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NIPER denies info sought under RTI Act

The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research,Mohali,a Central government undertaking.

The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER),Mohali,a Central government undertaking,has denied information sought under the Right To Information Act (RTI) regarding the details of faculty members,scientists and non-teaching staff who have left NIPER in the last 10 years without completing their contract. According to the letter issued by NIPER,“no public interest is going to be served in disclosing this information”.

In its deliberate effort to gag information,NIPER has quoted a 2006 judgment of the Central Information Commissioner (CIC),“This appeal is as frivolous as it can get. The aim often is not to seek real information but to trouble others and to harass…”. The RTI application was filed by this correspondent.

Meanwhile,the dismal state of affairs at NIPER is amply revealed through a letter written by Abani Roy,MP,to President Pratibha Patil on November 26,2010. The Institute is under the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilisers and Roy is a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Chemical and Fertilisers.

He had written,“NIPER should be run as an autonomous institution by a group of reputed scientists but,unfortunately,it is being run by bureaucrats both in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers and outside,a vested nexus of a few scientists for their personal growth by promoting dummy statutory committees and recruiting only favourites. More than 47 sanctioned faculty positions have been lying vacant for a number of years,although infrastructure has been created at a cost of Rs 200 crore,and is mostly lying un-operational. The scientists are being victimised.”

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Roy had also highlighted in his letter that NIPER was established 12 years ago. “More than Rs 400 crore of hard-earned tax payers money has been pumped into it,and over Rs 200 crore as project money. Yet,not even a single patent of the Institute has been successfully commercialised till date,” he had said.

Interestingly,Roy had written in his letter to the President,“Information under the Right To Information Act has revealed the mismanagement prevalent in NIPER.”

In denying information regarding the RTI application filed by this correspondent,the NIPER Deputy Registrar has used as a shield the CIC judgment which says that the applicant sought for “interpretation of rules which are already in the public domain” and “loads the public authority with questions which don’t meet the stringent definition of information…”.

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The RTI application had asked for the contract period of each of the employees who left midway,their designation,and the reason given for the resignation.

First published on: 22-01-2011 at 03:47:57 am
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