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Central Information Commission, the apex body under India’s transparency regime must take urgent steps to remove hurdles in the citizens quest for accountability. Examine.

Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

2. Central Information Commission, the apex body under India’s transparency regime must take urgent steps to remove hurdles in the citizens quest for accountability. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

At the centre, it is the Central Information Commission (CIC). Until the 2019 amendment to the RTI Act, Information Commissioners (ICs) appointed to the CIC were equal in status to the Chief Election Commissioner, and that of a Supreme Court judge. They had a five-year fixed term and terms of service. After the amendments of 2019, the Centre gave itself powers to change and decide these terms whenever it wished, thereby striking at the independence of the commission and those who man it.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the healthcare challenges and ways to overcome it.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by writing about the aims and objectives of Central Information Commission.

Body:

First, Discuss the issues and constraints faced by CIC in implementing the RTI act. E.g There is no centralised database of RTI applicants at the centre/ state level, thus resulting in decreased accuracy of the annual RTI reports submitted by CIC; There is a general public perception that CIC has been lenient towards the unaccountable PIOs; lack of monitoring and review mechanisms in CIC to make public officers comply with the provisions of the RTI act; High pendency of cases and delayed appointments in CIC etc.

Next, write about the changes introduced by the 2019 amendment to the RTI Act and its impact on the working of CIC.

Next, write about the measures needed to uphold transparency and accountability.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.