RTI is about right to question govt, says Modi

The information act is complimentary to govt’s Digital India initiative

GN Bureau | October 16, 2015

#RTI   #Digital India   #timeliness   #transparency and trouble-free approach   #Central Information Commission   #CIC  

The right to question the government is the essence of right to information act also, said prime minister Narendra Modi today. He described the RTI act as a "tool through which the common man has got not just the right to know, but also the right to question those in power". The PM said that his government's "Digital India" initiative is complimentary to the RTI.

Iaugurating the 10th annual convention of the central information commission in Delhi, he said this process “increase people's faith in democracy."

PM Modi also asked government departments to keep in mind three 'T's — timeliness, transparency and trouble-free approach — while replying to RTI applications as that would help in reducing errors in governance.

"Putting information online brings transparency, which in turn, builds trust," the PM said.

Mentioning auctions of coal blocks, spectrum and FM radio licenses, PM Modi said that "information should be given out proactively to people."

The PM called for an end to the silo-approach in government and said "administrative processes should be run based on trusting the people, rather than doubting the people".

The annual convention of the CIC is congregation of RTI activists who discuss issues related to implementation of the transparency law across the country through no-so-formal sessions where they are able to question and counter-question the experts and commissioners.

The two day convention is being organized on the theme of "RTI: Outlook for the future - Trust through Transparency".

Leading RTI activists including Aruna Roy boycotted the opening of annual CIC convention saying authorities have restricted invitations to some activists citing security reasons. Government sources said that invitations were restricted as the hall at Delhi's Vigyan Bhawan could accommodate only 1300 people and the government wanted to ensure the participation of many sections of people involved with RTI. Half of the seats in the hall were vacant as the PM delivered his address today.

In past years, more than 200 RTI activists have attended the inaugural session of the annual event, usually addressed by the president or prime minister. This year, the meet celebrates the 10th anniversary of the RTI Act.



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