'File RTI, for better governance'

She was speaking at the inauguration of a day-long State-level seminar on ‘Right To Information’ organised by the JSS College for Women (Autonomous), here recently.

Citing examples, Dr Prasad said in Great Britain 90 per cent of the RTI applications are filed about knowing welfare measures adopted by the country and the remaining 10 per cent are for individual specific details.

However, in India 85 per cent applications are asked for person specific details and the remaining are filed by those interested in the knowing about the overall performance of the government, she bemoaned.

Reiterating that RTI was aimed at improving transparency and accountability in the State, Dr Prasad pointed out that it would still take time in improving governance, to a level that is demanded by the people.

Commenting that low awareness among citizens about RTI, Dr Prasad said the bureaucrats, who are non-forthcoming with details are also causing hindrance for people who seek information.

She said that a change in mindset of officers is also necessary for people to get more information.

Describing the problems, she said that there contact details about Public Information Officers (PIO) were not available in the public domain. Also poor training to officers, poor record management, poor public disclosure were among the other factors plaguing the RTI, she added.

Dr Prasad was optimistic about the increase in the number of RTI applications. She said that increasing information seekers would keep officials on their toes and provide a platform for better performance. She said that the government was becoming more transparent and termed it as a positive sign.

‘Jaankaari’

Terming ‘Jaankaari Call Centre’ launched by the Bihar State Government as a step in the right direction, Director General, Administrative Training Institute (ATI), Dr Amita Prasad said even Karnataka aiming to implement the project. With ‘Jaankaari’ people can call the contact centre and register their RTI applications. This would help especially those who are illiterate, she added.

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