Right to Information – Master key to good governance

“The Act is in a transition period. It will take time for the officers as well the citizens to use it. However, the act has been given to us as a responsibility,”

Posted by rtiact2005 on June 27, 2006

“Whether a Right to Information form can be filled to elicit information from Bank of Maharashtra? How early can we get information from Public Information Officer (PIO) and on what ground?Which of the temple sansthans come under the purview of Right to Information Act? Whether the Alandi temple sansthan can be approached to receive answers under the RTI Act? Whether Defence comes under the purview of RTI?”

These were the queries put before the RTI experts at a discussion organised by All India Radio on Monday. The programme was organised on the occasion of completion of 24 episodes of AIR’s series on Right to Information aimed at increasing awareness.

`Tila Tila Daar Ughad’ — a 30-minute programme designed to provide people of how to get information from the administration — has been aired on All India Radio since January on every Saturday. The programme has been scripted by experts from Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (Yashada).

“The programme has been designed into four sections – Paulkhuna(introduction), Aamne-Samne (discussion with an expert), Magova(current news) and prashna-uttare (questions from people). Recently, a talk on using RTI Act to get an account of what has been done forthe welfare of disabled was aired. Songs too, are played as per the
relevancy,” said AIR’s project executive Sujata Paranjpe.

While discussion have been organised to mark the 25th episode of the series on July 1, such a step is for the first time taken by any AIR centre. “Even in December, such a discussion was organised before programme was aired,” Paranjpe said. This year’s discussion was attended by Uday Sahay, deputy director Akashwani, New Delhi, Kiran Kulkarni, additional director, RTI cell,Yashada and advocate M D Mahashabde.

Addressing the gathering, Sahay stressed that if Public Information Officer (PIO) fails to provide an answer within the deadline, an individual can approach to State’s information commissioner who can impose a fine of Rs 250 per day on the concerned PIO.

On the other hand, Kiran Kulkarni urged for usage of RTI for eliciting maximum information. “The Act is in a transition period. It will take time for the officers as well the citizens to use it. However, the act has been given to us as a responsibility,” he said.

Centre director Sharad Bhosale said that Sweden was the first country to introduce RTI Act in eighteenth century. The result is evident as the corruption is very less and the country along with other Scandinavian countries and Canada tops the list in having a transparent government and implementation of policies.

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