CSIR prepares scientists to develop mindset for implementing RTI Act
Posted by rtiact2005 on July 13, 2006
|CSIR prepares scientists to develop mindset for implementing RTI Act|
For the purpose of providing information, all public authorities have to appoint a PIO, Assistant PIO and Appelate Authority from within their own ranks. The RTI has been instituted to “promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority”.
The training programme, conducted by SC Sen of the Department of Personnel, taught the basics of the RTI Act and sought to remove confusion about the nitty gritty’s. For instance, the fee for applying for information is Rs 10 to be submitted by demand draft. But a DD for Rs 10 involves an extra cost of Rs 25 as commission. To solve this problem, the fee can be submitted as cash or postal order. Said the national coordinator of the training programme, Janardhan Swarup, “All CSIR labs have appointed PIO’s, APIO’s and Appelate Authorities.”
But a lot of issues still remain. Prominent among them is whether public authorities, used as they are to not revealing information, can adjust to the transparency and openness of the RTI Act. Rakesh Tuli, Director of NBRI, feels that they can and must adjust. “The mindset will change. All it requires is some time. In a year’s time the system will be much smoother,” he opined.
What is the kind of information that can be accessed. The Act specifies that “nothing contained in the Act will apply to intelligence and security organisations.” Adds RBS Rathor, PIO of NBRI, “Information pertaining to intellectual property is also exempted.” Which means that NBRI’s patented information will be off limits. Says KC Khulbe, Assistant PIO at ITRC, “It is a very important act, which will empower citizens and make the system transparent.”