The state of political affairs in India has become chaotic recently, mostly due to findings on black money and offshore-accumulated wealth, various scams of colossal scales and blatant statements made by people high up in the food chain. Needless to say, the level of discontent among the people is at an all-time high, and in these situations, the Right to Information (RTI) Act provides for more transparency and accountability, and lets us be absolutely sure instead of being driven by whims and opinions.
The Department of Personnel and Training in India understands this fact, and has launched a program to train people to make better use of the RTI. The program has two courses, and is described as:
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India (GoI) has launched an ‘Online Certificate Course on RTI’ for various stakeholders. With a view to make the earlier 15-day course more practical, now the course has been bifurcated into two versions, namely – 7-Day Online Course (English) and 15-Day Online Certificate Course (English).
While the 7-day course is elementary in nature, the 15-day course is more practical and includes a session on applying for an RTI. However, the 15-day course can be taken only on completion of the 7-day course.
The 15-day course is actually an interesting one, since to register for this part of the course, you have to come with proof of an RTI claim made on a public-service authority. The term of 15 days is allotted for a study of the RTI report, as received from the claim. The report will be evaluated based on some predefined criteria, and finally, an online certificate will be generated on course completion. The total estimated time from enrollment to getting a certificate is around 9 weeks, which is just above two month. However, it is worth the experience.