The day the Central government notified the new rules diluting the Right To Information Act, the HRD ministry decided to tell school children across India that the transparency law was an effective tool to fight corruption and demand good governance.
The National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) has decided to print a RTI message in the textbooks of class VI to VIII saying the law empowers the "citizens and promotes transparency and accountability" in the working of the government and "contains" corruption.
The message to be displayed on the inside page of the back cover of the textbooks is expected to reach aproximately to one crore students in 2012, a year before next general elections.
The message says-- the RTI Act can help in making our democracy work for people in real sense. And, a testimony to it is that about 10 crore RTI applications had been filed with different public authorities across India till 2010, said a study done by Center for Media Studies.
Not just creating awareness, the HRD ministry asked the children to seek information from the government using the tool.
"You can seek necessary information about various activities of the government through an RTI application," the message reads, while detailing the process to seek the information.
Much before the government decided to create awareness, many school children across India have used the RTI Act to get access to their answer sheets and even seek information about the facilities available to them.
Aishwarya Parashar, a class-VI student of the City Montessori School, Lucknow, had stumped the nation when it was discovered through her RTI that the government has not notified Mahatma Gandhi as father of the nation.
The message tells the students that an RTI application can be filed on a plain paper even though several government ministries have prescribed a format for using RTI.
It also says that the RTI application can be send through a post office.
It was the Central Information Commission in 2011 which had asked the HRD ministry to display a message creating awareness about the transparency law and last week the ministry communicated the NCERT’s decision the information watchdog, the day it received the rules diluting the RTI law from department of personnel and training.