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NGO consortium out to create RTI awareness through booklets

With a view to inform common people about the proactive disclosures under the Right to Information (RTI) Act,the Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel (MPAG)...

Written by Express News Service | Ahmadabad |
January 7, 2009 12:32:21 am

With a view to inform common people about the proactive disclosures under the Right to Information (RTI) Act,the Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel (MPAG),a consortium of NGOs to promote RTI,will publish a booklet containing all the information that can be sought under the Act.

“The RTI Act is demand-driven in itself. People will not get information unless they ask for it. We intend to inform people about their rights through this publication,” said Harinesh Pandya of MPAG.

Initially,around 1,000 copies of the booklets have been published and distributed among the people who want to seek the information.

“After seeing the response,we will publish some more booklets and distribute them across the state from various NGOs,which are a part of the MPAG,” Pandya added.

The MPAG has already been running a helpline in Gujarat where people can call up and seek help to

file RTI applications. After receiving calls,MPAG takes up the matters with the RTI commissioner and other government departments.

It also runs a Saturday clinic,where people are taught how to file an RTI application for a particular information.

Meanwhile,the state Chief Information Commission (CIC) is planning to introduce a similar project,which will make it mandatory for the public information officers (PIOs) to put all the information that is under the pro-active disclosure on the website for access to all.

The significance of this project is that it will reduce the number of general information applications by 80 per cent,bring in more transparency and make the availability of information for common public easy.

The project is underway at the Industrial Training Institute (ITI),Gandhinagar on an experimental basis. Under the project,ITI students are helping the PIOs to update and upload information about their department on the Internet. Once successful,it will be replicated across the state.

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