Kohima, 11 October (MTNews): In celebration of Right to Information Week, 2023 from 5 to 12 October 2023, the Department of Horticulture, Government of Nagaland, in collaboration with the State Information Commission, Nagaland, organized a one-day state-level training program for the Public Information Officers and Assistant Public Information Officers of the Department on the Right to Information Act, 2005 held at Conference Hall, Directorate of Horticulture, Kohima on 10th October 2023.
During his welcome address and introduction, Meyasashi, Director of Horticulture, emphasized the significance of the Right to Information Act (RTI) in accessing information and combating corruption. He urged against resorting to bribery, highlighting the presence of corruption in society. Meyasashi also pointed out that the Naga society is regrettably characterized by corruption and substandard practices, resulting in low-quality public services and products; and advocated for an ideal society, one that is prosperous and achieved through hard work.
Keynote speaker, I Meyionen Jamir, Chief Information Commissioner, Nagaland, expressed his appreciation for the initiatives taken by the department and stressed the need for training to empower individuals to defend themselves and assert their rights.
Jamir referred to the RTI Act of 2005 as an Act that allows the general public to exercise their rights under it and stated that the intention of the Act is to serve information seekers, except for those falling under the exempted category in Section 8 of the Act. The speaker outlined the challenges faced by RTI seekers, categorizing them into four groups: genuine seekers who are rare, individuals who are well-informed about their rights but have malicious intentions, those who use RTI for blackmail, and those who use it to harass public officials.
Jamir further emphasized that the goal of the Act is to eliminate the sources of corruption, and stressed that the RTI Act should not be misused or abused and called for the need for transparency.
The Master Trainer for the day was Worhonthung Ezung, Deputy Secretary, Nagaland Information Commission. The program was chaired by I Chubatoshi, PIO & Deputy Director of Horticulture, while the invocation prayer was delivered by Kikalemba, Accounts Officer, and the vote of thanks was announced by Ayieno Hibo, Additional Director of Horticulture.