mangalore today

Second Upalokayukta is welcome but will stay out of mining scam: Lokayukta

Mangalore Today News Network

lokayukt Mangalore, September 14: On the State Government’s decision to appoint a second Upa Lokayukta, he said the appointment should relieve the pressure of work on his office.

He, however, warned the Government that he would resist any interference with his work. “As long as the second Upa Lokayukta does not interfere with the ongoing probe into illegal mining, I have no problem,” he said.

The fresh batch of officers deputed by the State Government had eased some of the burden on the office. “But the shortage of clerical staff continues to cripple the Lokayukta office,” he added.

No profession is free from corruption: Hegde

 Drawing from his vast experience as a judicial luminary, Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde had the audience spellbound during a lecture at the principal’s meet organised by The Hindu here on Monday as part of its “Newspaper in Education” initiative.

The event was aimed at recognising and honouring the contribution of over 200 school principals from across the city in the “Newspaper in Education” programme. Lauding The Hindu for its initiative, Mr. Hegde underlined the need for a responsible and corruption-free media environment.

Referring to the “paid news” scandal, he said, “Unfortunately, there is not a single field where corruption has not pervaded.”

However, he stressed the constructive role played by sections of the media and pointed out that it had managed to stoke even the judiciary into action.

“The judiciary lives with a halo of infallibility around it, but this institution too is not free from corruption. Every time a major scam surfaces, the senior judiciary brushes the issue under the carpet,” he said and added that the media had managed to highlight several of these wilful oversights by the judiciary.

Peppered with real-life anecdotes about the day-to-day working of the Lokayukta, Mr. Hegde’s talk appeared to have left a deep impact on the principals who wanted to have his contact details, especially after he announced that any of them could come to his office without an appointment.

He said that he could arrange for an internship for students who were interested in understanding the functioning of the Lokayukta. Recalling his days as a student at St. Aloysius College here, he said that moral science and civics were important elements of the then curriculum. Lamenting that the emphasis in most schools and colleges had shifted to money-making, he exhorted the principals to inculcate a spirit of “honesty and humanity” among students.

Blaming the shift in the focus of education for lopsidedness of India’s growth story, he said that in today’s competitive world, success was measured by the amount of money a person earned.

Lokayukta takes exception to RTE Act

Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde has taken serious exception to the legislation aimed at ensuring free and compulsory education to children between six and 14 years of age.

Speaking at a principals’ meet organised by The Hindu as part of its “Newspaper in education initiative” on Monday, he said, “This entire thing (the RTE Act) is a fraud.”

Responding to questions by a few principals, Mr. Hegde said that although he had not studied the Act in detail, he was sure “it will adversely affect the standard and availability of education”.

He said, “It is the responsibility of the Government to provide free, compulsory and quality education. This burden cannot be passed on to private institutions.”

If the Government was really serious about providing quality education, it should build good schools, he said.

Defending the right of private schools to charge fees commensurate with the infrastructure and quality of education they provide, he said, “It is true that education has become a commercial activity. But let’s not look at commerce as a sin.”