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The Right to Information in India: Implementation and Impact

  • Date Submitted: 06/16/2012 10:57 AM
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Afro Asian Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 1, No. 1 Quarter I V 2010
ISSN 2229 – 5313

The Right to Information in India: Implementation and Impact
Smita Srivastava
(Associate Professor of Political Science, St. John’s College, Agra, India)

ABSTRACT
The Right to Information Act 2005 was passed by the UPA (United Progressive Alliance)
Government with a sense of pride. It flaunted the Act as a milestone in India’s democratic
journey. It is five years since the RTI was passed; the performance on the implementation front
is far from perfect. Consequently, the impact on the attitude, mindset and behaviour patterns of
the public authorities and the people is not as it was expected to be. Most of the people are still
not aware of their newly acquired power. Among those who are aware, a major chunk either
does not know how to wield it or lacks the guts and gumption to invoke the RTI. A little more
stimulation by the Government, NGOs and other enlightened and empowered citizens can
augment the benefits of this Act manifold. RTI will help not only in mitigating corruption in
public life but also in alleviating poverty- the two monstrous maladies of India.

India always took pride in being the largest democracy, but with the passing of the Right to
Information Act in 2005, it has also become an accountable, interactive and participatory
democracy. This right has catapulted the Indian citizen on a pedestal from where he can take
stock of administrative decisions and actions and make sure that his interests are protected and
promoted by the Government. The Right to Information Act is an important landmark for
Indian democracy. By this Act the citizen of India has been empowered like never before. He
can now question, audit, review, examine, and assess government acts and decisions to ensure
that these are consistent with the principles of public interests, good governance and justice.
This act promotes transparency and accountability in administration by making the...

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