Bringing Information to the Citizens

Right to Information Act 2005 mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information. […]

The basic object of the Right to Information Act is to empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Government, contain corruption, and make our democracy work for the people in real sense. It goes without saying that an informed citizen is better equipped to keep necessary vigil on the instruments of governance and make the government more accountable to the governed. The Act is a big step towards making the citizens informed about the activities of the Government.

Source: About Right to Information Act 2005: Bringing Information to the Citizens
Date accessed: 17 July 2018

“The theoretical debate on caste among social scientists has receded into the background in recent years. [C]aste is in no sense disappearing: indeed, the present wave of neo-liberal policies in India, with privatisation of enterprises and education, has strengthened the importance of caste ties, as selection to posts and educational institutions is less based on merit through examinations, and increasingly on social contact as also on corruption.” – Harald Tambs-Lyche (Professor Emeritus, Université de Picardie, Amiens) in “Caste: History and the Present” (Academia Letters, Article 1311, 2021) | Learn more >>

“India, also known as Bharat, is a Union of States. It is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic with a parliamentary system of government.” – Constitution of India

Source: National Portal of India
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Originally a product of the anti-colonial movement, the Indian press used to be seen as fairly progressive but things changed radically in the mid-2010s […] Indian journalists who are too critical of the government are subjected to all-out harassment and attack campaigns by Modi devotees known as bhakts. […]

Indian law is protective in theory but charges of defamation, sedition, contempt of court and endangering national security are increasingly used against journalists critical of the government, who are branded as “anti-national.” […]

With an average of three or four journalists killed in connection with their work every year, India is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the media. Journalists are exposed to all kinds of physical violence including police violence, ambushes by political activists, and deadly reprisals by criminal groups or corrupt local officials. […]

“India Index” (2021 & 2022) by Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

Any move to amend the RTI Act must involve public consultation

Aruna Roy & Nikhil Dey, The Hindu, 17 July 2018 | Read the full comment here >>

[…] Since 2005, the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005 has helped transform the relationship between the citizen and government, dismantle illegitimate concentrations of power, legitimise the demand for answers, and assist people in changing centuries of feudal and colonial relationships. But public servants, troubled by accountability, have seen this as interference. As a result, the RTI Act has been under constant threat of amendments. At least two major attempts to amend the Act have been met with such strong popular resistance that the government of the day has had to back off. […]

The spirit of the RTI law lies in not just the filing of an RTI application and getting an answer. It actually mandates the replacement of a prevailing culture of secrecy with a culture of transparency. […]

Citizens’ movements in India have been energetic and courageous. The use of the RTI has led to more than 70 citizens fighting corruption losing their lives, but the government remains unaffected. […]

Nikhil Dey and Aruna Roy are founder members of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan and National Campaign for People’s Right to Information

Source: Dark clouds over the RTI
Date accessed: 27 July 2021

The Right to Information Act 2005 guarantees access to information about government policies and their implementation to Indian citizens. This short introduction analyses the evolution of this landmark Act, the procedures involved in seeking information, the duties of information suppliers, as also the kinds of information exempted from disclosure. Through in-depth comparative analyses of the law in various parts of the world, the book captures the strengths and drawbacks of the RTI Act, narrates success stories, and suggests policy measures to improve its implementation.

About the Author
Sudhir Naib is Professor, Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management, IILM Institute for Higher Education, New Delhi.

Source: Publisher’s information: The Right to Information in India by Sudhir Naib (Oxford India Short Introductions , 2013)
Date accessed: 27 July 2021

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A constitution which guarantees: “The State shall not discriminate against any citizen” – The Sovereign Republic of India | Learn more >>

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