प्रेस विज्ञप्ति : National RTI Awards 2009 : Public Cause Research Foundation invites nominations for the first ever National RTI Awards 2009. Instituted this year, these awards will be given away sometime in October every year to those who have displayed exemplary commitment to RTI. Despite the power of Right to Information (RTI) to transform Indian democracy, the Act faces stiff opposition from many sections of the government, particularly the bureaucracy. For example many Officers are not performing satisfactorily. Some Information Commissioners, who are the final adjudicating authority under the Act, are perceived to be sympathetic to bureaucrats. But there are many among the bureaucrats who are committed to transparency and honesty.
They go over and beyond the call of duty to implement the RTI Act in letter and spirit. Our intent is to honour and recognize the best among these officers and commissioners. We hope that by recognizing their contribution, they can serve as role models for the bureaucratic community as a whole and encourage others to follow in their footsteps and strive to emulate their achievements. The awards will also serve as an opportunity to gather valuable data about the performance of a large number of PIOs and Information Commissioners across the country. This data can go a long way in identifying shortcomings in the current system of RTI and suggesting possible reforms.
In all, there are five awards instituted in three categories. One award would be given to the most outstanding Information Commissioner who enabled access to correct and complete information to maximum number of appellants and enforced RTI Act in its true letter and spirit. Two awards would be given to those Public Information Officers who provided complete and correct information in maximum number of RTI applications within the prescribed time limit. Two awards will be given to such citizens who created maximum public impact by using RTI Act.
Each award carries a citation, a plaque and prize money of Rs. 2 Lakhs. Apart from the awards, at least a dozen citations would be given away to the Information Commissioners, Public Information Officers and Citizens. The awards boast of a jury comprising of very eminent personalities – Aamir Khan, Actor and Film Maker; Fali S Nariman, Constitution expert and senior advocate; J M Lyngdoh, Former Chief Election Commissioner of India; Madhu Trehan, Author and media personality; Mallika Sarabhai, Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam dancer and social activist; N R Narayana Murthy, Chief Mentor Infosys; Dr Prannoy Roy, Chairman, NDTV; Pullela Gopichand, Ace Badminton player and National Badminton coach; Sanjay Gupta, Editor and CEO, Dainik Jagran Group; Santosh, RTI grassroots activist; Justice J S Verma, Former Chief Justice of Supreme Court and Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission.
All Information Commissioners in the country are automatic nominees and they needn’t apply. However, nominations are being invited from Public Information Officers and citizens. They can either apply themselves or someone else can nominate them. One could apply online at www.rtiawards.org or could obtain forms for application from National RTI Awards Secretariat and apply by post.
Last date for filing nominations is 30th June 2009.
For any clarifications, please contact Swati at 9868599427.