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An Interaction with Law Students Organized in Kathmandu

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09 July, 2013 -

Citizens' Campaign for Right to Information (CCRI) organized an interaction program on the practice of Right to Information with the LLB first year students of Nepal Law Campus on 5th July, 2013. The program was entitled as "An Interaction program with the students of Nepal Law Campus on the practice of Right to Information." The interaction was held in the premises of Nepal Law Campus. Forty inquisitive students enthusiastically participated on the program. The program was coordinated by Right to Information Student Group in Nepal Law Campus

Mr. Tanka Raj Aryal , Executive Director of CCRI, began the interaction by inquiring that how many of the participants have read the Right to Information Act 2007, being the students of law. Knowing that very few students have read the RTI Act, he exclaimed. Later on, Mr. Aryal enlightened the participants regarding different perspectives on the practice of Right to Information Law in Nepal.

Mr. Aryal explained that Right to Information is guaranteed as guided by law though it's not an absolute right rather a relative right like other rights because state can even suspend the rights which are constitutionally guaranteed at the time of emergencies but it’s a foremost responsibility of any state to protect the rights of its people in ordinary situations. He also said that adequate information on particular issues is vital before disseminating your own opinion, ideas and views.

He depicted the basic features of RTI, International guarantees and global RTI situation with its mounting statistics worldwide. He informed that there are more than one hundred countries having specific RTI laws at present and more than fifty five of them have protected RTI as fundamental right in their constitution. Mr. Aryal expressed that RTI has been used as the best tool for promoting accountability, good governance and transparency globally.

In the midst of the session, he described the difference between demand information and acquire information. Furthermore, he explained RTI legal regime in Nepal and the scope and major provisions of RTI Act 2007. He also addressed the queries of participants in between the session. He discussed some landmark cases on RTI related to student copy examination, cases related to VAT, subsidized chemical fertilizers, grants to NGOs etc.

The very popular Hindi and Nepali RTI songs were also played towards the end of the session to expand the participants' concern in the issues. After the songs were played, Mr. Aryal depicted and elaborated the hidden themes of both the songs. Nepali Television PSA which was made by CCRI to create awareness on RTI was also played to comprehend the participants' knowledge on the subject. Moreover, RTI posters were also exhibited and brochures with pocket calendar were also distributed to the participants to enhance their knowledge on Right to Information.

On the contrary, Mr. Narayan Adhikari of Accountability lab also spoke about his organization and the web Bolaun (speak up to improve Nepali society). He illustrated how to log on to bolaun to speak up on the issues you care about, discuss the changes you would like to see, explore the ideas and resources that might be useful and connect with people and organization that can help you solve issues you care about. Mr. Adhikari also told that the main idea behind this portal was to find the genuine stakeholders to fight back against fraud and corruption. He also committed that his organization will provide a little fund of $2000 for the innovative ideas promoting Accountability related to research, investigation and study on the selected issues like public service, RTI, Corruption, Corporate, Politics etc.

Mr. Sher Bahadur Dhungana, Team Leader of Right to Information Student Group in Nepal Law Campus, also presented his idea and experience on RTI and distributed different resource materials to the participants.