Right to Information Act Text
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Dr. Singh's Presentation from the
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jigar Champaneria (firstname.lastname@example.org,
Dr.Shekhar Singh draws attention to the National Campaign for People’s
Right to Information
Young India in cooperation with the Association for India’s Development
hosted Dr.Shekhar Singh, National Convenor of the National Campaign for People’s
Right to Information (NCPRI), at the University of Maryland, College Park.
The forum was intended to educate the audience about The Right to Information
Law passed by the Indian Government in May, 2005, and the legislative successes
that Dr Singh has achieved through the parliamentary process. Dr Singh highlighted
some of the key aspects of the new law including its scope and exemptions,
accessibility, the penalties for non-compliance, implementation procedures,
and some potential shortcomings. Stressing on the importance of the new law
to combat corruption, he stated that “the RTI Act will act as an extremely
effective deterrent to corruption in public offices.” Explaining the
history and evolution of the Bill, Dr Singh credited civil society groups
for mobilizing the people’s movement across the nation to demand transparency
in governance. Regarding its anticipated use, he said that “one of the
most popular uses of RTI on an individual level would be to obtain information
regarding public distribution services like food rations.” He added
that using the RTI to extract information for broader public domain issues
would probably be limited to activist groups and NGOs. According to him, the
press has a huge role to play in spreading awareness about the new Law amongst
citizens of the country. Before signing off, Dr Singh underlined the importance
of setting up adequate follow up mechanisms for the successful implementation
of the Act, and that was one of the main goals of the NCPRI.
The event was moderated by Mr. Rohit Tripathi, President of Young India.
TV Asia will telecast excerpts from the RTI event as part of their
"Community Roundup" program that can be seen on Wednesday, July
27th at 10:30pm EST and again on Friday, July 29th at 11:00am EST.