Bhopal: Medical student Vivek Pandey is on a mission. He has filed 120 RTIs in last four years to put the government in an uncomfortable position.
Pandey has sought information from almost every government departments through the RTI act. He was recently in news for writing to the CBI, seeking a probe about an alleged NEET/JEE data leak.
However, his latest RTI reveals how much cost the NDA government has incurred on publicity and advertisements.
The student started his activism in the first year as a medical student in 2016. “It all began after a group of us approached the Supreme Court about the question paper leak during NEET 2016. The court did not rule in our favour, but that was when I found out the flaws in our system. I wanted to expose it. That was when I started filing RTIs,” 25-year-old Vivek was quoted as saying by EdexLive.
Revealing truths though comes at a cost. Vivek admitted that he had received threats via different mediums. “I was threatened constantly by NEET seat brokers. In fact, my father was quite scared for my safety that for a long time he didn’t let me leave the house,” he said.
In between, Vivek had filed RTI requests for the National Testing Agency too. One of the queries disclosed that the NTA received Rs 10 Crore from the government in 2018 to conduct exams across India. Another RTI revealed that Rs 59,75,49,500 was raised through application fees for NEET 2020.
“I have to file a few more RTIs now. I need to now find out how much money was spent on conducting these competitive entrances,” Vivek said.
The latest RTI of his revealed that most of the money — Rs 2,708.91 Crore — was spent on advertisements by the NDA government, according to EdexLive.
“Since the beginning of its rule, we have seen the government spend a lot of money on advertisements. Suddenly, the number of government ads increased, especially for schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, which targeted the common man,” the student said.
“However, I am not sure how effective these ads are. I know someone from my family who ran from pillar to post for a Jan Dhan Yojana loan and still couldn’t avail it. This got me interested in the issue,” Vivek pointed out.