Law students will be engaged by the Centre to suggest ways for improving transparency and accountability in the governance through effective implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), nodal authority for implementation of the RTI Act, has decided to give internship to students pursuing law courses to assess voluntary disclosures by various central government ministries.
“The primary goal of the scheme is to contribute towards more accountable and transparent government and it has several components including programmes for awareness generation, training and e-governance initiatives for RTI for achieving the purpose,” the DoPT said in an order issued today.
The programme will help the ministry or department consolidate and document its experience in the implementation of RTI, its successes, constraints in implementation, identify the areas which need more attention, address the gap areas and suggest what more needs to be done to help achieve the objectives of the Act.
“The interns would be familiarised with the process of seeking information and enabling access to information under the RTI regime,” it said.
The RTI Act, 2005, which was enacted by the UPA government, empowers a citizen to seek a time-bound reply on information related to the governance.
The applicants would analyse the applications to get an overall picture and do an in-depth study of the information sought and the response by the public authority.
“The interns would also study the status of suo motu disclosure of the ministry or department allotted to them for their internship and would submit a report in this regard,” the DoPT said.
As per the RTI Act, public authorities which mean central government departments are mandated to put in public domain governance related information being dealt by them in public domain.
Based on the analysis of RTI applications made by them, the interns have to make specific recommendations regarding various kinds of information or documents of the department concerned that can be included in the suo motu disclosures, besides major governance policy initiatives that can be taken to improve governance, it said.
The proposed internships would be for duration of one month starting December 15, 2016 onwards. Interns will be entitled to a consolidated remuneration of Rs 10,000 payable on submission and acceptance of their internship reports by the competent authority in the DoPT.