Topic – Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
2) The recently proposed amendments to the RTI Act would, instead of strengthening the hands of the commissions, weaken them. Discuss.(250 words)
Why this question
RTI is one of the landmark acts which has led to a significant boost in accountability of the govt towards the people. The govt has recently proposed some changes in the act which are said to be regressive in nature.
Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to write in detail about the changes proposed in the RTI act and discuss as to how they will dilute the powers of the commission instead of strengthening them.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the role of RTI act in improving the transparency and accountability of the government.
Discuss the recently proposed changes in the act and write in detail as to how they will dilute the powers of the CIC. E.g
Proposal to do away with the equivalence of the Central Information Commissioners with the Election Commissioners on the ground that the two have different mandates. The underlying assumption is that transparency is less important for a democracy than holding of free and fair elections; Proposal to replace the existing fixed five-year tenure of the Information Commissioners with a tenure as may be prescribed by it. This would make the tenure a largesse to be bestowed by the government and would be detrimental to the independence and authority of the Information Commissions; The Justice Srikrishna Committee has proposed an amendment that would broaden the definition of ‘harm’, restricting disclosure of personal information even where it may be clearly linked to some public activity etc.
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.