New Delhi ,(BiharTimes):The Nalanda University appears to have mastered the art of concealment. Right from the process of selecting the Vice Chancellor to the physical location of its headquarters everything was enveloped in primordial haze until media activism salvaged a part of it. A larger part of the information broken to the media has its origin in a string of RTI applications reaching the Ministry of External Affairs.
It may be noted that the Ministry of External Affairs is the ‘administrative ministry’ of the University. When the Nalanda University opened ‘headquarters’ in New Delhi in 2010-end, the MEA began to forward those RTI applications to the Nalanda University. However, as the ‘administrative ministry’ the MEA still holds a substantial amount of information. Now wonder, it has recently opened a full fledged Nalanda Division under a Joint Secretary level officer.
The Nalanda University is very much covered under the provision of the RTI Act, 2005. It has a Central Public Information Officer. But citizens were kept in dark about it as Nalanda University never notified it in the public. The University, though trumpeting its internationality, never hosted any website. The MEA also refrained from notifying the same on its website although that could have relieved its own CPIO by diverting some RTI traffic on the subject.
Finally, the Nalanda University’s website has been launched. But it has kept mum over RTI provisions unlike any other University. It is mandatory for any government institution to display RTI facility on its website. Nalanda University, being established under a Central Act has no valid ground to skirt the issue either. The University is (as of date) wholly funded by Government of India; subject to CAG audit; and accountable to the Parliament. Nalanda University is a “Public Authority” because, vide Clause 1 (h) of the RTI Act of 2005, it is constituted under a law made by Parliament. According to RTI Act, 2005 there is a long list of general disclosures expected from every Public Authority. These have not been addressed by on the hastily designed website. The names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers must be indicated as per Clause 4 (b) (xvi) of the RTI Act, 2005.
Since, the Nalanda University has faltered in its duty, for the umpteenth time now, Bihar Times has stepped in to fulfill a statutory obligation. We are reproducing the details of CPIO, Nalanda University and the Ministry of External Affairs already available in public domain-
Shri S.L. Sharma,
1st Floor, Indian Building Congress
Sector-VI, R.K. Puram
New Delhi-110 022
Tel: 011- 26172328, 26176911, 26181942, 65657549
Ministry of External Affairs
Shri Debraj Pradhan
Joint Secretary (RTI) & CPIO
Ministry of External Affairs
Room No. 619, Akbar Bhavan,
Phone No 24103310 (off)
You are free to share your RTI success stories on Nalanda with Bihar Times.