School of Law, Christ University,Bangalore in association with  PARINAMIKA

                                              PREMISE OF THE CONFERENCE

The Conference shall attempt to dwell into both practical and technical matters concerning the
Right to Information and the involvement of the common citizens. The Right to Information Act,
2005 remains today one of the most benevolent tools in the hands of the citizen. However, lack
of knowledge and awareness about the scope, usage and ambit of such an Act has hindered its
implementation. The Conference would revolve around the basil themes of healthy democracy-
open governance, freedom of information, tackling corruption and building a foundation for
activism and social responsibility. Each topic, enunciated by the speakers would attempt to target
one sector of the RTI Time Line: ranging from the Past to the Present and leading to the future.

1.Right to Information is a powerful tool in the hands of society yet it remains largely
ineffective because people are ignorant of its existence and influence. To create awareness and
educate the country is the only manner in which this legislation can serve the purpose it was
enacted for. This conference hopes to reach out and bridge this gap of unawareness.

2.Merely having legislation in place will not ensure its implementation. The people must not
only be educated about the legislation but also be familiarized on how to go about utilizing an
enactment for their benefit. The RTI provides a mechanism that will enable the common man
and woman to bring about transparency in all governmental actions. Its implementation and
awareness will demand greater accountability and responsibility from the leaders of the country.
The practical aspects of RTI Act would be imparted to the audience of this conference.

3.Create a sense of social responsibility and activism amongst the youth. To create a platform
where people from all walks of life can express, opine, and argue.

4.Clarify the misguided assumption that only law students and lawyers can access and
implement laws in the country. To enlighten the gathering that everyone can be socially
responsible, legally aware, and collectively proactive.


1. Mr. Vikram Simha: Introduction & Backdrop to the RTI Act, 2005

Mr. Vikram Simha is the leading face of the RTI Movement in Karnataka. An active crusader,
Mr. Simha would be speaking of the Indian past- A time leading up to the enactment of the RTI
Act, 2005. Mr. Simha, would speak of the troubles, the movements, the events that transpired
which led to the need for such an Act, and how the RTI Today has emerged as the backbone of
Good Governance. A brief introduction into the Act would be given by Mr. Simha to project to
the audience the essence behind the whole conference.

2. Shri M.M. Ansari: Governance and the RTI: Transparency and a Healthy Democracy

Shri Ansari is the Ex-Information Commissioner of India. He is an Economist and Education
Specialist. He has served on the staff of several institutions in senior positions and provided
research and consultancy services to national and international organizations. He is currently the
Interlocutor, J&K for India. Shri Ansari would be speaking on Governance and the RTI and the
need for transparency in a healthy democracy. Shri Ansari would reflect upon the importance of
the RTI in today’s Governmental setup and would also include a section on the current scenario
featuring the Lokpal-Janlokpal Civil Society movement. Shri Ansari would also share upon his
experiences as being the Ex-Information Commissioner and would talk about the Roles and
Duties of the Officers/Appointees under the RTI Act, 2005.

3. Shri. Janardhan Swamy: RTI and the Political Perspective

Shri Janardhan Swamy is a Hon’ble Member of the Parliament, Loksabha representing the
Chitradurga Lok Sabha Constituency in the Parliament of India. Mr. J.Swamy would be
providing the audience a perspective of the RTI from the backdrop of the Political Setup. The
severance of the people of India from the Political fraternity has drastically escalated over
recent times. Principles of democracy have been questioned and targeted repeatedly without due
answers being reciprocated. Mr. Swamy would hence present, the Public Servants view point on
the RTI and how the Political Machinery in this State must adopt to the provisions of the Act and
also as to how, the Political setup has reacted and is responding to the Act of 2005.

4. Prof. BT Venkatesh: RTI and Human Rights

Prof. Venkatesh has been Practicing as a Lawyer since 1986 and Executive Director Reach Law.
He is a Professor at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media(IIJNM) Bangalore, India
and a workers’ rights and marginalized communities rights activist since student days.
Prof. Venkatesh would be dwelling upon the importance of the RTI Act upon the basil arena of
Human Rights in India. The Concept of RTI as a Human Right by itself would be discussed by
Prof. Venkatesh.