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International Day for Universal Access to Information today

Published : 27 Sep 2023 10:05 PM

International Day for Universal Access toInformation will be observed in the country today (Thursday) like elsewhere acrossthe globe with the theme 'Importance of internet in free flow ofinformation'.

On the eve of the day, President MohammedShahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages wishing all programmes of the day a success.

In his message, the President said the 'Right to Information Act, 2009' was formulated to ensure the free flow of information and people's right to information.

"The citizens of the country are now getting access to information by this act (the RTI act)," he said, adding that the act has created a path for establishing good governance along with ensuring transparency andaccountability in the activities all government and non-governmentorganisations.

He said Bangladesh is going ahead to be a Smart Bangladesh from DigitalBangladesh under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and utilization of ICT in Bangladesh has created an example in the world. Internet has been playing an important role in ensuring people's access toinformation, he added.

Noting that the Information Commission has been working relentlessly to reach benefits of the RTI Act to the doorsteps of people, the President said, adding that it is urgent to join all stakeholders including governmententities, electronic and print media in creating awareness among people aboutthe RTI.

In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Awami League in its election manifesto in 2008 declared to formulate Right to Information Act andafter coming to power, the government passed the RTI Act, 2009 in the firstsession of the ninth JatiyaSangsad and formed the Information Commission asper its electoral pledge.

Information Commission (IC) was formed on July 1, 2009 and newly-constructedIC Bhaban was inaugurated on August 20, 2023, she said, adding: "As a result,the right of the people and the media to get the necessary information hasbeen increased."

The premier said: "Apart from Bangladesh Television (BTV), BTV World and Sangsad Television, we have given permission to 45 private television channels and 28 FM radio stations and 32 community radio stations to expandthe free flow of information further, which made the publication andpublicity system easier."

"The government has set up world's largest web portal to reach information atdoorstep through increasing the use of internet," she said, adding that the importance of internet in increasing the use of RTI is undeniable.

With cooperation of the government, the IC has been working relentlessly to reach the benefits of the RTI to the people, she said, adding that RTI has been playing role in reducing corruption and establishing good governancethrough ensuring accountability and transparency in the activities of all.

"I hope the Information Commission will be more active in establishing 'Sonar Bangla' as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," the Premier added.