Tuesday, April 29, 2014

SEMINAR ON "Nine Years of RTI Act: Role of Civil Society in enhancing transparency on May 2nd and 3rd

Inviting Puneites interested in RTI, to attend the seminar on MAy 2nd and 3rd at Hotel Orbett on Nine years of RTI Act: Role of Civil Society in enhancing transparency. There is NO participation fee but you MUST register by sending me email at vinitapune@gmail.com


"Nine Years of RTI Act: Role of Civil Society in enhancing transparency"

Organized by

Media Information and Communication Centre of India,


 in collaboration with

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung – India
RFII (RTI Forum for Instant Information, Pune)

Orbett Hotel, Apte Road


May 2nd & 3rd 2014


Friday, May 2nd, 2014

09:15 – 10:00 am                             Registration

10:00 – 11:00 am                             INAUGURAL SESSION

10:00 – 10:10 am                             Opening Remarks by
                                                            Ms. Vinita Deshmukh

10:10 – 10:20 am                             Introductory Remarks by
                                                Rajeshwar Dyal, Senior Advisor, FES-India               

10:20 – 10:30 am                             Welcome Remarks & Seminar Perspective by
Nandini Sahai, Honorary Director, MICCI

10:30 – 10:50 am                             Inaugural & Keynote Address by Dileep Padgaonkar, well-acclaimed journalist and R K Laxman Chair Professor of Symbiosis

10:50 – 11:00 am                             Vote of Thanks by Vijay Kumbhar

11:00 – 11:15 am                             Tea/Coffee Break

11:15 – 1:00 pm                               Working Session 1: Electoral rolls and Transparency: overview of electoral roll mess and overcoming mismanagement by Election Office and pro-active citizen participation
Chairperson: Gp. Capt. J. K. Joshi, Assoc. Director, MIT-SOG, school of government

Speaker 1:                                         Suryakant Pathak, leading consumer activist and President, Grahak Peth – An overview of mass voter deletion issue in Pune; role of the consumer (voter in this case)

Speaker 2:                                         Deepak Bharadia, social activist, member, Vote for Better India:  Electoral rolls and pro-active citizen participation.

Speaker 3:                                         Vinita Deshmukh, Senior journalist and RTI activist: First hand experience through inspection of files leading to deletion of his name in voter’s list

[Each speaker 15 mins. Discussion 45 mins.]

1:00 – 1:45 pm                                  Lunch Break

1:45 – 3:15 pm                                  Working Session 2: RTI and healthy inter-dependency of media and civic activists for relevant public interest stories: Reality check and forward vision

Chairperson: Anand Agashe, senior journalist and publisher.

Speaker 1                                          Sunanda Mehta, Resident Editor, The Indian Express, Pune

Speaker 2:                                         Qaneez Sukhrani, RTI and social activist.

Speaker 3:                                         Sanjay Awate, editor, Pudhari

                                     [Each speaker 15 mins. Discussion 30 mins.]

3:15 - 3:30 pm                                   Tea/Coffee Break

3:30 - 5:00 pm                                   Working Session 3Inspection of files under Section 4 of the RTI Act: important role of civic activists in Pune in improving local governance.
Chairperson: Vijay Kuvalekar, former State Information Commissioner, Pune division, group editor,

Speaker 1:                                         Anupam Saraph, social activist and member, Nagarik: Chetna Manch: Pune Municipal Corporation and transparency.

Speaker 2:                                         Sanjay Shirodkar: Toll plaza issue and privatisation of Airports.

Speaker 3:                                         Gautam Sen, visiting Professor, Institute of Social and Economic Change, Bangalore

[Each speaker 15 mins. Discussion 30 mins.]

 9960102255- kuvalekar

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

10:00 - 11:30 am                  Working Session 4: Innovations and transparency
Chairperson: Dr Pralhad Kachare, Additional Director, RTI Cell, YASHADA.

Speaker 1:                                         Amol Deshpande, founder member Pimpri-Chinchwad Citizen Forum on `SARATHI’ project.

Speaker 2:                                         Partha Sarathi  Biswas, Senior Reporter, The Indian Express: Inspection of files Day in PMC and Pune District Collector office.

Speaker 3:                                         Asim Sarode, leading lawyer and activist: Going beyond RTI: Online grievance redressal cell and other laws

[Each speaker 15 mins. Discussion 30 mins.]

11:30 - 11:45 am                              Tea/Coffee Break

11:45 - 1:00 pm                                 Working Session 5: Threat to activists and whistleblowers’ Act; Way Forward .

Chairperson: Vijay Kuvalekar

Speaker 1:                                         Vishwambhar Chaudhuri, leading social activist

Speaker 2:                                         Adwait Mehta, senior journalist, IBN Lokmat.

Speaker 3:                                         Prasannakumar Keskar, senior journalist and founder,  Word Communications.

[Each speaker 15 mins. Discussion 15 mins.]

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm                           Working Session 6:
                                                            Open Forum – Suggestions and Recommendations

1:30 pm onwards                              Lunch



MICCI is formally registered as a non-profit Trust mainly devoted to organizing seminars, conferences, workshops, research and publications in the field of media with a national and international focus.  We have a network of partners all over India and also South Asia. Some of our longstanding partners include- the Department of Mass Communication, Rajasthan University, Prabhat Khabar Institute of Media Studies, Ranchi, St. Andrews College, Mumbai, Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, Indira School of Communication, Pune, VOICES, Bangalore, South Asian Media Association (SAMA), Hyderabad, Media Education for Awareness and Cultural Transformation (MEDIACT), Kerala, National Institute of Social Work and Social Sciences (NISWASS), Bhubaneswar, Centre for Media Research & Development Studies, Kolkata, Bombay Bar Association and the International Centre, Goa.  MICCI will provide a forum to the media to discuss contemporary issues, like Media’s role in disaster management and assessing rehabilitation and resettlement work done for Tsunami victims, its role in assessing the State of Democracy in India, Contempt of Court, Training Workshops for Rural Journalists, Challenges facing women journalists and sensitizing the common man for the implementation of the Right to Information Act.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES-India) is a non-profit, NGO supported by the Government of Germany. The FES aims at strengthening democratic structures, promoting training and policy-oriented research programmes in Germany and in cooperation with partner organizations in more than 100 countries across the globe. Democracy, justice and solidarity are the guiding principles of the activities of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. Striving for equal rights for women and men is an inalienable principle within this context. To uphold the values of Social Democracy as conceived by Friedrich Ebert, the India office of FES collaborates with policy-makers, academic and research organizations, trade unions, and NGOs in India. Facilitating discussions on crucial issues related to the development process in India is the main objective of FES India work. This is done by providing a platform for interaction at the State, National and South Asia level.