Re: Suggestion for improvement of RTI Act and it's functionality
I equate the struggle for Right to Information with the freedom struggle for Independence from British, the latter struggle was for freedom from the Britishers and the former for freedom from our own brother/ sister Babus.
I feel the government should completely exempt all kinds of charges towards RTI i.e. charges towards the RTI application, first appeal, second appeal, photocopying charges (implement Sec. 4 and propel India towards e-governance), postal charges etc.
I would to a great extent equate expenditure made by the government on Right to Information with the expenditure made towards maintaining the defense system of a country, one to protect citizens from the external forces and the other to protect the citizens from internal forces.
We all pay towards defense system indirectly through the government and similarly we all can pay towards Right to Information system indirectly through the government.
Apart from exempting all the charges towards implementation of RTI, I feel government should allocate a huge budget towards implementation of sec. 4 which is the heart of the RTI Act, thereby a citizen need not file RTI because almost all the information is available on the website of a PA, and so:
1) If one notices a construction activity in the neighborhood, one can log on to internet and search for the permissions granted for such a construction.(What is coming up a Shopping Mall, a School, an old age home, a Stadium, an Industrial Estate or a Chemical Plant etc.)
2) One can file a RTI application online and the PA will be able to e-mail a write/edit protected authentic soft copy. (Almost free of charge process)
"Sec 4 (a) maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information under this Act and ensure that all records that are appropriate to be computerised are, within a reasonable time and subject to availability of resources, computerised and connected through a network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated."
Hence I believe investment on implementation of sec. 4 of the RTI Act, would be a worthwhile investment, which would propel India towards E-Governance.
"If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people." -- Confucius