1st national RTI awards instituted

The first-ever National RTI Awards will be given away in October to those who have displayed “exemplary commitment” to RTI, Kejriwal said.

The Act has been facing stiff opposition from many sections of the government, particularly the bureaucracy, but Kejriwal said as against officers not performing satisfactorily, there were many bureaucrats who were committed to transparency.

“They go over and beyond the call of duty to implement the RTI Act in letter and spirit. Our intent is to honour and recognise the best among these officers,” he said.

Five awards in three categories will be given in three categories to an Information Commissioner, two Public Information Officers and two citizens. Each award carries a citation, a plaque and prize money of Rs 2 lakh.

The awards, he said, would also serve as an opportunity to gather valuable data about the performance of a large number of PIOs and Information Commissioners, which could go a long way in identifying shortcomings in the current system of RTI, suggesting reforms.
The awards will be decided by a jury comprising film star Aamir Khan, Constitutional expert Fali S Nariman, former CEC J M Lyngdoh, senior journalists Madhu Trehan and Pranay Roy, danseuse Mallika Sarabhai, Infosys chief mentor N R Narayana Murthy, ace badminton player Pullela Gopichand, former Chief Justice of India J S Verma, Dainik Jagran group CEO Sanjay Gupta, and grassroots activist Santosh.

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