Special Correspondent

TIRUVARUR: The seminar on ‘Right to Information Act-2005’ held here recently urged the Government to give more representation for women members in the State and Central Information Commissions and stressed that the Information Commissions be vested with mandatory powers and the rule making powers should be with the Centre.

The seminar organised by the Consumer Research, Education, Action, Training and Empowerment (CREATE) with Federation of Consumer Organisations, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (FEDCOT) and Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi, passed a number of resolutions including creation of a separate fund for RTI awareness campaign and wanted the Government to declare October 12 as ‘The RTI Day’.

M. Chandrasekaran, Collector, Tiruvarur, who inaugurated the seminar explained the steps taken by the district administration to implement the RTI Act. Though development is the primary intension of the Government, democracy has given us certain rights and the rights should be enjoyed with a sense of responsibility.

Meetings with the consumer activists, Government departments and public grievances day meetings provided ample scope for the implementation of RTI Act, he said. Prof.P.Duraisingam, Chairman, FEDCOT, who presided over the seminar, outlined the objectives of the seminar. He referred to the initiatives taken by consumer organisations in creating awareness and using the RTI Act. R.Jayaraman, Training Director, CREATE, V.Sivanantham and S.Adaikalam, treasurer and joint secretary respectively of FEDCOT, A. Johnlouis, District Revenue Officer, Tiruvarur and others spoke. There were technical sessions on ‘RTI Act and its scope and some aspects of Right to Information Act –sweet and bitter experiences’. P.Sankar from SNEHA, Nagapattinam and V.Ramdoss, social activist from Tiruthuraipoondi, were the resource persons.

Prof.R.Kaladharan, Training Director of FEDCOT, coordinated the discussion. The seminar by a resolution wanted all political parties should include the propagation of RTI Act in the election manifestoes. V.Kunjithapatham, District Coordinator, FEDCOT, Tiruvarur, also spoke.