SRINAGAR, Oct 28: State Information Commission (SIC) today organized a one-day seminar on implementation of Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act 2009 at Directorate of Information & Public Information Headquarter here.
Chief Secretary, B. B. Vyas was chief guest on the occasion. Besides, Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) J&K, Khurshid A Ganai, Ex-Chief Information Commissioner J&K, G R Sufi, State Information Commissioner Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Director Information, Muneer-Ul-Islam, Director Vigilance SJM Gillani, heads of various departments, First Appellate Authorities (FAAs), Public Information Officers (PIOs) from the districts of Kashmir division, prominent RTI activists and other officers from the J&K State Information Commission attended the seminar.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Secretary said that free access to information and participation of people in policy making is essential for transparent and accountable governance. “Right to information provides an opportunity for attaining informed consent from the citizens for establishing democratic order,” he added.
He said that RTI is the bedrock of good governance as it promotes transparency and enforces accountability thereby strengthening corruption free governance.
CIC, Khurshid A Ganai said the aim of the seminar was to review the implementation of J&K RTI Act 2009 with reference to the achievements registered so far and problems being faced in its implementation, to sensitize the PIOs and FAAs about their critical role and responsibility in the implementation of RTI Act, to provide more clarity to the PIOs and FAAs on important sections of the RTI Act.
Former CIC, G R Sufi said there is a need to create awareness among the people of the State about Right to Information (RTI) Act as it plays a vital role to strengthen corruption free governance.
Director Information & Public Relation Muneer-Ul-Islam urged all the departments to digitize the records to bring transparency in the system, besides proper utilization of RTI Act.
The seminar culminated with certain essential suggestions being made for the consideration of Government for further strengthening of the framework.
These suggestions included budgetary support to the SIC for holding national level conferences on RTI and guest lectures by subject experts on RTI, conducting workshops and seminars at district level and introduction of short duration certified courses at college and university levels.