IT IS heartening to note that people have begun to use their right to know in a most constructive and profitable manner. The Right To Information (RTI) Act has empowered the people of the country to exercise their right to seek official information on matters of public interest, which otherwise would remain hidden beneath mounds of dusty files or denied public perusal, invoking the official secrets regime. In this connection the direction of the Chief Information Commission (CIC) to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to disclose information about sanction for prosecution of some IAS officers accused of corruption in 2010 is significant. The direction has come in the wake of an RTI query by a Lucknow-based activist. However, it appears that the Department had sat on the case without any further progress. The revelation would not have come had the activist not shown interest in the case and sought information under the RTI. This is the value of a public-oriented law which has empowered common citizens. The RTI Act is indeed serving a very useful purpose.
THE DUO RETURNS ONE
year of a major tumult has changed the fibre, and most importantly, the character of Australian cricket. Now, as the two masterminds of the ‘Sandpapergate’ scandal -- Steve Smith and David Warner -- complete their ball-tampering bans and take fresh guard, they carry a huge burden of seeking atonement through a fair and notable performance to book a place in the World Cup-bound team. Initial signs of a pardon were visible in the warm ‘hug-n-cuddles’ reception the duo got from their One-Day team-mates in UAE. Though most players, former and past, have moved on since the scandal blighted the Aussie image on their South Africa tour, one cannot be sure about fans’ reaction to the entire saga. That the World Cup will be played in England can be a discomforting fact for both Smith and Warner, for, the English crowd shares a special ‘love-hate’ relationship with the Australians. The scars of the scandal run deep on the fans’ psyche. To win back their hearts will be a test of character for Smith and Warner. It will also be a test of the Aussie grit.