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RTI Act here to stay: NIC
Correspondent KOHIMA, OCT 5 (NPN):
Published on 6 Oct. 2010 4:12 PM IST
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Nagaland Information Commission (NIC) Tuesday reiterated that Right to Information Act was here to stay, and that it would gradually establish itself and grow more with awareness to the masses.
The state chief information commissioner P. Talitemjen Ao and state information commissioners Rev.Dr. W. Ponsing Konyak and Dr. Kuhoi K. Zhimomi said this during a meet with the press at NIC secretariat along the line of observing RTI week from October 5 to 12.
Stating that RTI Act, which empowered every citizen to question the government, was one of the best Acts of the country, the NIC underlined the need for the citizens to know the wholesome procedure of the Act.
For this, they said awareness generation needed to be boosted so as to reach every level of the society.
State chief information commissioner P. Talitemjen Ao said different levels of the society needed to be fed with different approach for proper understanding of the Act. Concerning this, he urged civil societies, NGOs, educational institutions, local bodies to come out and play pro-active roles in disseminating this information. He NIC chief also said that RTI would remain dormant if citizens did not utilize it, the Act being people-centric.
However, he cautioned that the Act should not be used as a tool of threat but a powerful tool to bring about transparency.
Citing examples of civil bodies and NGOs such as YouthNet, Lawyers’ Advocate, etc, that has made use of the act, the commission encouraged more social bodies to come out and propagate RTI to the public.
Pointing out that though quantitatively RTI has become a known fact yet the wholesome procedure was still not known to the masses, the commission called for social activists and government officials to generate right information to all corners.
Mentioning the important role of public information officers (PIO) and government officials, the commission stressed the need for undertaking training of RTI by all officials.
It disclosed that only 50% out of 1000 PIOs in the state had come forward to receive formal training on the Act.
The NIC expressed dissatisfaction over many areas that had remained uncovered, and expressed its hope that officers would be trained under the Act for better awareness.
The commission also revealed that 412 designated public authorities, 169 NGOs and other civil bodies, and 436 other government officials had undergone formal training as per the provision of the Act.
They stated that not only some designated officers but other government officers should undertake the training so as to be aware of the procedures. It was also revealed that currently only 570 RTI cases have been reported by the department during the year 2007-09.
State information commissioner Dr. W. Pongsing Konyak stating as per the RTI Act disclosure, said nine departments were defaulters, 65 departments have been given defaulters and two departments were under submission.
State information commissioner Dr. Kuhoi Zhimomi also gave basic information on RTI Act.

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