Right to information: over 200,000 applications received
New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Over 200,000 Right to Information (RTI) applications were received by various central government agencies between October 2005 and March 2007, the Rajya Sabha was informed Thursday. In a written reply, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Suresh Pachouri said: “As per the information furnished by the Central Information Commission, 207,860 applications were received under the RTI Act by various public authorities of the central government during October 2005 to March 2007.”
His reply was to a query by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj, who wanted to know about the RTI applications received so far, and the state-wise break-up of applicants who were given information by the agencies concerned.
The minister, however, said the state-wise information was not maintained centrally.
The RTI activists feel that there is a need for proactive measures to create awareness among people about the RTI and its utility.
“The people are making effective use of the RTI Act, particularly in the urban areas. In the rural areas, the people still do not know much about its utility. There is a pressing need to make them aware of the RTI and how to use it to their advantage,” said Manish Shisodia, an RTI activist.
The RTI Act, enacted and notified in June 2005, aims to empower people by giving them the right to access information regarding government projects, programmes, schemes and anything else in the public domain.
Re: Right to information: over 200,000 applications received
What we need is not going after the socalled 'Awareness Campaign.' The moment the SICs start functioning effectively, the publicity by word of mouth will serve the purpose. So long as the SICs consider their role is " to protect the public servants from the Information seekers," we cannot expect anything but mockery of the Act.