Chandigarh : A training programme on important facets of the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005 held at Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh on 3rd November, 2023. This event was graced by the presence of Mr. Nirmal Singh, Additional Director (F&A) (Retd.). He was welcomed and felicitated by Prof. Siby John, Deputy Director, PEC along with Col. R. M. Joshi, Registrar, PEC. After the formal welcome Mr. Nirmal Singh delivered the lecture on important facets of RTI Act 2005 to all the members of staff and faculty.
Initially, Col. R. M. Joshi, formally introduced Mr. Nirmal Singh to the entire faculty and audience present. He briefed about the RTI Act, and explained how and why it is required. To maintain the transparency in the information flow, Right to Information is one of the greatest Act in the Indian Constitution. He further added that, Right comes with responsibility, we must use this act and its provisions carefully, to get the required information.
Prof. Siby John, Deputy Director, PEC, said that, ”We all are public servants, and we should keep ourselves as open as we could to the public as much as possible. Information gathered under the RTI Act is for the larger public Interest. Wherever it is possible, we should keep our books open. All the mandatory information should be available on the public domain.”
Afterwards, Mr. Nirmal Singh, initiated the session on Right to Information Act 2005. He also started with the concept of Larger Public Interest. He thoroughly explained the various provisions and exemptions under the RTI Act. He said, ‘Any citizen of India can seek information under the RTI Act. This Act is made to bring awareness among the citizens.’
Moving forward, he explained the terms of Citizen, Information, Personal Information, role and responsibilities of PIO’s and APIO’s in any organization. He described the Public Authority and its many forms, time period available for supplying the information to the applicant. He also talked about the nominal fee to be paid for seeking Information under this act.
Further, he explained about the 1st and 2nd Appellate Authority to the audience. And also talked about the compensation to be paid. In case you cannot provide a piece of information, the right way to refuse it, if that information comes under the exempted section of the Act. Lastly, he said the RTI Act 2005 can override the Official Secrets Act, 1923 and all of the other similar Acts, to maintain the transparency in the information flow.
An interactive Question/Answer round was also arranged. In this, all the faculty members raised their doubts regarding the act and its various provisions. Situational and hypothetical questions were also asked by the audiences. Mr. Nirmal Singh, very calmly and patiently answered each and every question.
Lastly, Col. R. M. Joshi, provided a token of love to Mr. Nirmal Singh and thanked him for such an interactive and much needed session of Right to Information Act, 2005.