RTI rank: India slips a spot to No. 6

NEW DELHI: All isn't proper with the Right to Information (RTI) Act in India. A contemporary score of 123 countries with useful proper to information laws noticed the country slip to quantity six at the listing. While it slipped via only a notch from final yr, it is several rungs down the listing from 2011, when the worldwide RTI score started. India was at quantity 2 then.

The score, which is beneath a venture via Access Info Europe and the Centre for Law and Democracy, looks at how RTI laws function throughout countries that experience offered the sort of legislation. The listing makes use of a 150-point scale to suggest the strengths and weaknesses of freedom of information laws around the world. The rating is in keeping with 61 indicators categorised beneath seven heads - proper to access, scope, requesting procedure, exceptions and refusals, appeals, sanctions and protections, promotional measures.

The international scores, which started in 2011, have most often had India giving a excellent display: quantity two in 2011, 2012 and 2013. It thereafter slipped down the next yr, and has now fell to quantity six, at the back of Sri Lanka, Mexico and Afghanistan, which got here first this yr.

According to a survey of information from the once a year reports of state information commissions and the CIC, there are myriad reasons for the deficient display. Transparency International India, which performed the survey, found an expanding emptiness in more than one state information commissions together with the central information fee (CIC). Rama Nath Jha of TII says RTI needs "affirmative will" of the federal government. "Or else it will end up being the power of the powerful," added Jha. Recent attempts to make changes in the RTI Act have added to the disquiet, add activists.

The vacancies are staggering throughout lots of the state information commissions. Over 30 per cent, or 48 out of 156 general posts are vacant across the state information commissions (SICs) and the CIC. Only 12 states have crammed all posts - of state leader information commissioners and data commissioners - of their fee, leading to no emptiness.

Despite a push for digitisation via the federal government, maximum states are yet to make RTI accessible online. For instance, only 11 - out of a complete of 29 states - have provisions for online appeals/complaints. Chhattisgarh is the only state that has updated annual reports online from 2005-2017. Also, only 10 (out of general 29) have updated their annual reports.

While the federal government has maintained that "frivolous" RTIs add to the weight of government staff - CIC too has come down hard on some RTI applicants-the fact is that almost all RTIs filed are via common other people to access elementary information, says Jha. "Data reveals majority of the applications are not filed by activists but ordinary citizens, on having been denied legitimate rights and entitlements, hence RTI Act by and large also serves as an alternative grievance redressal mechanism."
RTI rank: India slips a spot to No. 6 RTI rank: India slips a spot to No. 6 Reviewed by kailash soni on October 12, 2018 Rating: 5
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