Need to make RTI Training Mandatory for College Employees
Nagpur. A study conducted by a renowned RTI expert Shri Naveen Mahesh Kumar Agarwal, Registrar, Dada Ramchand Bakhru SIndhu Mahavidyalaya, Nagpur reveals that most of the grant in aid colleges in the state are ignoring the implementation of a very important section 4 (1) (b) of the Right to Information Act according to which it is mandatory for every public authority to upload the information about the stipulated 17 points on their website so that common people have an easy access to the information without seeking it from the Institutions under the provisions of the act.
Many colleges receive huge financial assistance from the government and therefore such private colleges also fall in the category of Public Authority as per 2 (h) (d) (ii) of the Act and so uploading the information about the stipulated 17 points on the website becomes mandatory for such colleges. Since many of the colleges don’t implement the said provisions, people have to seek information by applying to the institution concerned.
Naveen Agrawal informs that his study was confined to total fifty grant in aid colleges, five from each division, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Amravati, Mumbai, Pune, Jalgaon, Nanded, Panvel and Solapur falling under the jurisdiction of the Directorate of Higher Education, Government of Maharashtra, which has total 1162 grant in aid colleges across the state.
The findings of the study reveal that out of the fifty sample colleges, only 14% of the colleges have on their own uploaded the required information on their respective college websites. 86% of the sample colleges have not complied with the demand of the act in regard to the information on the said 17 points.
If we observe the division wise, from Mumbai division 60% colleges, Pune 40 %, Nagpur and Panvel 20% each have uploaded the information on their websites whereas from the remaining 6 divisions not a single college has done it.
The study also finds that the lack of RTI training to the information officers and the first appellate authorities of the colleges is mainly responsible for the non-compliance of the said RTI rules. It has come to notice through the study that only 10% of the sample colleges were imparted RTI Act training.
Naveen Agrawal has written to the Higher Education Departments of Centre and the state, UGC, Central and State Information Commissions appealing them to make RTI Act training compulsory for aided colleges as it is for Government officers. He has further suggested that a vigilance Committee be constituted to monitor whether the colleges follow the provisions of the R T I Act Naveen Agrawal who is an RTI expert and Guest Faculty identified by YASHADA, Pune, the apex body of Government of Maharashtra in Administrative Training as well as a certified trainer in RTI by the ISTM, DOPT, Government of India,opines that if RTI Act training is made compulsory for aided colleges, the required information will be uploaded on college websites and the information seekers will not have to go through the tedious process of applying for the information under the Act, due to which the number of RTI applications will decrease and transparency in work will increase.