A new handbook will be available for citizens who wish to know the basics about the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
On Wednesday, RTI activist Narayan Varma released the second edition of his book, Right To Information — A Route to Good Governance, after receiving overwhelming demand for the first edition, which was published in 2007.
The updated book, published jointly by the Bombay Chartered Accountants Society and the Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT), will be available free at the offices of these two groups.
“The right to information is not only a fundamental right, but also a duty for each citizen. This book contains the basics about RTI, summaries of various court judgments, information about commissioners, news reports, and more,” said Varma, a PCGT trustee.
Compared to the older edition, this book answers more frequently-asked questions by the public, and contains an added chapter listing all the websites, helplines and clinics that provide information on the Act.
“In the four and a half years since it was passed, the RTI Act has received more public attention and acceptance than any other Act,” said Suresh Joshi, Maharashtra chief information commissioner, who formally released the book. “I believe it was this Act which prompted the government to pass the Right to Education Act.”
Joshi added that Maharashtra, which received 13 lakh applications till the end of 2009, has been the most active state in its RTI-related work. Sixty per cent of the applications come from urban areas, with Mumbai accounting for more than 57,000.