Even after 15 years of enactment, the RTI faces multiple issues in its effective implementation. Critically discuss while suggesting measures to address challenges in effective implementation of the RTI Act.
RTI (Right to Information) is an important instrument of participatory democracy which has led to a significant boost in accountability of government towards people. Though the RTI Act completed its 15 years, the Act still faces lot of issues at both demand and supply side like huge backlog of cases, headless information commission, untrained public Information officers, inadequate infrastructure, misuse of RTI etc.
Some of the measures which are required to be addressed may be as follows:
- Government must adopt open data policy to reduce the burden. Ex – ‘Jan Soochna Portal’ in Rajasthan.
- Preventing misuse of RTI by knowing reason behind RTI filing.
- Mass awareness by radio television, regional languages in rural areas and by adding RTI Act in school curriculum.
- Centre and state must expedite filling up vacancies in state and central information commissions.
- Sufficient fund allocation by centre and state to RTI regulatory bodies.
- Laws like Lokpal, Lokayukta , Whistle-blower protection etc. needs to be operationalize to strengthen RTI.
- Stringent action must be taken to prevent RTI attacks, recently 40 RTI activists got killed who exposes wrong doings of government.
- RTI needs to provide information in regional and local languages as well to make it easy for rural folks.
- Training of personal information officers is required
Despite having some shortcomings of the law, success of RTI within short span of 15 Years is remarkable achievement. Democracy is all about governance of the people, by the people and for the people. The need of the hour is to strengthen third paradigm to achieve social justice, transparency and accountable government.