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RTI can bring positive change in society: Oinam Sunil

He made the remarks during the ‘Right To Information Week Celebration, 2022 - District Level Workshop’ held at the Conference Hall, Deputy Commissioner’s Office Complex, here.

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Kangpokpi: State Chief Information Commissioner Oinam Sunil Singh Friday said with the help of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, citizens can bring a positive change in society. 

He made the remarks during the ‘Right To Information Week Celebration, 2022 – District Level Workshop’ held at the Conference Hall, Deputy Commissioner’s Office Complex, here.

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The programme was sponsored by the Department of Personnel & Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pension, Government of India, New Delhi and jointly organised by Manipur Information Commission & District Administration, Kangpokpi.

During the function, Oinam Sunil Singh spoke on the ‘Role of Manipur Information Commission towards providing information to citizens’. 

Informing that the Central Information Commission emphasises the role of State Public Information Officers (SPIO), he advised all the officers to coordinate within their departments so that cases are not left pending. Stating that SPIO has a judicial role, he advised all the officers concerned to reply to any query at the earliest to avoid a possible penalty.

Informing the officers to be very vigilant while dealing with the query related to various schemes, he said they should keep in mind not to reveal bank account details of the beneficiary and Aadhaar card as both are personal information of an individual. 

Sunil emphasised the Supreme Court has ordered that no personal information of the Aadhaar card shall be shared by any authority. Under the RTI Act, many wrong doings have been found in various departments and if it is used in the right way it can bring a positive change in society which can further change the mentality of the people, he added.

S. Inao Singh, Deputy Registrar (Judicial-I), Manipur Information Commission spoke on the various sections and components under the Right to Information Act, 2005. He also spoke on what grounds the information can be denied.

Meanwhile, Derick Khobung, ADM/ADC, Kangpokpi spoke on issues and challenges (SPIO’s Perspective). Informing on the challenges faced by the SPIOs, he said record and information keeping at the field level is very poor in addition to the low infrastructure and lack of training. He opined that if various departments give correct information in the public domain then most of the queries will not be sought by citizens.

He further said many times queries are sought regarding the information which is provided in the public domain which results in the overburdening of the work of the officers concerned. He also emphasised the attitude and behavioural change of the officers involved.

The programme was followed by an interactive session where officers and staff asked queries to the officials of the Manipur Information Commission. Friday’s function was attended by all the SDOs, District Level Officers and staff of various departments.

It may be mentioned that RTI Week is celebrated every year from October 5-12 across the country. The RTI Bill was passed by the Parliament of India on 15th June 2005 and came into force with effect from 12th October 2005. The Act is to promote transparency and accountability in the working of the government. 

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