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Sunday, December 24, 2006

RTI could be included in curriculum

Awareness about the Act has percolated to the grassroots, says Sheila Dikshit
Date:13/10/2006, NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday disclosed that her Government was considering including the Right to Information as a subject in the school curriculum in Delhi schools.
Ms. Dikshit was responding to a suggestion by Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, who was the guest of honour at a prize distribution function held for the winners of an essay competition for school children on the Right to Information organised jointly by the Directorate of Training and the Directorate of Education. Former Union Home Secretary K. Padmanabhaiah presided over the function.
Ms. Dikshit expressed satisfaction that awareness about the Right to Information Act had percolated to the grassroots. A pointer to this was the fact that the first three positions had been secured by girl students from schools situated in slum clusters and colonies in rural areas.
She reminded that Delhi was the first State in the country to enact its Right to Information Act in 2001, which brought about an improvement in the administrative system.
She said her Government had made available all useful information on the website and has implemented e-governance and computerisation. She expressed confidence that students would take a lead in disseminating the true message of RTI Act. As many as 2,627 students from 914 Government and Government-aided schools being run by the Directorate of Education participated in the function. The other prize winning boys and girls from different districts were also felicitated.
Mr. Habibullah described RTI as a major step in democratising polity of India. He disclosed that the RTI Commission had been receiving complaints from all sections of society including slum dwellers, which reflects that the people have come to know about the utility of RTI. "The people are masters of the Government in democracy and RTI is a tool to extract information from public authorities."
Mr. Padmanabhaiah exhorted NGOs to render constructive cooperation in making RTI more purposeful. He said RTI was bound to bring in greater transparency and openness apart from changing the mindset of the people working in the Government.
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