Seminar on ‘One Year of RTI in Rajasthan: Problems and Possibilities’

CUTS has been working in the area of promoting good governance through increased people’s participation using various tools and techniques for the last more than twenty years. CUTS also have been involved in a number of campaigns to promote transparency and to ensure accountability at all levels of governance and review of various government schemes/programmes for providing feedback to government as well as for advocacy and better implementation of the programmes.

The Indian Parliament passed the RTI Act on October 12, 2005, thus opening up the transparency of the governance processes of our country to the public. RTI is part of the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression, as mentioned in Article 19(1) of the constitution. The RTI Act is a key enabler of good governance and an effective tool to ensure transparency and accountability in the government.

The Act also provides an advantage to ensure greater participation of public in governance, eliminate corruption and empower the people. It gives the citizen the right to seek information and makes it binding on officials to store and make the information easily available to the public, with the exception only when with holding the information is in public interest. This Act had ushered in a new hope for India, under siege by the corrupt public officials. The enthusiastic use of the RTI Act by the citizenry to reveal scores of illegal dealings by the public authorities, promised the beginning of an era of true participatory democracy.

However it is a fact that even after completion of one year of the RTI, the general level of awareness about the act is very low among the common public especially among the rural population. There is a great need to take the RTI to the grassroots level. Hence, there is a need for awareness generation and training for the information seekers and providers for effectively using the RTI Act.

In this context, CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research & Training (CUTS CART), Jaipur in partnership with Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), New Delhi is organizing a one day seminar on ‘One Year of RTI in Rajasthan: Problems & Possibilities’ on Thursday, February 1, 2007. The venue will be the Conference hall, Maharani Plaza (Opp. Sindhi Camp bus station), Jaipur.