April 18, 2007, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research & Training (CUTS CART), Jaipur in association with the Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) has conceptualised a unique project titled “Combating Corruption in Rajasthan State, India, by Applying Right to Information (RTI) Act as a Tool’. The project will be formally launched by the Central Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Shri Wajahat Habibullah at 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at Patel Bhavan, HCM-RIPA, Jaipur

The RTI Act, which was enacted by the Indian Parliament on October 12, 2005, has a great potential in ensuring greater participation of public in the governance process of the country, eliminating corruption and empowering the people. In fact, this Act has ushered in a new hope for India, by ensuring transparency and accountability in the governance, marking the beginning of an era of true participatory democracy in India.

However, even after completion of one and half year of the RTI, the general level of awareness about the Act is abysmally low among the common public, especially the rural populace. In order to realise the efficiency of the governance system with increased people’s participation, there is a great need to take the RTI to the grassroots level. For this purpose, there is a need for awareness generation and training for the information seekers and providers for an effective use of the Act.

This project is for a period of one year, focusing on awareness generation at the grassroots, empowering the civil society organisations (CSOs), advocacy with the policy makers and encouraging the common citizens towards application of RTI Act as a tool in addressing corrupt practices in the governance. Through this project, it is expected that an enabling and conducive environment would be created at the grassroots, making the governance more transparent and accountable and within the common people’s reach.

The Central CIC Shri Wajahat Habibullah, who will be the Chief Guest in the launch meeting, will deliver the inaugural address. The CIC, Rajasthan MD Kaurani and the CIC of Andhra Pradesh, CD Arha will deliver the keynote address and the special address respectively. Sonal Thacker from Common Wealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) will facilitate the technical session, which will be moderated by JVR Murty from the World Bank. Representatives of various stakeholder groups, CSOs and government officials will attend the launch meeting.
For further information, please contact:

George Cheriyan/Siba Prasad Dash
Project Coordinator
CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research & Training (CUTS-CART)
D-222, Bhaskar Marg,
Bani Park, Jaipur 302 016, India,
Tel: +91.141.228 2821/513 3259,
Fax: +91.141.228 2485,
Email: cart@cuts.org