International Day for Universal Access to Information

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2023 Date28 September 2023
2024 Date28 September 2024

International Day for Universal Access to Information

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International Day for Universal Access to Information aims to raise awareness about the importance of free access to information for socioeconomic development, empowerment, and resource allocation. This day emphasizes the need for transparent governance, equitable education, and the promotion of human rights. Furthermore, it highlights the significance of utilizing information to combat corruption, promote environmental sustainability, and foster innovation, ultimately making societies more inclusive and resilient.

Established by UNESCO in 2015, International Day for Universal Access to Information, which stresses the importance of access to information as a fundamental right, holds particular relevance in a diverse and populous country like India. With one of the world's largest democracies, India is continually striving for transparency and accountability in governance through initiatives such as the Right to Information (RTI) Act of 2005. The Act serves as an essential tool in empowering citizens to request information from public authorities, thus promoting transparency. Additionally, digitalization initiatives by the Indian government, such as Digital India, aim to eliminate the digital divide and create an inclusive society where every citizen has access to information and knowledge.

In India, International Day for Universal Access to Information is observed through various events and activities organized by governmental and non-governmental organizations. Educational institutions, civil society organizations, and media outlets play a crucial role in promoting this day by discussing the importance of accessible information, organizing workshops and seminars, raising awareness on the use of RTI, and celebrating successful examples of increased access to information. These events contribute to the overall objective of empowering citizens and fostering a transparent and responsive democratic process in the country. International Day for Universal Access to Information is observed annually on September 28th.

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Facts about this observance

  • The theme for International Day for Universal Access to information in 2022 was Artifical Intelligence, e-Governance and Access to Information.
  • Public access to information can enhance the protection of human rights, bring about better governance, including by fighting corruption, and drive sustainable development. - Moez Chakchouk
  • More than 90% of Americans have internet access, with 77% reporting broadband access at home.
  • India has the world's largest biometric identification system, Aadhaar, which provides a unique 12-digit identification number to over a billion citizens. The Aadhaar number has become a crucial tool for accessing various services and schemes, thereby boosting access to information in the country.
  • Despite significant advancements, India still faces challenges in universal access to information, including inadequate digital infrastructure, low internet penetration in rural areas, and the digital divide between urban and rural populations.

Top things to do in India for this observance

  • Visit your public library and check out their available resources.
  • Write letters or emails to local lawmakers, government officials, or media outlets, expressing the importance of universal access to information. Highlight how it can contribute to transparency, accountability, and good governance.
  • Utilize online learning platforms to acquire new skills or deepen your understanding of a subject. Engaging in continuous learning fosters an informed society and enables greater access to information.

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