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I, the CitizenUnraveling the Power of Citizen Engagement$
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R. Balasubramaniam

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501713514

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501713514.001.0001

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Information indeed is power – people and their right to information

Information indeed is power – people and their right to information

(p.119) Information indeed is power – people and their right to information
I, the Citizen

Dr. R Balasubramaniam

M N Venkatachaliah

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the passing of the Right to Information (RTI) Act in 2005, an important milestone in the history of democratic India which conferred upon common people the right to request information from any ‘public authority’. This Act, comparable to the Freedom of Information Act (USA) has tremendous potential to tackle corruption and asymmetry of information in public, and it is therefore imperative that every citizen of the country knows about this act. The chapter then looks at how the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM) undertook a campaign-on-foot to create awareness about RTI among the people of some 120 villages in 2008. Covering five districts in South Karnataka, the campaigners interacted with thousands of people in about a month on not just people's right to information, but also on different issues related to democratic development including corruption, accountability, and citizen's responsibility.

Keywords:   Right to Information Act, democratic India, corruption, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, South Karnataka, democratic development, information

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