16 Oct 2011
New Delhi: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, while delivering his valedictory speech at the 6th Annual Convention of the Central Information Commission at Vigyan Bhawan on Saturday, said that for him if "Preamble" was the soul of the Constitution and "Fundamental Right" was the heart, then the "Right to Information" (RTI) was the artery that supplied blood uninterruptedly to the heart.
"If even for a fraction of a minute the artery is blocked, the heart stops beating and the body becomes lifeless," Kumar said adding the RTI kept the entire democratic system alive.
The Chief Minister asserted that the transparency negates corruption and strengthens good governance which, in turn, helps citizens evolve faith in the system, the government, and eventually, themselves.
Kumar further said that it was with the RTI in his mind, Bihar took a number of measures, including "Jaankari", a telephone-based interactive system to make information available to the public.
The Chief Minister further said that Bihar had shown the way in fight against corruption by empowering the marginalized sections of society.
"Our commitment guided us to be the first state in the country to enable the bureaucracy and ministers along with the Chief Minister to declare their assets every year and put the same in public domain on internet. To effectively check and deter corruption in public life Bihar has enacted the "Bihar Special Courts Act" that allows the government to confiscate ill-gotten properties of the corrupt officials," the Chief Minister said.
Kumar urged the Chief Information Commissioner of India to organize an all India Workshop on Right to Information in Patna with participation from all states and other countries as well.
The two day conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Among others who were present at the conference included Chief Information Commissioner Satyanand Mishra and Bibek Debroy, Centre for Policy Research.