Monday, November 20, 2006

Quest for answers - RTI update

Quest for answers - Part II
RTI update.

Surprise! Surprise! …

After a long day of agitating at Azad Maidaan (See paradox paradigm ), I came home tired and demoralized. The protest rally was not as successful in terms of evoking an administrative reaction, as I would have liked it to be. But then again, in a democracy the important point is to ensure your views are heard.

At about 10.20 pm, yes at night, on 16 November, 2006, I heard a knock on the door. I opened the door, and then I was stunned and at a loss for words. I actually did not utter a word, only nodded my head to confirm the name and address. A man from Mumbai University was hand delivering a reply (marked urgent!) from the registrar regarding my RTI application. It was just two days ago that I filed my RTI application. Could this be a prank by my cynical friends to drive home the generally perceived futility of trying to get answers from the bureaucracy?

What if this was true…...................................and it was!

I managed to knock myself out of the momentary stupor and sign on the receipt. In my exhausted (and exasperated) state, I forgot to ask the gentleman his name.

There it was, nestled in my disbelieving fingers, glowing in its formal brown aura. It was heavy, at least my application was not rejected out right, I guessed. I opened the package and a letter fell out.

It was a reply to my first question... see my draft RTI application

Q...To which Post Graduate (PG) courses offered by the Mumbai University and its affiliated colleges in Mumbai can a Biotechnology graduate (BSc) apply? Please provide a detailed list of these courses and the colleges which offer them.


Course list available Room 18, Ground floor, University Building, Publication Section, Fort Campus, and onwards list enclosed for your information.

Wherever mentioned “any faculty” in the course, a student is eligible for the course.

Further I am to inform you that point 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 will be get information in the PG section.

Signed – Registrar

I know it sounds like I got the old ‘not my department’ from the wily registrar. The enclosure is a “detailed list” (as I had worded in my letter) of various courses – certificate and add-on courses that I never knew existed.

I wonder if the fact that he asked me to go and see the list put up in the University when I had clearly made a demand of a detailed list, could be challenged as avoiding his duty.

Also, I have been warned that they overload applicants with excess information (in this case I clearly dug my grave with the word “detailed”) to discourage them from filing RTI petitions.

I will follow this up with the relevant authorities this week as I check up on the status of the remaining 9 questions.

The quest continues….


Some of the certificate courses enlisted in the reply are as follows. This list is indicative and not exhaustive. FOR COMPLETE DETAILS E-MAIL ME.

r. No.





Forensic Biochemistry

Regular student along with his/ her BSc or MSc course.

T.Y.BSc onwards

12 weeks


Drug Discovery and development

-- same --

F.Y.BSc onwards

12 weeks


Industrial Biochem


12 weeks


Diploma/ Advanced diploma in Vocational Biotechnology

Simultaneously with BSc

3 years


PGD in environmental laws and practice

Graduate: BSc

1 year


PGD in human rights and laws

Graduate : BSc



PGD in Intellectual property rights (patenting)


1 year


Certificate course in Horticulture

HSC passed

3 years


Food and Nutrition


3 years


MSc course in Herbal Science

Biological sciences 50% + and entrance test

2 year full time


Research methodology

Simultaneously with BSc or MSc

F.Y.BSc onwards

12 weeks


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