public authorities to proactively disclose the details of all foreign and domestic official tours of ministers and officials of the rank of joint secretary and above and heads of departments since January 1 2012, and to update the disclosure once every quarter beginning July 1, 2012.
According to September 2012 advisory, the information to be disclosed proactively may contain official tours, places visited, the period, number of people included in the official delegation and total cost of such travel undertaken. These advisory would not however apply to security and intelligence organizations under the second schedule of the RTI Act, 2005 and chief vigilance officers (CVOs) of public authorities.
But most public authorities have happily ignored the advisory. “It has come to the notice of this Department that some of the public authorities are not disclosing such information or are providing only partial information and are also not updating it regularly,” a DoPT office memorandum dated April 3, 2013 said. It has now asked the public authorities to strictly comply with its September 2012 advisory and upload suo motu disclosure on official tours of minister and officers regularly, and in full details.
Andhra farmer at LBSNAA
Lalitamma, a 45-year-old farmer from Andhra Pradesh, is illiterate. But she has hogged the limelight recently when she was flown in to Mussoorie via Delhi. The purpose? She was to teach trainee IAS officers at LBSNAA, the academy that trains India’s senior bureaucracy. Lalitamma shared her knowledge about non-pesticide management methods (NPM) to trainee officers. The Hindu newspaper quoted her saying that she felt as if she was speaking with her children, and she was delighted to share her farming knowledge with the future officers.