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J&K RTI Foundation highlights the importance of access to information in the digital era

International Day for Universal Access to Information celebrated in Magam: A J&K RTI Foundation note:
Magam, Jammu and Kashmir - September 28, 2023 - On September 28, 2023, the J&K RTI Foundation celebrated the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) with great enthusiasm and participation. The event, held in Magam, witnessed an engaged audience both in-person and via Zoom, highlighting the importance of access to information in the digital era.
IDUAI is globally recognized as a day to emphasize the crucial role of access to information in empowering individuals, promoting transparency, and fostering informed decision-making. The United Nations General Assembly designated September 28 as IDUAI in 2019, following the lead of UNESCO, which had established this observance in 2015.
Irfan Banka, Anthropologist and Founder of J&K RTI Foundation, stressed this year's theme, "the importance of the online space for access to information." He drew attention to the J&K Government's efforts in making 1028 services available online and urged for the provision of Online RTI Facilities (e-RTI Service) to enable citizens to exercise their right to information efficiently in the digital age.
Sheikh Maqbool, Columnist and Co-founder of J&K RTI Foundation, reiterated the organization's commitment to the goals of the Right to Information Act, emphasizing the need for widespread awareness about this fundamental right.
Sajad Hussain, Co-founder of J&K RTI Foundation, asserted that the Right to Information is an essential right, and citizens should actively exercise it to ensure transparency and accountability in governance.
Aaqib Bashir and Ishfaq Majeed, members of RTI Pend, showcased the pivotal role of the RTI Pend initiative in raising awareness about the Right to Information among the public.
On October 1st 2023 were brought together RTI activists, leaders, and community members to discuss and advocate for the effective implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Distinguished guests, including Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Dar and Mr. Shakeel ur Rasool, prominent RTI activists, and Mr. Sajad Hussain, Co-founder of J&K RTI Foundation, shared their insights on the transformative power of RTI in bringing transparency and accountability to governance.
During the event, Mr. Irfan Banka, host of RTI Pend, emphasized the need for widespread awareness about the RTI Act. He urged citizens to actively participate in Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) elections, underlining the role of educated youth in shaping a more transparent and accountable governance system. He also requested the government to launch an e-RTI portal for the public as soon as possible as the government has already made 1028 services online as per reports.
Mr. Shakeel ur Rasool shed light on how RTI has played a crucial role in obtaining information related to Wullar and fishermen communities. He encouraged the youth of Bandipora to leverage RTI to contribute to societal well-being.
Mr. Sajad Hussain delineated the differences between the Central RTI Act 2005 and the erstwhile J&K RTI Act 2009, expressing concern about the confusion created in J&K, particularly by some government officials. He emphasized the importance of clarity in the application of RTI laws.
Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Dar appealed to the educated youth to file RTIs related to government schemes and initiatives, contributing to the dissemination of essential information for greater transparency.
The event also showcased the pivotal role of Technical Directors, Mr. Ishfaq Majeed, and Mr. Aaqib Bashir, in making RTI Pend events successful.
Besides offline participation, the event was also live-streamed on Facebook and Zoom, providing a wider audience with valuable insights into the RTI Act. RTI Pend continues to be a beacon of awareness and advocacy, committed to fostering a culture of transparency and informed decision-making.



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