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RTI Day Celebrated at Kashmir University

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Srinagar, March 21: Right to Information (RTI) day was celebrated at Centre of Central Asian Studies, Kashmir University under the title “Celebrating 15 years of RTI: Challenges and Achievements” on Wednesday here.

On the occasion, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, State Information Commissioner was the Chief Guest of the occasion. Among the panelists were Prof. Khaki, Head of Department, Centre of Central Asian Studies, Kashmir University, advocate Irfan Hafiz Lone, Advisor, J&K RTI Movement, Dr. Sheikh Ghulam Rasool, Chairman J&K RTI Movement and author Azra Mufti.

The event was organized by J&K RTI movement in collaboration with Center for Central Asian Studies and School for Rural development and Environment.

Prof. Khaki opened the ceremony with welcome address. He mentioned that the Central Asian Studies is hosting the RTI day since past 7 years and they will further continue in doing so and extended warm welcome to the chief guest.

The State Information Commission Mohammad Ashraf on the occasion discussed the deficiencies and weaknesses that are responsible for the modest implementation of the Act.

He acknowledged that the Act is not being implemented in a holistic manner. He also mentioned that the Govt. and its instrumentalists must take the responsibility in implementing the act however they are seen reluctant to submit to its laws.

He further added that the department is not professionally trained to deal with the dissemination of information.

“The public information officers (PIOs) in government departments are still not well versed with the work, resulting to denial of information to applicants,” he said.

He added that this powerful tool sometimes get misused by the citizens. “The information sought under the act is not be used in the manner it ought to be used.”

Dr. Sheikh Ghulam Rasool, Chairman J&K RTI movement also addressed the gathering. He said, “The founder of the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act is Late Balraj Puri and Advocate Irfan Hafiz lone”.

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