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Thread: Now, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions

  1. #1

    Now, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions


    Now, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions
    Reported by Yogita Rao in D N A Friday, May 30, 2008 02:18 IST

    KC Law College will start two courses on how to file precise RTI
    applications from July

    You no longer need to be bogged down by the tricky loopholes in the
    Right to Information (RTI) Act or be taken for a ride by officials. A
    law college in South Mumbai has started a course that will help
    citizens become certified RTI activists who know the nuances of filing
    an RTI application the right way.

    KC Law College, Churchgate, is starting two courses on RTI a
    foundation course and an advanced course, which would be the first of
    their kind in the country. The idea is to teach people the
    fundamentals of filing RTI applications.

    "People need to learn how to ask for information. It is a wonderful
    weapon available to us and we should make full use of it," said
    Neelima Chandiramani, the college's principal. "People do not even
    know how to ask to-the-point questions and end up writing long-winded
    applications."

    The idea of starting the course was a result of brainstorming between
    Chandiramani and activist Shailesh Gandhi, who will be conducting the
    sessions. The course will begin from July and will run into five
    sessions of three hours each. The classes will be held on Saturdays
    and Sundays.

    Most of the course will be based on practical assignments, with
    candidates filing applications on topics given by the college. While
    both the courses will be open for all, the college expects people who
    have already filed applications to enroll for the advanced course.

    Gandhi said, "Information officers sometimes fool people if the
    questions are not direct. Though there is no perfect solution to avoid
    such discrepancies, the course will help people fine tune their skills
    as RTI activists." Gandhi said 95% of the applications he filed never
    exceeded 150 words.

    Mahesh Vaswani, the chairman of legal aid committee of GJ Advani Law
    College, said, "Filing applications should be made as easy as clicking
    the mouse on a computer." The committee had conducted RTI workshops
    for slum dwellers in 20 suburbs in the western region.

    DNA - Mumbai - Now, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions - Daily News & Analysis



  2. Re: Now, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions


    Hopefully, soon they will start correspondence courses for outstation activists.
    Defeat is not final when you fall down. It is final when you refuse to get up.

  3. Re: Now, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions


    can any body give contact detail 4 this course?

  4. #4

    Re: Now, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions



    Excellent idea , only hope it is free of cost i.e;cost borne by KC college or some NGO.Because when one pays for courses like Certified Finance Advisor,Certified Insurance advisor etc one tends to recover money as soon as possible as a professional. And now a Certified RTI Activist ,it does evokes fear of an earning/paid professional.

  5. #5
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    Re: Now, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions


    Quote Originally Posted by drjeme View Post
    can any body give contact detail 4 this course?
    I think you can directly contact K C Law college at Churchgate.

    Quote Originally Posted by opsharma View Post
    Excellent idea , only hope it is free of cost i.e;cost borne by KC college or some NGO.Because when one pays for courses like Certified Finance Advisor,Certified Insurance advisor etc one tends to recover money as soon as possible as a professional. And now a Certified RTI Activist ,it does evokes fear of an earning/paid professional.
    That will make them RTI "middlemen".

    Another good idea would be to train many "trainers" from different cities and then ask them to go back to their hometowns and conduct similar courses for citizens.

  6. #6
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    Col NR Kurup (Retd)
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    Re: Now, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions


    I still maintain that it is the PIO, AA and Commissions who need training. The distinquishing feature of the RTI Act 2005 is its PEOPLE-FRIENDLY approach. The PIOs AAs and Commissions are to be trained to understand that WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA does not want them to hide anything from them to the extend permissiible. They should be made to read the RTI Act, especially proviso to Section 8(1)(j) that "the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person " .If the PIOs, AAs and the Commissions maintain a people friendly attitude why should the cityzen undergo any training ? Training what ? All they have to do is to 'ask the information'. If one is hungry, does one need any training to ask for food ? A people-friendly bureaucracy can absorb the mistakes if any in asking the information and guide them to facilitate getting the information.. Will any section of the bureaucracy dare to put forth the type of denials as being done by them now when they receive 'starred question from the Parliament ? As I brought out earlier the bureaucracy should me made to think as to "WHY NOT " instead of "WHY " give the information.

    The Law College can do better things for the RTI Act instead of wasting their efforts in the guise of imparting training. Of cource, if the intention is to make a quick buck, I have no comments.

  7. #7

    Re: Now, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions


    The Law College can do better things for the RTI Act instead of wasting their efforts in the guise of imparting training. Of cource, if the intention is to make a quick buck, I have no comments.
    Col Kurup is right.

    There's absolutely no need for such programs.

    All these training programs should be squarely aimed at the PIOs/FAAs/SICs/CICs who desperately need Training/ Help/guidance/orientation etc. on how to supply info.

    A regular visit to RTIindia.org shall make a novice an expert within a month. IMHO

    Sidharth
    Last edited by sidmis; 01-06-08 at 08:25 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Now, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions


    I think the push is needed.

    Even amongst the so called educated and middle classes, there is lack of knowledge about RTI and its effectiveness...leave alone its usage.

    Just a example of my own colony:

    The roads are in terrible shape since last 16 months and inspite of 7 visits to the concerned PA, there was no response. Finally I filed a RTI application. What happened since then I will recount after the whole episode is over.
    But in the colony of 80 residents, ONLY 3 had heard about RTI. No one knew how to draft/apply/submit/etc. Some retired bureaucrats even warned me that I was taking a "confrontationist" path and would face the "consequences" form the "powers that be" (I had to calm them down by promising them that I would get them to see their ACR's and DPC minutes, for academic interest...He He He He LOL...that did the trick !)

    Please do not go by this forum....because it is devoted only to RTI.
    Talk to your domestic help, your auto driver, your dhobi, your barber, your vegetable vendor, your office boy, etc...and you will realise that there is so much more to be done, even amongst the educated.

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