RTI workshop held at MIC to spread awareness
Manipal: A workshop on the topic of Right to Information Act (RTI) was held at Manipal Institute of Communication on August 11. Harsha Raj Gatty, Research Fellow, Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India, presented the workshop in order to spread awareness about RTI. The workshop was organised by The Manipal Journal (TMJ) and Manipal Institute of Communications (MIC).
Workshop began with Dr. M. V. Kamath, Honorary Director of MIC, informing the audience about importance of research and motivating the students to choose a topic for the same. The dais was then taken over by Varadesh Hiregange, Director of MIC, who described RTI as ‘Bhramastra-an ultimate weapon’ given to society in order to define right and wrong. He then handed over the stage to Harsha Raj Gatty who started the presentation by informing the audience about Right to Information Act.
The workshop was divided into two phases. First phase consisted of providing detailed knowledge about RTI. This included the topics like history of RTI, objectives, where RTI is applicable, what a citizen can avail, Do’s and Don’ts of RTI Application, limitation and interesting cases of RTI. He also informed the audience of the myths people have about RTI and said “Right to Information is a tool not a weapon”. Second phase of the workshop consisted of the topic of exemption from RTI and other activities which included filing a mock RTI report and an interactive session.
When Gatty was asked about what he planned to achieve with this workshop he said, “Mostly we want to spread awareness about RTI. It is a very easy process which doesn’t cost much because of which people tend to take this powerful tool very lightly.” He also expressed his happiness over the fact that this was the largest number of gathering he had presented to and he was overwhelmed with the response he got.
“Workshop was very helpful as we were informed from the very basics. Although I am disappointed that more people did not attend the workshop,” said Namrata Bhat, a third year BAJC student of MIC.
“I am empowered with the tool of RTI given to us. We can use it to solve any issue that is present in our society,” said Sandhya J., a freelance writer from Suratkal.
“I was always interested in the topic of RTI, although whatever information was provided here was already known to me and there is still lot of information left which needs to be explained under the topic of RTI. Bureaucracy will submit to this act one day and this is the only act which has the power to do so,” said Manjunath Upadhya, an agricultural businessman from Udupi.
Sub-edited by Bhavani Seetharaman