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The Right to Information Act is a great tool endowed upon the people of India. But tools are useful only when used, and used properly.

Here is a guide to use the RTI Act to obtain the desired result

1. Do not ask for information just for the sake of it. Ask information that you intend to use

2. Make questions in your application short and precise

3. If you suspect some mishandling of responsibilities on someone's part, make sure you ask the name of officers who are responsible for the same

4. Put in a question asking what action will be taken against the erring officers

5. While trying to clean the system using the RTI Act, it is important to note that we shouldn't always be trying to treat the government officers as the accused. We can only succeed when we get the Government Officers working with us and not against us

6. If there is a larger matter that you intend to pursue make sure that you galvanise support around you. Many people asking for the same information in a matter of larger public interest is bound to yield results

7. Share your views and replies with the press and on the site

8. Follow up with action based on the information received. This could be issuing a show cause notice in case of erring practices, sending information to the law enforcement agencies etc.

Hope that all of us will use this great tool with a great sense of responsibility it deserves

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