RTI & Institutional Efficiency

Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid recently stated that the Right to Information Act (RTI) is causing serious roadblocks in government functioning. The RTI Act has been a major milestone in the history of the constitutionally governed democratic Republic of India.

This Act has helped in exposing graft and incompetence, it has also led to the inception of transparency in government functioning, decision making and policy implementation but at the same time it has been greatly misused to create unnecessary obstructions to various policies to satisfy vested interests, political purposes and to garner access to politically sensitive information capable of evolving into a sensational news item.

This Act like all other acts has been rightly as well as wrongly used. What we need to do is to draw a clear line of demarcation between transparency and restricted institutional autonomy necessary for flawless functioning. Sometimes the tab of the RTI which hovers over the offices of the PM, CJI etc becomes burdening in nature. An effective mechanism capable of ousting and specifically stopping the misuse of an Act of this much importance is essential for good governance capable of giving inclusive growth. There is no denying of the fact that governments do need to be accountable to the general public but they deserve some secrecy to conduct diplomacy and statesmanship and this fact needs to be respected.

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