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'IIM-Ahmedabad receives 15 RTI applications every month'
Nation's premier business school, IIM-Ahmedabad, is of late attracting attention not because of its excellence but on another count - Right to Information (RTI) pleas. And most of the queries are about sabbatical leave of certain professors as well as appointment of institute's senior officials.

THERE HAS been a significant rise in the number of RTI applications, and according to J Albert Xavier, Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), IIM-A, this year, an average of 15 applications came up every month.

Citing figures, he said that a total of 75 RTI applications were received during December 2011-June 2012, compared to an average of 40 to 50 applications in the corresponding period in preceding year, i.e. December 2010-June 2011.

What interest one may have in sabbatical leaves availed by certain professors? Xavier explained, "Most of the professors who take sabbatical leave tend to go to other IIMs whether it is in Bangalore, Lucknow or Kolkata, or other business schools, without informing the authorities, as they get better salaries.”

“Other applications have questions related to the process of students’ admission for various courses. Generally, students who do not get admissions in the institution file such applications," he added.

 
But there are some RTI applications filed by the administrative and research staff of the institute. In fact, it is such applications, which have put the information officials in a spot.

 

Prof Rajanish Dass, who was earlier accused of plagiarism and quit the institute, said, “These applications are filed by employees probably because of discontent regarding the procedure followed at the time appointing those in crucial positions, such as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), the senior-most officer of the institute."

He further said, “There is a recruitment process in place, a well-defined one even for the junior-level officers. The appointments procedure is conducted after giving advertisements in national newspapers, inviting applications. Moreover, announcements for vacant posts were also done within the institute.”

The institute has also seen increasing number of applications related to the Common Admission Test (CAT) centres or results. Recently, Asim Mehta, student at the Endeavor Institute, had filed an RTI at IIM-A, seeking information on facilities at the test centres and the expenditure incurred on conducting the test. He questioned the rationale behind conducting the test online when the centres are far away from the city.  Mehta said, “I am quite surprised at the selection of test centres. The authorities do not seem to have taken into consideration the conveyance facilities.”

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