DSEK denying information under RTI, says activist

DSEK denying information under RTI, says activist
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Info sought on teachers attached to offices, funds for cultural trips


SRINAGAR: The Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) is denying substantial information to a social activist even two months after filing a RTI, he alleged.
Seeking information about the district-wise and cadre-wise number of teachers attached with various offices and their original place of posting in the School Education Department, Gulzar Ahmad Wani, a social activist from Tangmarg in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district had filed an application under the RTI Act-2009 at the DSEK in April this year.
Anticipating that the sought information would be provided to him within the maximum stipulated period of one month, Wani has, however, turned doubtful as the DSEK has not replied to his application even after more than 2 months, he said.
“The application has reached the DSEK along with the registered postal stamp on April 19. It has been two months now, but they have not replied me yet,” Wani told Kashmir Reader.
The RTI Act 2009 provides that the sought information be provided to the applicant “as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within thirty days of the receipt of the request…”
In case the Public Information Officer fails to decide on the request for information, the act says that he “shall be deemed to have refused the request”.
Apart from seeking information on the teachers attached with various offices, Wani had also asked for details from the DSEK about the “funds provided for cultural trips”-both interstate and intra state for the “last ten years”.
Names and number of students from each district of the state who participated in the cultural tours for the last ten years were also sought by Wani in his RTI application.
In his RTI application, Wani has also asked for the details on the “total expenditure upon these tour programmes…for the last ten years”.
Asked what prompted him to seek details about the issues he, Wani said, “The orders by the department claiming to end the teacher deployments in various offices every year is only for show off and to deceive people”.
“There are several influential people attached with the DSEK itself even as on date,” he alleged.
“Besides, there are hundreds of officials still attached at various offices in the department,” added Wani.
Wani also blamed the “trade unions” in the department who, as per him, were the “shareholders” with the higher officials in the department.
“99 percent corruption in the department is because of these unions,” he said.
Besides the April’s application by Wani, he said that the DSEK altogether “rejected” an RTI application filed by him earlier.
“They do not want to present the true picture of the department before the masses. They are hell bent to ruin the department,” he alleged.
Over his seeking information on the expenditure on the cultural tours, Wani said, “The Cultural Wing is operational at the DSEK for the last more than 25 years. It gets yearly grants of around 40-50 lakhs for the inter-state and intra-state cultural tours. They accommodate the blue eyed for these tours. A teacher who genuinely teaches his students with dedication is left behind.”
Admitting to the delay in disposing of Wani’s application, Public Information Officer DSEK, Zahoor Ahmad Banday passed the buck to the “concerned Chief Education Officers” who as per him had delayed furnishing the related information.
“We have asked the concerned CEOs for furnishing the information,” Banday added.
Banday however claimed that Wani’s application reached the DSEK ending April.
He asked Wani to “wait for a week” for the sought information.
“If he does not get the information within a week’s time, he can make an appeal to the 1st appellate authority at the DSEK,” Banday said.