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karira posted a topic in RTI in MediaMumbai University to start certificate course on RTI Perhaps a first in India, the department of civics and politics at Mumbai University is set to start a six month certificate course on RTI Act, to empower those struggling to learn its use. The course, likely to start from January 2015, aims at targeting social activists, journalists, bureaucrats and members of civil society, to ensure more effective use of the tool. "The idea has been conceived recently and we are still working on its extensive details. An expert committee will soon be formed to workout the syllabus and other details of the course," said Dr Surrendra Jondhale, HoD of civics and politics, Mumbai University. The department in collaboration with NGOs like Mahiti Adhikar Manch is organising a convention, "Western India Convention on Right to Information" on June 7 and 8. The convention aims at discussing every aspect related to the Act. "In the past eight years ever since the inception of the RTI Act, 40 RTI activists have been killed and 150 injured. We have been demanding a need for a special fast-track court for all such individuals, who were attacked or killed for raising their voice. At the end of this convention, we want to finalise a list of resolutions and demands that will strengthen the use of this Act," said Bhaskar Prabhu, convener of Mahiti Adhikar Manch. Read More: Mumbai University to start certificate course on RTI | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis
sidmis posted a topic in RTI in MediaNow, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions Reported by Yogita Rao in D N A Friday, May 30, 2008 02:18 IST KC Law College will start two courses on how to file precise RTI applications from July You no longer need to be bogged down by the tricky loopholes in the Right to Information (RTI) Act or be taken for a ride by officials. A law college in South Mumbai has started a course that will help citizens become certified RTI activists who know the nuances of filing an RTI application the right way. KC Law College, Churchgate, is starting two courses on RTI — a foundation course and an advanced course, which would be the first of their kind in the country. The idea is to teach people the fundamentals of filing RTI applications. "People need to learn how to ask for information. It is a wonderful weapon available to us and we should make full use of it," said Neelima Chandiramani, the college's principal. "People do not even know how to ask to-the-point questions and end up writing long-winded applications." The idea of starting the course was a result of brainstorming between Chandiramani and activist Shailesh Gandhi, who will be conducting the sessions. The course will begin from July and will run into five sessions of three hours each. The classes will be held on Saturdays and Sundays. Most of the course will be based on practical assignments, with candidates filing applications on topics given by the college. While both the courses will be open for all, the college expects people who have already filed applications to enroll for the advanced course. Gandhi said, "Information officers sometimes fool people if the questions are not direct. Though there is no perfect solution to avoid such discrepancies, the course will help people fine tune their skills as RTI activists." Gandhi said 95% of the applications he filed never exceeded 150 words. Mahesh Vaswani, the chairman of legal aid committee of GJ Advani Law College, said, "Filing applications should be made as easy as clicking the mouse on a computer." The committee had conducted RTI workshops for slum dwellers in 20 suburbs in the western region. DNA - Mumbai - Now, become a certified RTI activist in five sessions - Daily News & Analysis
murgie posted a question in Ask for RTI SupportAm committed to taking up 3-4 classes on RTI in a middle school civics class in Delhi. I am writing to seek suggestions. My tentative plan is to cover the following aspects: (a) a brief history of the Official Secrets Act and RTI; what is a public authority; where to find more information in the Act about rules, time limits, penalties, etc. Examples of questions that have been asked. Successes and failures. (b) how to draft an RTI request (brief mechanics, with one example) © common pitfalls arising from how "information" has been defined and interpreted (discussion of section 2(f)) -- with examples, exercises (specific suggestions for this part will be greatly appreciated; I am very limited by my own experience). (d) strategies public authorities have used (discussion of section 8, plus what we've learnt of PA strategies only slowly on this website) (e) how to search the CIC website to pick up ideas for a better draft of an RTI request; how to search for parliamentary questions (am sure kids will ask better questions!!). Exercises with mock question-answer sessions to help improve the draft of an RTI question (I want specific ideas for what would be good test RTI question-drafting exercises, to give pre-teens or early teens living in Delhi. My examples so far are not RTI questions but parliamentary questions which I'm sure even a bored teenager can easily improve upon.) (f) using volunteer websites dedicated to the RTI Act. From my experience on this website I am convinced that kids teaching adults about RTI is also going to be vitally necessary. They have some of the skills needed, that adults either never had, or have lost. If you have ideas, comments, suggestions, to help improve this short course on RTI for kids, please post or send me private email. Do note that the intended audience of these sessions will be school kids in a civics class in Delhi. Best, Murgie