Think before you ask

Think before you ask: The over-worked Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has issued an advisory with the dos and don'ts on RTI (right to information) queries. It has said that applicants should check the information already posted on the PMO site, 'so as to obviate filing of...

Asking right questions

This refers to “Think before you ask” (Business Standard, Chinese whispers, September 27). The advisory from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Right to Information (RTI) appears justifiably rational and perhaps, is applicable to many who keep asking questions or seeking information without doing any ‘home work’. According to the report, PMO desires that (a) information already available in the public domain need not be sought under RTI, (b) information should be sought from the concerned ministries/departments and (c) PMO should not be expected to collate information from different authorities/agencies and furnish to the seeker. 
Prima facie, the guidance does not appear to be aimed at avoidance of responsibility or one coming out from stress. It is another matter that the refinements proposed may reduce the comfort level of some RTI ‘activists’, who misguide their ‘clientele’, giving an impression that RTI is a short-cut for solving every problem in which government or any other body covered under RTI has a role.
Just as the question hours in legislatures can become time well spent on discussion of serious public issues affecting citizens and governance, leading to fresh thinking which may lead to acceptable solutions, if legislators do the minimum homework before raising questions and the answers and further discussions are well-informed, RTI can become a tool for digging ‘hidden’ information from files which will help resolve problems faced in day to day life by citizens. The guidance from PMO need to be seen in this perspective.

M G Warrier, Mumbai


Popular posts from this blog



The King of Ragas: Sankarabharanam