Event Details Future of Civil Society in Delhi-25 Oct 17 IIC URJA Events—Report on Brainstorming Session on Future Of Civil Society In Delhi Held at India International Centre, New Delhi on 25 October 2017Worried with the declining cohesion in the civil society ranks URJA which often takes it upon itself to lead from the front in such issues decided to call for a brainstorming session to discuss the ‘Future of Civil society in Delhi’ Attended by RWA activists from various assembly constituencies as well as activists in the realm of Environment, accountability and Justice the full day session was held at the India International Centre, New Delhi. The session was attended by Information Commissioner, Sh. Yashovardhan Azad with data based organisations represented by Gen. Anil Verma of the Association od Democrativc Reforms(ADR), Anjali Bhardwaj & Amrita Johri from Satark Nagarik Sangathan, and Anjali Shrivastava from Praja. A discussion on the role of RTI in civil society seeking information from the Authorities came up for discussion with participants demanding that some information be put by Government departments by themselves. This particularly applies to information that pertains to key performance measures and the quality of services delivered by government departments at both central and state level. That data is critical to help the public in making informed choices was evident in the belief of civil society participants. The participants agreed that Civil Society pressure should be issue-related and that would dictate whether political representatives or bureaucrats or both be questioned. It was unanimously agreed that any dilution of the RTI act should be strongly resisted. There is a need for Civil Society organizations and activists to collaborate amongst themselves based on common issues. The problem of the first appellate authority being from within the same department was bought up and participants agreed that indeed this was a problem in dealing with corrupt or inefficient officers reticent to share information. Sh. Sanjay Kaul, the founder of URJA said it was incumbent upon Civil Society to be able to translate for the general public issues related to quality of life and justice and be able to communicate them clearly so that those issues gain traction in public imagination. Sh. Sreekant Khandekar from AFAQS advised the participants on the changing role of social media and how it could be useful for Civil Society initiatives as well as sharing information and awareness among the common public.