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Dehradun: Students of Classes IX and X in government schools in Uttarakhand may soon get to learn about the Right to Information Act 2005 as part of their school curriculum, as part of the Social Science course. 

The credit for making the government consider making RTI part of school curricula goes to a 25-year-old social activist from Doiwala, Ajay Kumar, a student of law. He has been writing to the state government for several years, stressing the importance of teaching school children their right to information. 

In 2011, he even communicated the need of incorporating the subject in school syllabi to Kapil Sibal, then Union minister for human resource development. After that, the ministry had directed the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) to include the subject in the curriculum. 

Speaking to TOI, Kumar said, "In August 2014 I wrote again to chief minister Harish Rawat who took notice of the urgency of my demand and directed education officials to take cognizance of the matter." 

Kumar said he had given similar suggestions to the Himachal Pradesh government, and that state too would be including RTI in school curricula soon. Madhya Pradesh too has decided to start lessons on RTI in schools, he said. 

"A road in my village was damaged. Rs 54 lakh was allocated for its repair, but it remained unrepaired. I filed an RTI and got details, and the road was quickly repaired after that. That was when I understood the value of RTI. I wish to make true the dream of Mahatma Gandhi of a free India that is corruption-free. That is what I am campaigning for," Kumar said. 

A letter has been sent by State Council Educational Research & Training (SCERT) to the secondary education director to consider incorporation of RTI-2005 in the curriculum. However, approval of the NCERT is needed in the matter, as secondary schools textbooks are prepared by the NCERT. Every year, the state takes copyright permission for these. 

An official in the education department confirmed that modalities in the matter were at discussion stage: "RTI should be incorporated from the next session in government schools," he said.


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