PCRF is a Delhi (NCR) based organisation that works for just, transparent, accountable and participatory governance. In the process of achieving these goals we strive to ensure equitable opportunities for development for the underprivileged and the marginalized.
To realize this vision, PCRF is working in two key areas:
- Right to Information (RTI)
- Local Self Governance
Right to Information
Right to Information (RTI) Act was passed by Indian Parliament to bring transparency in an environment riddled with intrigue, secrecy and corruption. It allows Indian citizens to ask questions from the government, seek copies of government documents and inspect them, inspect government works and also collect sample of materials. People have used this law effectively to bring about both big and small changes.
RTI is enabling people to say no to bribes. Earlier they felt completely helpless when they approached a government department. Now, if they know how to use RTI, they can get their work done. RTI has been used to bring about policy changes as well as to feed hungry mouths. It is an all encompassing act with consequences that have prompted some to say that it is the most important legislation since independence.
Despite the power of RTI to transform Indian democracy, the Act faces stiff opposition from many bureaucrats. Likewise, many Information Commissioners, who are the final adjudicating authority under the Act, are not performing satisfactorily. But there are many among the bureaucrats who are committed to transparency and honesty.
The RTI is just a first step towards achieving transparency and accountability in government. PCRF is committed to increasing awareness about RTI and ensuring that the act realizes its full potential in the years to come.
Local Self Governance
Local self governance is about transferring control of an area's funds, functions and functionaries to the citizens of the area. The idea is to decentralize decision-making, distribute executive power to the level of the average citizen and ensure accountability of the bureaucracy. This can be achieved by empowering local people’s assemblies: "Gram Sabha" in rural areas and "Mohalla Sabha" in urban areas.
Each assembly shall meet weekly/ monthly and collectively take decisions. The bureaucracy shall be forced to abide by these decisions and can be taken to task at the local level if they fail to perform. Assemblies shall have complete control over assets/functions and institutionalized channels for influencing decisions on larger issues with local implications. Each assembly shall receive a significant percentage of state/municipal annual budget (plan expenditure) funds.
PCRF is working towards realizing the vision of local self-governance. Click here for more information.
Public Cause Research Foundation was set up on the 19th of December, 2006 by Magsaysay awardee Arvind Kejriwal, former journalist Manish Sisodia and Abhinandan Sekhri to ensure that our society becomes more inclusive and that real power rests with the common citizens of India.
To this end, Mr Kejriwal donated the prize money of his Magsaysay award as corpus fund to PCRF. The Foundation works to collect, research, analyse, and disseminate information about various aspects of governance to ensure that rules and laws are enacted and enforced and policies implemented. For this, PCRF uses the RTI act extensively and promotes awareness of the act.