Can you please modify the language of the following paragraph, the meaning should not change. In early 1990s Mazdoor Kisan Shakti…
Can you please modify the language of the following paragraph, the meaning should not change. In early 1990s Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathana began a movement to bring in transparency in village accounts. Initially, MKSS lobbied government to obtain information such as master rolls (employment and payment records) and bills and vouchers relating to purchase and transportation of materials. This information was then crosschecked at Jan Sunwais (public hearings) against actual testimonies of workers. The public hearings were incredibly successful in drawing attention to corruption and exposing leakages in the system. Success of MKSS became a source of inspiration for activists in India and led to the genesis of a broader discourse on the right to information in India. In 1993, a first draft RTI law was proposed by the Consumer Education and Research Council, Ahmedabad (CERC). In 1996, the Press Council of India headed by Justice P B Sawant presented a draft model law on the right to information to the Government of India. The draft model law was later updated and renamed the PCI-NIRD Freedom of Information Bill 1997. MKSS’s advocacy gave rise to the National Campaign on People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), which was formed to advocate for the right to information at the national level. In 1997 efforts to legislate for the right to information, at both the State and National level, quickened. A working group under the chairmanship of Mr. H D Shourie (the Shourie Committee) was set up by the Central Government and given the mandate to prepare draft legislation on freedom of information. The Shourie Committee’s Report and draft law were published in 1997. The Shourie Committee draft law passed through two successive governments, but was never introduced in Parliament. In 1999 minister Mr Ram Jethmalani, then Union Minister for Urban Development, issued an administrative order enabling citizens to inspect and receive photocopies of files. Shourie Committee draft law was reworked into the Freedom of Information Bill 2000. It was passed in December 2002 and received Presidential asset on January 2003, as the Freedom of Information Act 2002. In 1998, during the Rajasthan State elections the Congress Party promised in its election manifesto to enact a law on right to information if it came to power. Following their election, the Party appointed a committee of bureaucrats to draft a bill on the right to information. As the Committee was comprised only bureaucrats, stong objections were raised by civil society organisations, following which the members of MKSS and National Campaign for Peoples Right to Information were invited to assist in drafting the bill. MKSS and NCPRI conducted a host of consultations in each divisional headquarters of the State. Drawing on the input from these consultations, a draft civil society Right to Information Bill was prepared, which was then submitted to the Committee. The Committee drew on the citizens draft Bill for its recommendations, but refused to accept the Bill in toto. The Rajasthan Right to Information Act 2000 was eventually passed on 11 May 2000. The Act in its final form retained many of the suggestions of the RTI movement, but diluted others. In the early 2000s Anna Hazare led a movement in Maharashtra state which forced the state government to pass a stronger Maharashtra Right to Information Act. This Act was later considered as the base document for the Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI), enacted by the Union Government. It also ensured that the President of India assented to this new Act. Law professor Alasdair Scott Roberts said: The state of Maharashtra â€“ home to one of the world’s largest cities, Mumbai, adopted a Right to Information Act in 2003, prodded by the hunger strike of prominent activist, Anna Hazare. (“All corruption can end only if there is freedom of information,” said Hazare, who resumed his strike in February 2004 to push for better enforcement of the Act). In 2004, under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, the Congress party won the national elections and formed the central government. Aruna Roy was inducted into the National Advisory Committee (NAC), an extremely powerful but extra-constitutional quasi-governmental body headed by Sonia Gandhi which effectively supervises the working of the common minimum program of UPA II . Aruna Roy submitted a paper recommending amendments to the 2002 Freedom of Information Act to the NAC which in turn sent by it to the Prime Minister’s Office. The Right to Information Bill 2004 (RTI Bill 2004) was tabled on 23 December during the winter session of the Lok Sabha. The RTI Bill 2004 was based largely on recommendations submitted to the Government by the NAC which was passed by the Indian parliament in 2005.On 20 July 2006 the Union Cabinet amended the Right to Information Act 2005 to exclude the file noting by the government officials from its purview. Hazare began his fast unto death on 9 August 2006 in Alandi against the proposed amendment. He ended his fast on 19 August 2006, after the government agreed to change its earlier decision.
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