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    Informative and thought provoking article by Shri R N Das, CIC, GIC, Gandhinagar

    <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr> <td nowrap="true">Publication:Times Of India Ahmedabad; </td> <td nowrap="true">Date:Aug 27, 2007; </td> <td nowrap="true">Section:Gujarat; </td> <td nowrap="true">Page Number:5</td> <td width="100%">
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    Transparency is inevitable R N DAS

    Right to information (RTI), if effectively enforced, would bring in transparency and accountability in the working not only of the government but also other public authorities. Successful enforcement of RTI depends on synergy between civil society, public authorities, the information commission and media. These are the four pillars on which an effective RTI regime rests. There are no adversaries in this regime in its true sense.

    In Gujarat, the experience so far demonstrates that public authorities, under pressure of civil society, media and the information commission, are responding constructively to RTI queries. Nevertheless, the regime is only partially established.

    How can the RTI regime be made more effective so as to bring in a discernible change? First, there seems little awareness about the Act at the village panchayat, talati, mamlatdar and taluka level. Initially there was lack of awareness on the law, duties and responsibilities of public information officers. Due to combined efforts, and through meaningful training, there has been some improvement here. But there is a long way to go.

    At the district and municipal corporation levels, there have been mixed responses. At the district level, primary information travels to the appellate sphere, change is noticeable for the better at this level. At the municipal corporation level, both primary information and appellate authorities get more or less merged. A lot more, substantive work is required to bring in more transparency, accountability.

    While the primary information and appellate activities get merged at the state level, some departments have been more proactive than others. Nevertheless, there has been a growing realisation that at this level. The few roadblocks can be dismantled gradually.

    As Aruna Roy has said, “More than the law, RTI is a process, a tool, a concept and a cultural approach to life.” Effective use of this process and tool has the potential to change the policies and practices of public authorities, provided there is persistence and commitment for public good and interest by an informed citizenry. Mere presence of informed citizenry may not usher in meaningful change. Citizens will have to learn to use information meaningfully, forcing public authorities to change. Sympathetic public authorities will listen to this voice. Unsympathetic public authorities can be forced to change. Change is inevitable. It’s a question of time. Let us hope that change to emerge sooner.

    (The author is chief information commissioner, Gujarat Information Commission)

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  2. #2
    Dr. Pathak
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    Re: Informative and thought provoking article by Shri R N Das, CIC, GIC, Gandhinagar

    Good article and optimistic one. I must put down my words that there are less and less talk of Proactive disclosure, the anchor of the Act in the most highly acclaimed lectures.

    All actions above should ultimately lead to Proactive Disclosure. The path to Ask (I call it a path to fight) do open up many facets of Government Secrecy and also employment opportunities for many, however it also opens up the door for permanent closure to what the Act should aim at. I strongly feel why one need to ask for anything, why one need to pay for the thing, why one need to wait for 30 days, 60 days and 90 days?
    Can't we have everything in front of us, or aim at achieving it?

    Rather than leading towards the rightful ways, the path to ask will only vitiate the atmosphere in the mid term. Once we have Proactive disclosure in place, it would lead to harmonious and confident disclosure of many things, creating a sense of responsibility at the point of initiation itself.

    I started marking one copy of decision to my Customer Care center where I had put the Proactive Disclosed Documents. That way during the decision itself I was aware of its public nature, and also that I do not need to face any application further.

  3. #3

    Great Mr Vaghelabd

    And Just see the positive responses ...Kushal Sirs' reply is just a begining...

    We would await your further threads now on

  4. #4
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    Re: Informative and thought provoking article by Shri R N Das, CIC, GIC, Gandhinagar

    I strongly believe "persistence pays" and hence I practise it.
    You may kindly refer to the attachment. (I keep it on my table.)

    I equally strongly believe in the Teamwork and hence practise it.

    However, in exceptional cases, I also follow one Bhajan "Eklo Jaane Re" (Go alone) in the event of getting no companion for the dangerous journey to unknown & unexplored territory for a cause. I make a conscious decision while taking a calculated risk.

    And, I have had no regrets for the hardships or the suffering encountered.

    Subject : I have come empty handed and shall be leaving this world also empty handed

    Indian Oil Corporation Limited,
    New Delhi

    (Through Proper Channel)

    Dear Sir,

    I have come empty handed in this world. I shall also be leaving this world
    empty handed when it will be due. Other than the Almighty no one knows when
    it will fall due. But, it is inevitable and is certainly bound to happen.
    It is only a question of time. May be in minutes, hours, days, months or
    years. I do not know and, at this stage in my life, it makes no difference
    to me.

    However, till the time I am in this world, it shall remain my endeavour to
    contribute towards the improvement in one tiny area of this vast world, I
    can give it a try, with utmost sincerity, without being unduly concerned
    about the results since it is something beyond me. Only the making efforts
    is in my hand and that is what precisely I have been doing whether in my
    personal life or in my official life.

    I had the wishful thinking of donating blood but couldn't do it since for
    major part of my life I remained underweight. It is only after the life
    threatening illness of 1999 - 2000 (caused by the life-long burning inside)
    that I gained weight due to the medicinal side effects. With myself being
    practically medicine-free thereafter (primarily due to the change in the
    life style), the medicinal side effects have disappeared leaving me
    non-underweight. But then I have not been able to give a serious thought to
    blood donation thereafter and my this wish has remained unfulfilled.

    Anyway, above details apart, when my end comes, I shall be leaving my body
    behind that shall be of no use to me thereafter but can certainly be put to
    use rather than getting it wasted by cremation.

    That is the reason I hereby pledge to donate my body for medical research.

    I have already kept my family members apprised of my last wish.

    With kind regards,

    (Babubhai Vaghela)
    Employee No. 11709

    23rd June 2006
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5

    Re: Informative and thought provoking article by Shri R N Das, CIC, GIC, Gandhinagar

    Welcome thoughts.....

    With all due respect to your motto --Eklo Jaane re" ......I would add....

    Man is a social animal and one who is not a part of society is either a god or a beast"...

    And when it comes to

    Its Not only about being alone....Else why the moderators would have done so much hardship to come up with this forum....

    Its about Collective, Pro-active, comprehensive and Positive progress of RTI Act and for highest benefits of the Citizen of India....

    Its about awareness ...its no about frustrations ...its about facing the challenges with the most positive legal and absolute constitutional manner...

    We all know what we have lost...But very few acknowledge How we would win....


    And we promise if anyone goes by ...

    He would NEVER BE LEFT ALONE ......

    "Sabhi gulo se hoti hai Gulistaa main Khushbu..Humme hum hai toh kya hum hai.....Tumhe tum ho toh kya tum ho...."

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