Millennium Post

NGOs, journalists to assess govt depts’ transparency

Civil society activists and journalists will be roped in to suggest ways for improving transparency and accountability in governance through effective implementation of the Right to Information Act.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), nodal authority for implementation of the RTI Act, has decided to give short-term fellowship to researchers from the field of media, journalism and civil society organisations associated with the transparency law to assess voluntary disclosures by various central government ministries.

The objective is to contribute towards better understanding of the success of RTI and constraints in its implementation.

“The primary goal of the scheme is to contribute towards more accountable and transparent government and it has several components including programmes for awareness generation, training and e-governance initiatives for RTI to achieve the purpose,” the DoPT said in an order. The proposal should clearly indicate the output that will be delivered at the end of the fellowship.

It could be in the nature of a monograph of say 10,000 words which is ready for publication or features, news or investigative stories that could be printed or published as a journalistic piece in national and international media or in the case of professionals from the field of audio-video media, it could even be short video films or stories.

The copyright of the research output will vest in the Government of India which may publish the research output and may use it in any other way for the purpose of strengthening the working of the RTI regime in the country.

Each selected fellow will receive a stipend of Rs 2 lakh including a grant of upto Rs 50,000 for books, research material, travel, printing, production of creatives etc.

The RTI Act, 2005, which was enacted by the UPA government, empowers a citizen to seek a time-bound reply on information related to governance.
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