per year have grown to Rs5 crore per year in 2011. However, the usage of MPLADS funds from all MPs of Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha, remain in controversy, thanks to the opaqueness in their expenditure.
As per the Annual report for 2010-2011 by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, which disburses these funds, at least 45% to 60% of MPLADS funds in most of the states have been spent on roads. Looks like most of our Parliamentarians, believe that creating roads means development!
As per the guidelines of MP LAD funds, preference of works under this scheme is to be given to works relating to national priorities such as provision of drinking water, public health, education, sanitation, sports and roads. However, as per the Annual Report findings, in most of the States, only 1% to 7% money has been spent on public sanitation, drinking water, electricity, health and family welfare. Except for Odisha, Kerala, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Tripura, which have spent between 20% to 50% money for education, other progressive states have not spent beyond 3%-7%. Lakshadweep has been an exception, spending 100% of the funds on education. Sports too is very low on the priority list of most states that have spent not more than 3% of the funds except for North-East states like Manipur and Mizoram who spent more than 20% of it.
The committee’s findings in the Annual Report also observe that in 13 states/ union territories (UTs), Rs1.30 crore was used for not admissible items like payment of honorarium/ wages/ travelling, expenses of staff, fuel for official vehicles and purchase of laptops. It also observed that no proper records were maintained; eight States executed 700 works costing Rs9.45 crore without formal recommendations of the MPs; 150 works worth to Rs2.44 crore were recommended by the representatives of the MPs. Nearly Rs15 crore were disbursed to private trusts/ societies beyond the permissible limit of Rs25 lakh per trust and 145 illegal trusts were given around Rs6 crore from the MP LAD funds. Works worth Rs20 crore for which the district collectorates had already released money during 2004-2009, are yet to commence.
Besides the Annual Report, the website is not abiding comprehensively by the Section 4 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The website gives details of disbursed funds of MPs but not the detailed proposals, progress of works and completion of works that has been made mandatory. All citizens have the right to get information on the detailed plan, progress and implementation of the MP funds and this has to be mandatorily put up on the respective websites. However, this is not done. A plaque has to be permanently put at the work site with the name of the MP and that it is done from the MP LAD fund, but you hardly see such plaques.
As per the directives of the government, the following norms of transparency under the RTI Act must be followed by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and all the district authorities which implement the works. They are:
·       As per the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 and the rules framed there under, all citizens have the right to information on any aspect of the MPLAD Scheme including works recommended/ sanctioned/ executed under it, cost of works sanctioned, implementing agencies, quality of works completed, user agencies, etc. The district authorities are responsible for providing information to the public in the manner required under the RTI Act, 2005.
·     Under the guidelines, it has been stipulated that for all works executed under the scheme, a plaque (stone/ metal) carrying the inscription ‘Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme Works’ indicating the cost involved, the commencement, completion and inauguration date and name of the MP sponsoring the project, should be erected permanently.
·       The MPLADS guidelines stipulate that the list of all completed and ongoing works with MPLADS funds should be displayed at the District Authority Office and posted Background and Policy on the website for information of the general public.
·       As per the Guidelines, there is a stipulated time limit of 75 days for consideration of sanction for a recommended work, and of one year for the completion of sanctioned work. In case of rejection of a work recommended by an MP, District Authority is to intimate to the MP within a period of 45 days with reasons thereof.
For greater transparency, it has been directed:
·       District Authorities are to provide information on any aspect of MPLAD Scheme, such as works recommended by MPs, works sanctioned/ not sanctioned, cost of works sanctioned, implementing agencies and quality of work completed to the general public in the manner as required under the RTI Act, 2005, as the implementation of the scheme has been brought under the purview of the said Act.
·       There is a MPLADS website ( ) where information on release of funds, details of works completed and under execution are available. The District Authority is required to upload the work details on the website to make them available in the public domain.
·       In order to bring transparency and accountability at the ground level and to promote e-governance, software for monitoring MPLADS works was launched in November 2004. The software enables online monitoring of details of works and the analysis of this data is used to bring out various reports, once the data entry and uploading in respect of a constituency or a Rajya Sabha MP is completed.
The modus operandi of these funds are as follows:
·       The Members of Parliament-MPs have a recommendatory role under the MP LAD Scheme. They recommend their choice of works to the concerned District Authorities who implement these works by following the established procedures of the concerned State Government.
·       The District Authority is empowered to examine the eligibility of works, sanction funds and select the Implementing agencies, prioritise works, supervise overall execution, and monitor the scheme at the ground level. The District Authorities get the works executed through the line departments, local self governments or other government agencies. In some cases, the District Authorities get the works executed through reputed non- government organizations (NGOs).
·       Members from the Lok Sabha can recommend works in their respective constituencies. The elected members of the Rajya Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the state from which they are elected. Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select works for implementation anywhere in the country.
·       There is no limit for works to be executed by government agencies. However, as per the background and policy, there is a ceiling of Rs25 lakh for works meant for the life time of each Trust/ Society. An MP can recommend funds only up to Rs50 lakh in a financial year from MPLADS funds for works to societies/ trusts.
·       MPLADS works can be implemented in areas affected by natural calamities like, floods, cyclone, hailstorm, avalanche, cloud burst, pest attack, landslides, tornado, earthquake, drought, Tsunami, fire, chemical, biological and radiological hazards. MPs from the non-affected areas of the state can also recommend permissible works up to a maximum of Rs10 lakh per annum in the affected area(s) in that state.
·       All recommended eligible works should be sanctioned within 75 days from the date of receipt of the recommendation, after completing all formalities. The District Authority shall, however, inform MPs regarding rejection, if any, within 45 days from the date of receipt of recommendations, with reasons thereof.”
·       The time frame for completion of works should be stipulated to the implementing agency and should not normally exceed one year.
       Office buildings, residential buildings, and other buildings relating to Central or State Governments, Departments, Agencies or Organisations.
       Works belonging to commercial organisations, private institutions or co-operative institutions.
       Repair and maintenance works of any type other than special repairs for restoration/ up-gradation of any durable asset.
       Memorials or memorial buildings.
       Acquisition of land or any compensation for land acquired.
       Assets of individual benefit except those which are part of approved schemes.
       Places for religious worship.