The Public Cause Research Foundation ( PCRF) has instituted the first ever National Right To Information Awards.
PCRF was set up by RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal, who used the money, he received from the Magsaysay Award to form it with television producer and writer Abhinandan Sekhri and former journalist Manish Sisodia. The awards would be given away some time in October every year to those who have displayed exemplary commitment to RTI.
The Hindustan Times is a media partner in the effort.
The awards would have five awards in three categories.
One award is for the most outstanding information commissioner. Two awards would be given to those public information officers who provided complete and correct information in maximum number of RTI applications. Two awards will be given to such citizens who created maximum public impact by using RTI Act.
All information commissioners are automatic nominees. However, nominations are invited from public information officers and citizens.
They can either apply themselves or someone else can nominate them. One could apply online at www.rtiawards.org or could obtain application forms from the National RTI Awards Secretariat and apply by post.
Each award carries a citation, plaque and prize money of Rs 2 lakh.
The jury has some impressive names like actor Aamir Khan, Constitution expert and senior advocate Fali S Nariman; former Chief Election Commissioner of India J.M. Lyngdoh; author and media personality Madhu Trehan; dancer and social activist Mallika Sarabhai; mentor Infosys N.R. Narayana Murthy; chairman, NDTV Dr Prannoy Roy; badminton player and coach Pullela Gopichand; Editor and CEO Dainik Jagran Group Sanjay Gupta; RTI grassroots activist Santosh; Former Chief Justice of Supreme Court and Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission Justice J.S. Verma.