Topic– Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability,
3) India recently slipped to number 6 in global RTI rankings despite the RTI statute in India remaining the same along with its legal framework. Critically analyze.(250 words)
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the slip in India’s global RTI ratings from no. 2 in 2011 to no. 6 in 2018.
- Discuss about the nature of the index. E.g global RTI ratings is a programme founded by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD), a Canada-based non-governmental organisation, along with Access Info Europe; he global RTI rating is a system for assessing the strength of the legal framework for guaranteeing the right to information in a given country. It is, however, limited to measuring the legal framework only and does not gauge the quality of implementation etc.
- Discuss why India has slipped to a lower position. E.g The seventh indicator is the non-exclusion of executive and administrative units like ministries, local bodies, police, armed forces and bodies controlled or owned by the above. Our public authority definition covered these aspects, but CLD says that jurisdiction exclusion of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and broad exemption to 18 bodies under Section 24 reduced India’s points; Legal protections against imposing sanctions on those who, in good faith, release information which discloses wrongdoing (whistleblowers) is criterion 53. The rating agency maintains that in India there are no such protections, while Afghanistan and Serbia do have them. Section 21 of the Indian RTI Act says, “No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or any rule made thereunder”. This gives immunity to all persons who give information under this Act. But this is ignored etc.
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.