We are glad to inform that Amity Law School, Noida organised a guest lecture by Mr. Subhash Chandra Agrawal, India's first and most successful activist of the Right to Information movement, which was truly one of the most significant events of independent, democratic India. The speaker holds the Guinness Record for maximum number of letters written to various newspapers highlighting governmental and administrative apathy.
The welcome address was given by Maj. Gen. Nilendra Kumar, who spoke about the need to sensitize society on awareness of right to information and for actual changes to take place in our society. Already, sensitisation campaigns and awareness programs have been carried out in the law school through seminars, workshops, projects and Human Values Quarter etc. Moreover he exhorted students to take a pledge to use this right as they are the ones in whose hands the future of this country relies.
He spoke on the effective usage of "Right to Information Act" by the citizens of India adding tremendously to our knowledge on the topic. Stressing on the objectives of the RTI Act he stressed that the Act had tried to strike a balance between the interests of the information seekers as well as the information keepers. RTI Act is a very important tool to bridge the knowledge gap between the rulers and the ruled, the managers and the beneficiaries and between the producers/ distributors and the consumers. Inequality in knowledge is also responsible for social superiority and inferiority complexes reinforcing socio- economic divides. In the absence of free information, a distinct class of secret operators of power with a halo of unwarranted mystique and awe around them, emerges and behaves and operates as a superior race. RTI Act shall ensure access to information which is in the custody of public authorities. Mr. Agarwal opined that RTI Act had gone a long way to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority and it was very important weapon in the armory of citizens to combat the arbitrariness of public authorities and the executive. It ensures for every citizen the enforceable right to question, examine, audit, review and assess government acts and decisions and helps ensure that these are consistent with the principles of public interest, probity and justice.
It was an interactive session where the esteemed speaker shared his experiences in the quest to achieve his goals and the students participated with full enthusiasm with their questions and queries. We hope that in the years to come RTI Act shall continue to be the beacon which illumines the dark corners of governmental structure. The legal Aid Society is extremely grateful to Mr. Agarwal for having come and delivering a very informative and insightful lecture on the RTI Act. Ms. Adita Kapoor Shah delivered the vote of thanks with a small token of appreciation to the esteemed speaker from the ALS family.
Posted by Ronil Goger