3rd Annual Convention on RTI gets underway on Monday

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New Delhi, Nov 1 (UNI) The third Annual Convention of the Central Information Commission gets underway here on November 3 with inauguration by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Convention would attempt at an assessment of working of the Act both by the Government and the Civil Society.

Speaker of Lok Sabha Somnath Chatterjee will address the valedictory session. The theme of this year's convention is 'RTI and its Ramifications for Good Governance'.

The two-day convention will have seven technical sessions covering major aspects of governance. The present convention is being attended by representatives of civil society and media both from within the country and from SAARC countries.

The deliberations are expected to produce documents of contemporary as well as long term relevance to South Asia.

The technical sessions are being chaired by Justice J S Verma, Former Chief Justice, Supreme Court, Mr B N Yugandhar, Member Planning Commission, Mr Aruna Roy, Social Activist, Mr Prannoy Roy, CMD, NDTV, Mr Wajahat Habibullah, Chief Information Commissioner, CIC and MrA N Tiwari, Information Commissioner, CIC.

The first session on 'RTI and Transparent Governance' would discuss the impact of the RTI Act on various aspects of Governance.

The deliberation of the session will make an attempt to analyse the cause and effect relationship of the RTI and the issue of good Governance.

The outcome of this session is also expected to lay down a roadmap for the implementation of the Act in future. The second session on 'RTI: Need for a Different Strategy Specific to Rural Area' will discuss whether one needs to adopt a different strategy for implementing the RTI Act in rural areas.

The session will also provide a platform to share the attempts made to assess the level of awareness of the RTI Act among the rural folk. The last session of the first day would discuss 'RTI&Poverty Alleviation'.

The second day opens with the session on 'RTI and Protection of Individual Privacy'. This will be the first attempt since the promulgation of the RTI Act to debate the issue on a forum like this. This session would deliberate upon and establish the non adversarial aspect of the relationship of the RTI and individual privacy.

The other sessions on the second day are devoted to Media, Civil Society and RTI; RTI in South Asia: An Overview and Current Assessment of RTI.

The Central Information Commission has been organising the Annual Convention every year since 2006. The Right to Information Act, 2005 creates many obligations on the State and the Central Government authorities for its implementation and sound monitoring.

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