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Which is the Worst Performing State in RTI Responsiveness?
Jan 12, 2023
Today we will discuss the Worst Performing State in RTI Responsiveness in our today's edition of Current Affairs. Read further to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge and also understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus.
For Prelims: Indian Polity and Governance
About Right to Information Act, Article 19 of the Indian Constitution, State’s performance of RTI responsiveness
For Mains: General Studies Paper II - Important Aspects of Governance, Transparency and Accountability, E-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential.
About RTI Act and its features, , Right to Information (Amendment) Act, 2019, Benefits of RTI, Issues and Challenges with the implementation of the RTI Act
According to a report card on the performance of Information Commissions (ICs) in India for 2021-22 by the Satark Nagrik Sangathan, the State Information Commission of Tamil Nadu has been the worst performing as far as responsiveness under the RTI Act is concerned, furnishing only 14% of the information sought for 2021-22.
“Information is the currency of democracy” and critical to the emergence and development of a vibrant civil society. Discuss. (10 Marks, 150 Words)
State’s Responses to RTI
Maharashtra was ranked second-worst, sharing 23% of the information asked for.
Only 10 Information Commissions, which includes states of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Nagaland and Tripura, provided full information in response to the RTI applications filed as part of this assessment.
The State Information Commission (SIC) of Bihar significantly improved its performance in 2022, furnishing 67% of the information sought.
Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh returned around 40% of the appeals or complaints received by them.
About the Right to Information (RTI) Act
The Right to Information (RTI) Act was enacted by the Parliament in 2005 to empower citizens, promote accountability and transparency in the working of the government and contain corruption.
Under the Act, public Authorities need to make disclosures on various aspects of their structure and functioning.
“Public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted:
by or under the Constitution;
by any other law made by Parliament;
by any other law made by State Legislature;
by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any:
body owned, controlled or substantially financed;
non‑Government Organisation substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government.
Constitutional Backing of the RTI
The Right to Information (RTI) is an implied Fundamental Right under the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression (Article 19 of the Indian Constitution).
Features of the RTI Act
Proactive disclosure of information to the public.
Maintenance of duly cataloged and indeed records by the authorities.
Publication of records within 120 days of the enactment of the law and annual updation.
The application under RTI can be submitted in writing or electronically with the prescribed fee.
Designation of PIOs in all administrative units.
A time frame is set for obtaining information (30 days in general, 48 hours in cases concerning the life and liberty of a person, and 35 days when the request is submitted to APIO).
The Act mentions the information that has been exempted from the provisions of the Act.
The Act is retrospective in nature.
Three-tier structure for enforcing the right to information:
Public Information Officers: These Officers must provide information to an RTI applicant within 30 days of the request.
Appellate Authority: For appeals against decisions of the Public Information Officer.
State Information Commission or the Central Information Commission (CIC): To listen to appeals against the order of the Appellate Authority.