The Right to Information Act- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 2: Important aspects of governance– Citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
The Right to Information Act
- The Right to Information Act is a revolutionary Act that aims to promote transparency in government institutions in India.
- The Right to Information Act came into existence in 2005, after sustained efforts of anti-corruption activists.
- We have already discussed the key concept of-
- In this article, we are going to discuss various criticisms and the significance of the RTI Act.
The Right to Information Act- Associated Challenges
- Misuse for harassing public authorities: Many times, information is asked which is not in any public interest and can be misused to harass public authorities. For example-
- Asking for desperate and voluminous information.
- To attain publicity by filing RTI
- RTI filed as a vindictive tool to harass or pressurize the public authority
- Lack of awareness: Poor Literacy and lack of awareness among the majority of the population in the country results in poor utilization of RTI for holding public authorities accountable and ensure public interests.
- Though RTI’s aim is not to create a grievance redressal mechanism, the notices from Information Commissions often spur the public authorities to redress grievances.
The Right to Information Act- Major Significance
- Empowers Citizen: to question the secrecy and abuse of power practiced in governance.
- Acts as ‘Public Good’: it is relevant to the interests of citizens and is a crucial pillar for the functioning of a transparent and vibrant democracy.
- The information obtained not only helps in making the government accountable but is also useful for other purposes which would serve the overall interests of the society.
- Information obtained under RTI may help in exposing corruption, human rights violations, and wrongdoings by the state.
- Reliable Instrument to Ensure Accountability: The access to information about policies, decisions, and actions of the government that affect the lives of citizens is an instrument to ensure accountability.