Published: 15th June 2021
#ThrowbackToday: If information is a lock, RTI, passed 16 years ago today, is the key
In today's #TBT, we recollect how powerful RTI really is and when used wisely, it can get you all the information that you have been seeking. Also, here's more about the Galwan Valley skirmish
Ask and ye shall receive — that's the basic premise of the Right to Information Act that was passed by the Parliament on June 15, 2005, coming into effect from October 12, 2005. But if you are looking at it merely as an information providing tool, you are doing it a huge disservice. It's a tool that puts the power right back in the hands of people, the power to ask questions to answers they are entitled to. No wonder, Indians filed 3.02 crore RTIs till 2019 alone.
Whether you file it online or via a PIO (Public Information Officer), you are obliged to receive an answer within 30 days and the PIO can be penalised if they don't get back. Though departments dealing with defense and nationals security, plus organisations like Intelligence Bureau are exempt from the act, pretty much any other documented communication, official statements, data, circular, logbooks and a lot more can be accessed.
The night of June 15
After 45 years, it was happening again. The simmering tension between India-China had reached a boiling point on June 15, 2020 at Galwan Valley. The Indian Army was about to get into a discussion with People's Liberation Army (PLA) about the latter not returning back to their territory after patrolling whereas the Chinese say that it was Indians soldiers who crossed the Line of Actual Control that sparked the skirmish. But what remains an undisputed fact is that India lost 20 of its soldiers.