Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The RTI Act: A Real Step To Ensure Good Governance

Power is derived from knowledge and information is the basic component of knowledge. The transformation from governance to good governance is possible, if there is possibility of increasing participation of people in governance and free access of information. By realizing this fact, Indian parliament passed Right to Information Act 2005 to make government, accountable, responsible, efficient and transparent. Access to information and openness are of crucial importance in ensuring the accountability of the government. In a democratic country, Government from village to central level is accountable to the people and people have right to know as to what the Government is doing and how it is doing and why it is doing. There is a presumption that whatever is done by the Government is done for the betterment of the people. A government which is not open may be tempted to commit administrative misconduct. To be governed well is the right of every citizen. The presence of so much poverty, illiteracy, lack of health care, rampant corruption, increasing violence and criminalization in society today compelled the citizens of the country to think for better administration because we have failed to achieve our goals what we set out at independence. The basic object of the Right to Information Act is to empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Government, 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. Administrative accountability is a facet of administrative efficiency. Publicity of information serves as an instrument for the oversight of citizens. Law could become a means for fighting corruption. Therefore, a Government which produces a trustworthy flow of information creates greater certainty and transparency. Information is essentially the oxygen of democracy, and as such, the Act is a major step towards making Indian democracy more transparent and accountable. Essentially the new law aims at maintaining transparency in the processes of policy formulation and its implementation, eliminating dereliction of legitimate duties by public authorities and making our public life free from corruptions which are the hallmarks of good governance. Thus it can be rightly mentioned that Right to Information Act is an agent of good governance. It makes administration more accountable to the people. It makes people aware of administration and gives them an opportunity to take part in decision making process. It promotes democratic ideology by promoting openness and transparency in the administration.

Dr. Ramesh Kumar, Associate Professor, JEMTEC School of Law, Greater Noida, affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi

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