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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Moving on

At an event that was meant to put pressure on the government to pass the whistleblowers’ protection Bill and the public grievance redressal Bill

Written by Express News Service | Published: April 20, 2013 1:11:29 am

At an event that was meant to put pressure on the government to pass the whistleblowers’ protection Bill and the public grievance redressal Bill,social activist Aruna Roy announced her dissociation with the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information,an organisation that she helped establish. A member of the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council,Roy has been the most famous and respected face of the organisation that did pioneering work in the RTI campaign and played an important role in the enactment of the RTI Act. On Friday,Roy said she had now moved on to being an ‘activist emeritus’ for the organisation.


EITHER Rahul Gandhi is totally out of sync with how the Congress party functions,or the party has little regard for what Rahul says or does. When the party’s prince said becoming Prime Minister was not a priority for him,a number of Congress leaders jumped in to insist that he was still the Congress choice for the job because the cadres want to see him as Prime Minister. Then at the CII function earlier this month,Rahul dwelt at length on the need to give voice to over a billion Indians. The party,however,seems extremely wary of giving people the choice to express themselves. The party has started its own channel on the YouTube website and uploaded Rahul’s speech at CII,among several other party videos. But it has disabled not just the comments section on each one of them but also the facility to rate the video.


ON Thursday,a few hours before contents of the JPC report on 2G spectrum scam started getting reported in the media,the JPC members received a text message on their mobile phones informing them that the draft report would be delivered at their local addresses by the end of the day. The message had come from a number that was being used for passing on information to all JPC members earlier as well. The draft report was never delivered,as promised,but by evening its contents were out in the open through the media. It was only on Friday that the members received the copy of the draft report.


BATTLING a large number of RTI applications,very often asking for similar information,the government has instructed all the ministries and departments to put more information in the public domain as part of suo motu disclosures. It has asked them to improve the quality as well as quantity of the information being disclosed. Further,the instruction is to disclose information in local language as far as possible and avoid difficult and technical words,or explain them carefully if they have to be used. They have also been advised to use medium other than just the website to disclose the information. Among the kind of information that have been suggested for suo motu disclosure are transfer orders,foreign visits and procurements.

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