“India became independent on 15 August, 1947. But are we happy with the governance in the country? Are we content with the political system that rules our nation? Every individual has the right to change society and work together to make the government work,” former Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi has said.

The last day of the two-day UGC National workshop on awareness and interaction on RTI Act 2005, organised by Mrs. A.V.N. College’s Department of Commerce in association with United Forum for RTI Campaign (UF-RTI) saw experts and RTI activists from Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and the city discussing key issues on implementing the RTI Act. “Almost 30 per cent of corruption in the country can be monitored if the data is recorded and stored. We need to introspect amongst ourselves and pin down the inefficiency of the government and question the functionaries in case of any delay in delivery mechanisms,” Mr. Shailesh Gandhi said.

Record retention schedule and misconceptions related to certain sections under the Act was explained at the workshop. “As long as the information is available and records exist, there is no question of denial unless the disclosure of information is exempted under certain clauses of the Act,” RTI activist C.J. Karira stated while giving a presentation on Sections 8, 9, 10, 11 and 24 of the Act. He explained the clauses on which information can be denied by the PIO to an applicant.

RTI activist D. Rakesh Reddy spoke on how to make the best use of RTI to improve the governance. “RTI cannot be used to solve one’s problems but helps to seek information to place a check on the delay in service of any public governance. It is the best possible method to expose the abuse of power and scams,” he added. The activists urged the youth to file an RTI application once a month and work collectively to form the first-rated government.

Additional Director General of Prasar Bharati P.J. Sudhakar briefed about the freedom of press in line with the Act. Among others, convenor of UF-RTI B. Ramakrishna Raju, president of Mrs. A.V.N. College Alumni Association Makena Srinivasa Rao, member-donor’s family A.V. Adeep Bhanoji Row, Principal of the college Vedula Perraju, Vice-Principals T.L. Rambabu and J. Butchi Raju and convenor S.S.S. Durga Ganesh also participated.

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