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RTI to be part of school curriculum

It is still unclear how it is to be included in the syllabus and for which grade of students, writes Amitabh Shukla.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2006 23:37 IST
Amitabh Shukla
Amitabh Shukla

The Delhi government is likely to include "Right to Information" as a subject to be taught in the government schools soon.

As Delhi was the first state of the country to bring a legislation on the issue in 2001, the government wants to keep the momentum going to bring greater transparency in governance.

"We would consider the inclusion of RTI in the school curriculum," said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday. Dikshit was responding to a suggestion made by Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of the country, Wajahat Habibullah.

The CIC was present in a function organised by the state government for the winners of an essay competition for schoolstudents on RTI.

Dikshit, however, did not elaborate on how RTI would be included in the syllabus and for which grade of students. Officials said that it could be informally taught to the students and might not be a subject for the annual examination of the children.

Interestingly, girl students from schools situated in slums and rural colonies bagged the first three positions in the essay competition. This prompted Dikshit to say that the messageofRTIhas reached the common citizens of the city.

"With an increase in awareness about the Act, there is bound to be further improvement in the functioning of the government," said the CM, adding, "RTI is an important and strong tool in the hands of the people, which has changed the mindset of the administrative machinery."

Habibullah described RTI as a major step in democratising the polity of the country. "The people are masters of the government in democracy and RTI is a tool to extract information from public authorities," he said.

The CIC said that whatever information is available with the Government, is meant for the people. Without commenting on the file notings, Habibullah said: "The society should debate which information is not to be disclosed."

First Published: Oct 12, 2006 21:48 IST