HYDERABAD: Chief Information Commissioner of India Wajahat Habibullah has said that the mechanism developed for the implementation of Right to Information (RTI) Act would be built into the e-governance scheme of the Centre.
The Central Government has a major scheme for e-governance with a budget of Rs. 23,000 crore and it would be used to aid implementation of RTI Act, Mr. Habibullah told a public meeting here to mark the completion of the second year of RTI Act. It was organised by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS).
He added that the e-governance programme was aimed at computerising all Government records. Once the mechanism of RTI Act was interfaced with the programme, information could be accessed by applicants through e-mail, he added.
The Chief Commissioner said the country would be heading to become the worldâ€™s most intense democracy after the records were digitalised and computerised. All gram panchayats in the country would turn out to be conveyors and disseminators of information by having access to computers.
He expressed happiness that the RTI Act was firmly grounded in two years. However, public awareness about the legislation was lacking. He also said that he was yet to come across a case where an officer dismissed suggestion from a person who was armed with information based on inputs received with the help of the Act. All heads of departments were sympathetic to public responses.
Chief Information Commissioner of State C.D. Arha said the State Government had recently sanctioned Rs. 30 lakh to train the 1.78 lakh information officers up to the mandal level. Training sessions would be completed for them before March 31 next.
He regretted that problems on supply side continued to plague the Act as the officials were hostile and unhelpful towards applicants.
Mr. Habibullah heard the civil society activists, one of whom expressed confidence that a corruption- free State was possible under RTI Act. CMS chairman N. Bhaskar Rao and former Minister T. Purshotham Rao also spoke.