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Thursday, June 4, 2009

National RTI Awards

The National RTI Awards 2009, instituted this year by Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF), aims to honor every year starting the year 2009, those Information Commissioners, Public Information Officers and Citizens who display exemplary commitment towards the Right to Information Act, 2005. Each award will carry a citation, a plaque and prize money of Rs. 2 Lakhs.

Motivation for the RTI Awards

Despite the power of RTI to transform Indian democracy, the Act faces stiff opposition from many sections of the government, particularly the bureaucracy. For example many Officers are not performing satisfactorily. Some Information Commissioners, who are the final adjudicating authority under the Act, are perceived to be sympathetic to bureaucrats. But there are many among the bureaucrats who are committed to transparency and honesty. They go over and beyond the call of duty to implement the RTI Act in letter and spirit.

Our intent is to honour and recognize the best among these officers and commissioners. We hope that by recognizing their contribution they can serve as role models for the bureaucratic community as a whole and encourage others to follow in their footsteps and strive to emulate their achievements. The awards will also serve as an opportunity to gather valuable data about the performance of a large number of PIOs and Information Commissioners across the country. This data can go a long way in identifying shortcomings in the current system of RTI and suggesting possible reforms.

Award Ceremony

The Award ceremony is an opportunity for us to recognize the winners of this year's awards in person. We intend to give this ceremony maximum visibility across the country and the world. We are privileged to have the support of NDTV, Hindustan Times, Dainik Jagran, Mathrubhumi, Andhra Jyoti, Deshonnati, Dhoritri in this endeavor. Our panel of jurors will be attending the event (schedule permitting) to personally congratulate the winners. A national level dignitary (to be announced) will be the Chief Guest for the ceremony. The Awards Ceremony will be held in November 2009 in New Delhi. Exact date of the event is yet to be finalized.

Eligibility Criteria

Award for the Best Citizen of the Year

Eligibility Criteria:

Any Indian citizen who has filed one or more RTI Application/s and has either:

  1. Received a response to his/her RTI application(s) on or before 31st December 2008, or
  2. Never received any response to his/her RTI application till 30th May 2009
And, feels that his/her application has created substantial public impact, is eligible to apply for the Best Citizen of the year Award.

Award for the Best Public Information Officer of the Year


Any government officer who has worked as a Public Information Officer (PIO) for any period of time during the calendar year 2008 (1st January 2008 to 31st December 2008) is eligible.

Award for the Best Information Commissioner of the Year

Information Commissioners need not apply. All Information Commissioners are automatic nominees

Important Dates :

Opening Date of Call for Nominations 1st June 2009

Last date for Receipt of Nominations 30th June 2009

Date for Award Ceremony To be declared (November, 2009)



More information at : Public Cause Research Foundation

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