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A Decade of RTI as a Tool for Good Governance

“Good governance” is in turn a replica of people’s participation, accountability and constitutional governance.As a matter of fact ,Right to information derive it’s genesis from the Indian Constitution and the article relevant which is fundamental in essence is Article 19(1)(a) ,the right to speech and expression although having certain restrictions.

As quoted bt[1] Agnihotri and B.V.R.Subramanyam, RTI is a part and partial success for good governance.They said the minimal expectations of citizens from the governance are :

a)Timely prompt service

b)Minimum Red tape

c)Minimum wasting time

d)Minimum visiting to multiple officers

e)Minimization of Arbitrariness

f)Prompt information in delays etc.

Absolutely,the above depicted points prove to be a symbol for a good governance. Gone are those days wherein government maintain certain amount of secrecy in exceptional cases. Even the assembly is put to live and that is what can be termed as “Real democracy”. Participatory governance is what a true nation needs and RTI satisfies it’s purpose, or say slowly being made a satisfactory one in the present decade of governance by delivering significant social benefits.

Access to information is a societal requirement and The Right to Information Act,2005 ensures  the same involving in it the spirit of e-governance as well.

CORRELATION BETWEEN RTI AND ELEMENTS OF GOOD GOVERNANCE

The Right to Information Act,2005 laid emphasis on good governance and the major elements that can be sought into the ambit are people’s participation, transparency, accountability and curbing corruption as mentioned above. The objectives of the said Act are competent and reasonable enough when made a satisfactory implementation deriving it’s real fruits. Development is the key for a better structure of governance, especially in India . Access to every possible information by a citizen irrespective of race,caste,creed i.e in simple without any sort of minimal discrimination is a step made forward in the process of development which the RTI ensures being the tool for the decade.

“Open governance is the new democratic culture of an open society towards which every liberal democracy is moving and our country should be no exception.In a county like India which is socialistic pattern of society,right to know becomes a necessity for the poor, ignorant and illiterate masses.”[2]

But however efficient the Act maybe one has to bear in mind that RTI is an aiding mechanism for a good governance but not a substitute. Soli Sorabji has rightly pointed out that – “Lack of transparency is once of the main causes for all pervading corruption and RTI would lead to openness,accountability and integrity”.[3]

In the recent past,some of the areas wherein RTI found it’s space by the way of filing petitions are :

  • Corruption
  • Water & Sanitation
  • Health Services
  • Forged Documents
  • unneccessary Expenditures by the Governments
  • Vacancies to be filled
  • Unauthorised gain by “Creamy layers”

MECHANISM OF RTI AS A PERSONAL APPROACH

Now that even though India possess the master key over the IT sector , there is still a backlog in the implementation of the Act besides having an all the more efficient Act in place. Not withstanding with any statistcal information or surveys,on a very personal note and as the context demands there is indeed a neccesity to mention it here. When filed a petition in one of the earlier month’s ,there was a reply from the PIO within 30 days of filing the petition stating all the appropriate information thus asked for, in a complete official manner and a seal affixed by the PIO,  as mentioned in the provisions of the Act.

What else can claim a better position when compared to a personal experience.?

Unlike any other enactments , RTI built out it’s own significance and slowly the mechanism is on a role of efficient functioning which now can be stated as the strongest tool of the future decades too in order to uphold the spirit of democracy.

RTI  AND IT’S AWARENESS FOR A GOOD GOVERNANCE :

Concern over spreading the horizon of RTI is a trend today and simultaneously there has been a growing awareness and increased civil society participation when been compared to the preceding years. One interesting aspect in regarding to RTI is that the Act itself speaks in it’s provisions that an awareness is to be made to all governmental authorities ,educational institutions. Even though given a phenomenal approach RTI awareness is not as rapid as it is expected to be. As a matter of fact RTI and its provisions are therein taught to only law students and are known by only higher officials of any department ,but not students of any other stream and illiterates as well.

In order to bring out a nominal stand in creating awareness youth participation is a major necessity as of now. Awareness campaigns in collaboration with NGO’s will bring out a true change and increases the scope of participatory governance which in turn can come out with  certain effective schemes that befits the society and to people’s priority.

CONCLUSION

Without an iota of doubt , implementation is one thing that always finds road blocks especially in the rural areas.For a good governance, everything starts out with smaller villages and panchayats and latter comes the urban development. RTI has to go viral and find it’s place in every nook and corner of the Nation. It is one of the powerful and competent tool that India has which has to be safeguarded rightly.

REFERENCES

[1] SeeRight to Information Act :  a key to good governance”- https://www.oneindia.com/2008/08/15/information-act-good-governance-manmohan-1218791160.html

[2] S.P.Gupta Vs Union of India (AIR) 1982 SC(149)

[3] See : https://www.legallyindia.com/tag/soli-sorabjee

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