Introduction: The Right to Information is the key to all other rights. It is among the most important instruments to effectively empower those to whom power should belong in democracy - the people. The United Nations has called it the touchstone of all the freedoms to which UN is consecrated.3 The history of the recognition of the right to information is much older though. The first country to have the RTI law was Finland and Sweden in 1766 when the former was a territory governed by Sweden. The joint Parliament of the then Finland and Sweden adopted the first RTI law of the world titled Access to Public Records Act, 1766. Nearly seventy countries have since enacted RTI law or act, of which over 40 have done so during the decade of nineties and thereafter. The newly elected Government of Bangladesh adopted the Right to Information Act in the first session of the 9th Parliament on March 29, 2009, marking a significant step forward in fulfilling the constitutional pledge of the state of Bangladesh. This upsurge of the RTI law worldwide comes as an indicator of the growing recognition of the importance of the citizens’ access to information as a catalyst for strengthening democracy, promoting human rights and good governance, and fighting corruption. Enactment of RTI laws has in many cases taken persistent efforts of campaign. and advocacy by a multiplicity of stakeholders in the public, private, and non-governmental sectors, particularly the latter who like in Bangladesh, played the catalytic role. The experience of RTI movement shows that while enactment of the law appears as a dream-come-true for the campaigners, its implementation, like any other law enforcement, is much more challenging. Thanks to the adoption of the RTI Act, Bangladesh has also placed before itself the challenge of implementing the Act and delivering the people the right to information. This paper seeks answer to the questions on why is it important to promote and protect people’s right to information; what are some of the key preconditions and factors that should be in place to ensure effective delivery of benefits of the RTI Act; and what are the roles of the key stakeholders.
Right to Information, which may also be referred to as Freedom of Information is now a universally recognized right. It is a fundamental key to the all the other rights. The United Nation in its first session of general assembly adopted the Regulation (59)1 which declares, “Freedom of Information is a fundamental human right and is the touchstone of all the freedoms to which the United Nations is concerned.”1 In a democratic society people are the most powerful element and Right to Information empowers them to realize the fruits of Democracy. Transparent governance structure is an absolute requirement for free debate and accountability that encourage citizens to engage with public officials and make the state a more effective one. Governments cannot be transparent without creating regime where general people have a right to know what their Government is doing or what information it is holding. Adams2 puts emphasis that it is indispensable that the people acquire knowledge in order to participate in politics. He stated, The people have a right, an indisputable, inalienable, indefeasible divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers’’. He went on saying, ‘‘the preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks, is of more importance than all the property of all the rich men in the country. Freedom of information is important because of the following reasons:
1. Confidence and loyalty thrive where people have the right to know. 2. Patriotism springs from the people’s own convictions, based not upon government...
...The right to seek, receive and impart information
Freedom of information is considered a fundamental human right, protected by international and constitutional law, that should essentially be promoted to the maximum extent possible given its critical role in democracy and public participation in political life. Freedom of information refers primarily to the access of information held by public bodies, reflecting the principle that they do not hold information on their own behalf, but rather for the benefit of the public sphere. However, it also includes the right to seek, receive and impart information.
- International standards
The Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 1948 states that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. This means that freedom of expression, one of the fundamental freedoms, do not only refers to opinions and thoughts but also to information that can or can not be related to them. Thus, Article 19 brings an expansion of the scope of freedom of expression, since it refers to all the processes...
...'Information' as a term has been derived from the Latin words 'Formation' and 'Forma' which means giving shape to something and forming a pattern respectively.
Information adds something new to our awareness and removes the vagueness of our ideas. Information is Power, and as the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee stated, "The Government wants to share power with the humblest; it wants to empower the weakest. It is precisely because of this reason that the Right to Information has to be ensured for all."
The Freedom of Information Bill 2000 was introduced in the parliament on 25th July 2000, there have been earlier instances where a proposition of the similar subject has been moved into the house, and this traces back to as early as in 1966 when the Press Council of India prepared the draft bill in order to secure the right to information then again in 1997 The Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad also prepared a bill, both these bill had initiated a debate on the national level and a working group was constituted which was to look in to the validity and the constitutionality of the bill. The report of this working group recommended that the right to information is not only feasible but also vital. The Working Group recommended that the bill should be named as Freedom of Information Bill as the Right...
2. Jan lokpal Bill
5. Environmental issues
7. Right to Reject
8. Right of Information
9. Leadership – do or don’t
Global Warming Vs Global Cooling
11. Indian Educational System
Essay on Terrorism - A Threat to Mankind
Terrorism can be defined as the use of violence to achieve some goals. It is completely different from war and policy.
The evils of terrorism have considerably grown over years. Terrorism has affected not only countries like U.S.A. or UK; it has also affected undeveloped countries like Afghanistan and Kazakhstan by bomb explosions, discriminate killings, hijacking, black mails etc.
All this is executed with terrible cruelty if the demand of money or a terrorists’ release is not accepted. Mainly, terrorist aim against whom they regard as their enemies or those is their obstacles in the path of their goals.
Terrorism can be differentiated into many categories, of which the main are Political terrorism and Criminal terrorism. Political Terrorism is much more dangerous than Criminal Terrorism.
There is also one category of Regional Terrorism, which is the most violent. As terrorism believes in power of guns and bombs over dialogue, so it has become a serious threat to dealt with.
It does not matter that their goals are illegal or unethical. Flight hijacking is one of their most preferred targets to spread terror. In India, government has made...
