Day 60 – Q 1.The Right to Information forms the philosophical core of transparent governance. Elucidate.
1. The Right to Information forms the philosophical core of transparent governance. Elucidate.
सूचना का अधिकार पारदर्शी शासन का दार्शनिक आधार है। स्पष्ट करें।
Right to Information (RTI) Act has played role in ensuring transparency and accountability in the administration, empowering people with information and increase their participation in the governance of the country.
RTI, 2005 has brought a paradigm shift in the transparency and accountability in India. This is evident in form of an estimated 5-8 million RTI queries filed every year. Transparency as a general principle of probity refers to openness in the working of government.
The Right to Information forms the philosophical core of transparent governance:
- Right to Information is the most effective instrument to check corruption where the citizen has the right to take the initiatives to seek information from the state and thereby promotes openness, transparency and accountability in administration by making the government more open to public scrutiny.
- It also empowered the people to seek definite and direct answer from the officials of their works or lack of it thus facilitating and encouraging the participation of common people in the process of good governance.
- The Right to Information act is intended to promote accountability and transparency in government by making the process of government decision making more open. Though some departments of the Union government are exempted from this Act but the information can be sought if it is concerned with violation of human rights. Even the information from the private authority can be sought only through the controlling authority and controlling authority will send the notice to the institution concerned under section 11 of the Act.
- The larger use of RTI has been seen in areas of women empowerment, youth development, democratic rights, rights and entitlements of the underprivileged, abuse of executive discretion and strengthening of participative and good governance.
- RTI Act democratized the information and decentralized the power. Power no more remains confined to select few, rather it was made available equally to all the citizens.
- RTI Act has lent voice to the aspirations of ordinary citizens in issues of governance. It gave the common people a defining power to shape the government schemes and policies.
- It empowered the people to question, audit, review, examine, and assess government acts and decisions to ensure that these are consistent with the principles of public interests, good governance and justice.
- Of the millions of applications for information, less than 5 per cent have been denied information under various exemption categories. So, accountability has invariably led to efficiency and a sense of responsibility among government officials.
Success stories of RTI
- Adarsh Society Scam: a six-storey building meant for the widows of Kargil war heroes, turned into a 31-storey high-rise called Adarsh Housing Society. The location became the abode of politicians, bureaucrats, and top military officers. The nexus was exposed by RTI activists Simpreet Singh and Yogacharya Anandji.
- 23,000 loan fraud cases in past 5 years: Replying to an RTI, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had informed that 23,000 cases of fraud have been reported by various banks in the past five years, which involved Rs 1 lakh crore.
Thus, the impact of RTI in good governance is palpable with increase in participation of various stakeholders, improved transparency and accountability.