Quest for answers – The Beginning

I filed my RTI draft yesterday, 14 November 2006, aptly on children’s day as the questions in the draft (can be read in the previous post) if answered with complete honesty might just help those who seek a career in this field via academics.

It was relatively simple. I prepared the draft and after a day long hunt for a court fee stamp which incidentally can be bought with minimum hassle (at Simla stationary, opposite Mumbai University road, towards Regal) I was ready to undertake the quest for answers.

Here it gets tricky. One must know before hand where the draft is to be filed, with which PIO. Mumbai University has 20 registrars for various departments which act as PIOs.

To make things simpler, file your RTI application at the INWARD SECTION at the Mumbai University campus, Fort, Churchgate. It is the duty of the relevant department to answer questions pertaining to their section and forward the RTI to the other departments. It does help of your queries are all directed to a single department for a single matter, say finances, the probability of getting a answer increase drastically this way. But it is seldom the case.

Most people perceive filing an RTI as some sort of a battle with the lethargic and highly secretive system where answers are seldom provided. This application too may be dispensed by the relevant authority citing technicalities, like information is not yet documented or available, it is not of the relevant department, etc.

Despite this, the truly unfortunate part is that this act is seen as something alien, most are still not comfortable with the idea of filing an RTI. The perennial ‘what’s the point’ syndrome stifles any inclination towards seeking relevant answers to equally relevant questions.

I am of the opinion that this act of questioning authority to derive vital information from them which might affect the course of one’s career or life itself must be an inherent act. It must emanate from our basic thoughts and the urge to go beyond what is generically said, not only in Biotech but in all spheres of life. This might sound idealistic and it is to a large extent. But it is a start.

The primary point here is that asking questions and persisting till they are satisfactorily answered is a requisite. If not then it must be, at the least, a significant and viable alternative to internalizing generic information. The option is always there.

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