2010, April 27
Right To Information Act 2009
M S Siddiqui
A citizen of a free and democratic country has the right to have access to information and know everything happening around him. It is a fundamental right of every citizen as enshrined in the UN resolution in its very first session in 1946, stating that 'Freedom of information is a fundamental humanright.'
It is interesting to note that the right to information laws existed about 200 years before the UN resolution was adopted. Sweden passed its Freedom of the Press Act in 1766.
Access to information is a basic democratic right. The access to information or freedom of expression is the precondition to fulfillment of all other rights in a democratic society.
The developing countries are lagging behind in this respect. There is pressure from media and civil society groups, both domestic and international, for greater access to government information. International bodies, donors such as World Bank, International Monetary Fund etc. are promoting such laws in developing countries and have drafted guidelines or model legislation to promote freedom of information. This is an effort on their part to increase government transparency and reduce corruption. Transparency...
... IIPM, MUMBAI
SUBJECT: LEGAL SYSTEM
TOPIC: RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT PROVIDES A TOOL TO IMPROVE TRANSPERANCY & VALUE-ADDED PRACTISES IN PUBLIC DOMAIN
SUBMITTED ON: November 7, 2010
SR. NO. | TOPIC | PAGE NO. |
1 | INTRODUCTION | 3 |
2 | RTI & THE ELEMENTS OF GOOD GOVERNANCE | 5 |
3 | THE 3-STAGE REGIME FOR ACCESSING INFORMATION | 7 |
4 | HOW A CITIZEN SHOULD GO ABOUT EXERCISING HIS/HER RIGHT TO INFORMATION | 7 |
5 | A FEW USEFUL TIPS WHEN FRAMING QUESTIONS | 8 |
6 | DUTIES OF PIO | 8 |
7 | FEES CHARGEABLE FROM APPLICANTS | 12 |
8 | INFORMATION WHICH CAN BE DENIED | 13 |
9 | APPEAL TO DEPARTMENTAL APPELLATE AUTHORITY | 14 |
10 | SOME EFFECTIVE USES OF RTI | 15 |
11 | SOME EXAMPLES OF EFFECTIVE USAGE OF DEMANDING INFORMATION UNDER RTI | 16 |
12 | GREATER TRANSPARENCY | 16 |
13 | PROMOTION OF CITIZEN-GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIPS | 21 |
14 | GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY | 22 |
15 | REDUCTION IN CORRUPTION | 25 |
16 | RTI & ITS IMPACT ON MAJOR INDICATORS OF DEVELOPMENT | 26 |
17 | POVERTY ALLEVIATION | 27 |
18 | DELIVERY OF SERVICES UNDER SUBSIDIZED SCHEMES | 30 |
19 | HUMAN CAPITAL:EDUCATION & HEALTH CARE | 31 |
20 | BASIC ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE | 33 |
21 | EMPOWERMENT OF WEAKER SECTIONS | 34 |
22 | ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION | 35 |
23 | CASES | 36 |
24 | CONCLUSION | 40 |...
...The Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI) is an Act of the Parliament of India "to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens." The Act applies to all States and Union Territories of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir has its own act called Jammu & Kashmir Right to Information Act, 2009. Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen may requestinformation from a "public authority" (a body of Government or "instrumentality of State") which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. The Act also requires every public authority to computerize their records for wide dissemination and to pro-actively publish certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally. This law was passed by Parliament on 15 June 2005 and came fully into force on 12 October 2005. Information disclosure in India was hitherto restricted by the Official Secrets Act 1923 and various other special laws, which the new RTI Act now relaxes.
Disclosure of State information in British India was (and is) governed from 1889 by the Official Secrets Act. This law secures information related to security of the State, sovereignty of the country and friendly relations with foreign states, and...
...RIGHT TO INFORMATION
The Government of India always lays emphasis on making the lives of its citizens easy, smooth and making India truly democratic and keeping this in mind the RTI Act has been established.
RTI stands for Right To Information and has been given the status of a fundamental right under Article 19(1) of the Constitution. Article 19 (1) under which every citizen has freedom of speech and expression and have the right to know how the government works, what role does it play, what are its functions and so on.
The basic object of the Right to Information Act is to empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Government, contain / check corruption, and make our democracy work for the people in real sense. An informed citizenry will be better equipped to keep necessary vigil on the instruments of government and make the government more accountable to the governed. The Act has created a practical regime through which the citizens of the country may have access to information under the control of public authorities.
The Act confers right to the citizens to know as to how the taxpayers money is being spent by the Government. A citizen has a right to seek such information from a public authority which is held by the public authority or which is held under its...
...21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 21.7 21.8 21.9
TRANSPARENCY AND RIGHT TO INFORMATION
Learning Outcome Introduction Transparency and Right to InformationRight to Information: An International Perspective Right to Information: The Indian Scenario Right to Information Act 2005: Main Features Implementing Right toInformation: Tasks Ahead Conclusion Key Concepts References and Further Reading
21.0 LEARNING OUTCOME
After reading this Unit, you should be able to: • • • • • Explain the relationship between transparency and right to information Examine the right to information in an international perspective Appreciate the efforts made in India towards right to information Bring out the main features of Right to Information Act 2005;and Discuss the tasks ahead in the operationalisation of right to information
You are by now familiar with the concepts of governance and good governance, which we have discussed at length in this Course as well as in Course 011 of this Programme.
Ours is an age of deepening and expansion of democracy. The role of people in the governance process is now receiving universal attention, not...