Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Most states lag in implementing RTI

Posted by rtiact2005 on October 19, 2006

Most states lag in implementing RTI
Himanshi Dhawan
[ 19 Oct, 2006 0149hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]


NEW DELHI: This is one report card that could make it to the hall of shame. A year after the Right to Information (RTI) Act was made operational, barely a handful of states have passed the halfway mark in implementing RTI.

Only eight of the 29 states and five Union territories have ranked above 50% in RTI compliance.

The study conducted by a Non Governmental Organisation, Centre for Civil Society, examined all states except Jammu & Kashmir to judge how many were complying with Section 4 of the Right To Information (termed as duty to publish or DTP) Act that makes it compulsory for states to give suo moto certain information relating to the functioning of the administration, to the public.

Incidentally, literacy levels have not impacted awareness levels in states. States that have high literacy levels, including Kerala (90.92%) or Mizoram (88.49%), have lagged behind in implementing Duty To Publish.

Even states where civil society movements are strong have suffered. West Bengal ranks 14 in the charts with barely 24% compliance while Rajasthan – long considered the fountainhead of the Right To Information movement – is almost at the bottom of the ladder with 11%.

And surprisingly, states like Madhya Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Chandigarh were on top of the heap with over 70% compliance.

Predictably, Punjab and Delhi came in fourth and fifth with 64% and 59% compliance of RTI.

Manipur and Tamil Nadu ended up with 5% and states like Assam, Jharkhand and Sikkim joined Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu at the end of the list.

The CCS studied compliance of DTP in the education sector. Under DTP, government and public authorities are bound to give certain information related to their functions, the public information officers appointed to address appeals and details about their budget and subsidies.

Commenting on the study, Gautam Bastian from CCS said that better implementation of DTP would remove some of the obstacles that the bureaucracy complains about.

With most of the information on their websites, offices would then be inundated with much fewer appeals and ensure better implementation of the law.


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