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Analysing the Right to Information Act in India

  • Date Submitted: 11/14/2013 10:23 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 39.2 
  • Words: 490
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Citizens’ Access to Information (ATI) is an essential step
in ensuring transparency and accountability in
government systems and processes. When a government
is transparent, there is less chance for corruption and
more room for accountability. That’s why Freedom of
Information Acts (FOIAs) are becoming standard good
practice in the international arena. The RTI generally
understood as the ‘right to access information held by
public authorities’ is not just a necessity of the citizens;
it is a precondition to good governance. To be specific,
ATI makes democracy more vibrant and meaningful and
allows citizens to participate in the governance process
of the county. In particular, it empowers ordinary citizens,
especially those in rural areas.
When people have ATI they naturally tend to make more
meaningful decisions, raise informed opinions, influence
policies affecting their society and even help shape a
more assured future for the next generation. RTI has
been recognised in Sweden1 for over 200 years.
Importantly, however, over the last ten years it has gained
widespread recognition in all regions of the world. While
related legislations were adopted only by 13 countries
in 1990, this number has now grown to 852
and more,
and similar such pieces of legislations are under active
consideration in many other countries.
In India, RTI Act was introduced in 2005 and since then
this law has proved to be a strong weapon in the hands
of people, for ensuring transparency in government
departments and containing corruption.
International Trend
The first RTI law was enacted by Sweden in 1766, largely
motivated by the parliament’s interest in access to
information held by the King. The Swedish example was
later followed by the US, which enacted its first law in
1966 and then by Norway in 1970.  The interest in
Freedom of Information (FOI) laws took a leap forward
when the US, reeling from the 1974 Watergate scandal3 ,
passed a strong FOI law...

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