Centre mulls bringing RTI in school curriculum



New Delhi: With an aim to generate awareness on the Right to Information Act, the Centre is considering introduction of lessons on various facets of the transparency law in the school curriculum.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which acts as a nodal agency for matters related to RTI Act, is in talks with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for the purpose, officials said.

"The government is coordinating with NCERT about possible inclusion of lessons on RTI in school curriculum. A roadmap is likely to be devised soon," a DoPT official said.

The NCERT conducts and supports educational research and offers training in educational research methodology, besides developmental activities in school education.

Officials said the proposal is at a nascent stage and a final decision will only be taken after consultation with the NCERT.

The decision was taken after seeing the growing number of RTI applications filed in central and state government run departments.

"The RTI Act has helped in improving the level of governance. Applicants have brought both the success stories and anomalies in the functioning of some departments. We want that the Act be widely publicised and especially school goers be targeted," the official said.

The RTI Act may be taught, as curriculum or in the form of non-mandatory supplementary books, for the students between upper primary and higher secondary level (class VII and XII).

Officials said after seeing the results here, the Centre may recommend the state governments inclusion of RTI in school curriculum.

It is pertinent to mention that the Central Vigilance Commission has already decided to include lessons on anti-corruption to promote ethics, integrity and honesty in school curriculum to make children aware about corruption.

The Central government has also decided to train nodal officers dealing with RTI applications both at the Centre and in states on various do's and don'ts of the transparency law.

The DoPT has also initiated a scheme to 'improve transparency and accountability in government through effective implementation of Right to Information Act' in the Centre and in the states.

Also, it has issued instructions requiring all public authorities to update records, improve infrastructure and bring out necessary manuals as provided in the Act and comply with the provisions regarding suo-motu disclosure to facilitate easy access to information to the citizens.

PTI