The University of Mumbai today launched a six-month PG certificate course in Right to Information, a move hailed as “historic” by RTI activists.
The Department of Civics and Politics, which is conducting the course, organised a function at its Kalina Campus in South Mumbai to announce the launch.
RTI activist Nikhil Dey, former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi and Maharashtra Chief Information Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikawd, among others, were present.
Terming this move as a “historic” step in Maharashtra, Gandhi said, “I am sure this development (course in RTI) would institutionalise the Act. People would conduct research on it. It (the legislation) will attain an academic shape which was not there earlier.”
Admission process has already started and the varsity is targeting social activists, PIOs (Public Information Officers), journalists, bureaucrats and members of civil society for enrolment.
The launching of RTI course, however, witnessed a protest by a few former students who bemoaned the university itself has not implemented the transparency law in letter and spirit.
“We are extremely happy the university has launched this course. But the problem is the university itself has made a mockery of the RTI Act,” said Ranbir Singh, a former student of the varsity.
Singh, who currently works as a software developer in a firm, said, “The basic aim of RTI is to bring transparency. But the University itself does not implement the RTI Act. Each clause is being violated. Each of the Mumbai University PIOs should be made to study this course.”