The Right to (no) Information?
This is a discussion on The Right to (no) Information? within the RTI News & Discussion forums, part of the RTI News, Circulars and Decisions category; By Hailley Turakhia in Coolage.in on August 8th, 2012 The Right to (no) Information? - CoolAge The Right to Information Act commonly known as the RTI is an Act of ...
- 08-09-2012, 07:25 AM #1
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The Right to (no) Information?
By Hailley Turakhia in Coolage.in on August 8th, 2012
The Right to (no) Information? - CoolAge
The Right to Information Act commonly known as the RTI is an Act of the parliament of India to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens of the country. This act in all probability aims at making all types of information accessible to the seeking individual. This Right to Information Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in May 2005.
I'll ask you one question. How many really know what the RTI Act entails? What's the procedure? Are you eligible for certain kinds of information? Most of us don't know! It is barely a 20 page act which one can very easily go through as and when necessary.
The BMM department at Xavier's held a guest lecture hosted by RTI Activist, Yogacharya Shri Anandji earlier this week. The lecture was indeed fruitful as he made us aware of processes and procedures of filing an RTI. He even opened our eyes to the number of challenges we will face before we actually receive the requested information.
We were told that every institution has a different application format which is prescribed on their web pages. Most institutions require the Rs 10 court fee stamp while some others will accept the application either ways. In recent times there is a provision to post the stamp via the post man too. One can put the application in the envelope addressing it to the Public Information Officer (PIO) of that institution and by paying the post man Rs. 10; one can send one's application. This however may or may not be acceptable by some institutions and may lack perfect proof of delivery. The application may be by speed post too, but certainly not by courier. There is a thirty day gap from the application date until when you must receive a response. If not, one can put in a second appeal. If one needs information urgently, one can call the PIO of the institution the previous day and state a time when he will be visiting the next day and request them to keep the papers ready. Then one can personally go with the application and it is expected of the institution to provide the papers/information requested.
In times like these, citizens essentially need to know about their rights along with their duties. Do you know, that one single person, just one could turn the face of something entirely; that too just by asking a question! Students like you and me often talk about the malpractices around. We condemn them. But is just condemning something that contrasts the shades of development enough? Or should we have the determination and strength to stand up to something with the existing legislatures in place? This is not me trying to pit you against anything. This is just me talking of something that already exists. Something, put in place by the nation state, something we could use to turn the face of the country during the long run, for better!