Opinion

RTI victory

Our Bureau | Updated on September 26, 2019 Published on April 28, 2019

 

Now that the Supreme Court has directed the RBI to disclose details of annual bank inspection reports to RTI queries, many RTI activists are licking their lips. The reason is not far to seek. Their next port of call may well be SEBI — asking the market regulator to disclose under the Right to Information Act the details of ‘insider trading’ investigations on corporate biggies.

So, will SEBI budge or would it need another RTI activist to move the Supreme Court and get it to pass directions on this front? One thing is clear though — Indian regulators are feeling the heat of the RTI law. However, there is still no clarity whether the the Supreme Court’s directive to the RBI to disclose details of inspections to RTI queries will be applied “prospectively” or “retrospectively”.

Anger management skills

Trouble seems to be brewing in the National Skill Development Corporation. Ajay Kumar, Head, Udaan (for J&K), at NSDC, said in a LinkedIn post that the Minister for Skill Development, Dharmendra Pradhan, had lost his cool when he was told that his verbal orders cannot be implemented, given the guidelines.

Kumar, who has now quit from his position at the NSDC, went on to say that there were over 200 witnesses to this incident that took place at the Constitution Club of India. Pradhan is said to have directed facilitating accreditation to a person known to him in contravention to guidelines issued by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

A brush with cotton

One crop that can be identified with the Indian freedom struggle is cotton. It became a symbol of India’s resistance when Mahatma Gandhi used fibres from the cotton plant to make yarn, which were subsequently woven into khadi clothes to oppose the import of textiles from Manchester.

It is said that the fertile Indus delta was the region that cultivated cotton for the first time around 8,000 years ago. But now, genetically at least, there is nothing ‘original’ left in the Indian cotton crop, argue environmental activists. Quoting a geneticist with the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources in New Delhi, an activist said that the bureau has stopped collecting native cotton accessions from across the country, as most varieties found are “genetically contaminated”. Something to be pondered over.

The bigger challenge

It is difficult for a senior executive to say what can be the most daunting task for him/her? However, Aditya Ghosh, CEO of OYO India and South Asia, had a funny comeback on this. During a press conference when asked if hospitality or aviation is more challenging for him, Ghosh said, “To brush my daughter’s hair every morning has been the most challenging job for me so far”. Before joining the hospitality start-up OYO Hotels and Homes, Ghosh spent a decade in the aviation sector.

And the Group is…

An official statement of Friday said that the Income Tax Department conducted search and seizure operations at five locations in the Kashmir Valley today. The searches were carried out against a group, a wholesale distributor of pharmaceuticals in the Valley. According to the statement, the group charged huge premium on life-saving drugs and the extra normal profits were used for investment in real estate in Srinagar, as well as for unaccounted expenditure. Wonder why the group’s name finds no mention.

 

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Published on April 28, 2019
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