Jorawer Singh, Chandigarh, October 7, 2009: Punjab’s Chief Information Commissioner (Right to Information Act), Mr RI Singh along with other State Information Commissioners, Punjab held a Seminar – cum – Meet the Press programme today. In the function held at the Press Club, CIC coaxed journalists to use this legislation as an effective toll gathering news while explaining varied aspects of the RTI and detailing the procedure to make best use of it. Equating the functioning of the Press and commission, he said “Both are discharging the same function of imparting information but Commission being restricted only to the Public Authorities.” As the act was suddenly implemented and the Government had no time to get readied, the initial challenge before the implementation of act was to change the mind set of the officials, followed by lack of digitization of data and records and finally non-availability of quality human resources to deliver as per the requirements of the Act.
On the fourth anniversary of the RTI Act, RI Singh discussed how with the changing times now “Disclosure has become the norm and secrecy is the exception”. Encouraging the press to use RTI, RI Singh said “Use of RTI helps in bringing transparency, accountability and empowers the decision makers in transparent governance, as taking support of this, decision making authority can boldly say no to the extraneous external influences.” “The Act has already been translated in Punjabi, the website is also set to become bi-lingual and now the commission has also started handing out order in Punjabi” said Mr Kahlon, one of the State Information Commissioner.
Photo: Mr Sarabjit Pandher, President and Mr Naveen General Secretary, Chandigarh Press Club hosted Mr R I Singh, CIC and Mr PPS Gill, Information Commissioner sharing the dais.