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BPAE-141: Right to Information

BPAE-141: Right to Information

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for BPAE-141 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Right to Information, you have come to the right place. BPAE-141 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in BAPAH, BAG courses of IGNOU.

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BPAE-141 Solved Assignment Solution by Gyaniversity

Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: BPAE-141/ASST/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: BPAE-141

Assignment Name: Right To Information

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment I

Answer the following in about 500 words each.

Q1. What measures have been taken by the Government of India for making the RTI Rules, 2012 more effective? 20

Ans) Right to Information Rules, 2012, undertaken by the Government of India:

Rules Regarding Fees Under the Right to Information Rules, 2012

The fees set by the Central Government are covered by Rules 3 to 6 of the RTI Rules, 2012. The provisions cover the RTI application fee, costs for delivering information, fee payment methods, and fee exemptions. The following are the specifics:

Rule 3. Application Fee—An application under Sub-section (1) of Section 6 of the Act must be accompanied by a fee of Rs. 10 and ordinarily not exceed 500 words, excluding annexures, and must include the Central Public Information Officer's and the applicant's addresses: Provided, however, that no application shall be denied solely because it contains more than 500 words.

Rule 4. Fees for providing information—Fees for providing information under Section 4's Subsection (4) and Section 7's Subsections (1) and (5) shall be charged at the following rates: Fees for providing information under Section 4's Subsection (4) and Section 7's Subsections (1) and (5) shall be charged at the following rates:

  1. Rupees two for each page in A-3 or smaller size paper;

  2. Actual cost or price of a photocopy in large size paper;

  3. Actual cost or price for samples or models;

  4. Rupees fifty per diskette or floppy;

  5. price fixed for a publication or rupees two per page of photocopy for extracts from the publication;

  6. No fee for inspection of records for the first hour of inspection and a fee of rupees 5 for each subsequent hour or fraction thereof; and

  7. So much of postal charges involved in supply of information that exceeds fifty rupees.

Rule 5. Exemption from Payment of Fee—Any person who is below the poverty line will not be charged a fee under Rules 3 and 4 if a copy of the certificate issued by the appropriate government in this regard is presented with the application.

Rule 6. Mode of Payment of fee—Any person who is below the poverty line will not be charged a fee under Rules 3 and 4 if a copy of the certificate issued by the appropriate government in this regard is presented with the application.

  1. In cash, to the public authority or to the Central Assistant Public Information Officer of the public authority, as the case may be, against a proper receipt; or

  2. By demand draft or bankers’ cheque or Indian Postal Order payable to the Accounts Officer of the public authority; or

  3. By electronic means to the Accounts Officer of the public authority, if facility for receiving fees through electronic means is available with the public authority.

Government of India: Initiatives for effective Implementation of the RTI Rules, 2012

Harmonization of the Right to Information Act, 2005's RTI (Fee & Cost) Rules and Appeal Procedure Rules:

  1. The RTI Rules, 2012, were notified by the Indian government on July 31, 2012. "It was agreed during the preparation of the RTI Rules, 2012, that once notified, state governments would be asked to adopt these rules mutatis mutandis, so that there would be uniformity, as far as feasible, in the execution of the Act throughout the country."

  2. This Department's letter of even number dated 26.4.2011 titled harmonisation of fee payable under the Right to Information Act, requesting that the State/Supreme Court/High Court RTI Fee & Cost Rules be reviewed and a fee be prescribed in accordance with the fee prescribed by the Government of India as per the Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005, so that the fee does not become a disincentive for using the Right to Information Act. Few states have yet to align their fee rules with those of the federal government, according to reports.

  3. All states/competent authorities are urged to evaluate their Right to Information (Fee and Cost Rules) and Appeal Procedure Rules and, if necessary, issue new rules in line with those issued by the Indian government.

Q2. Analyse the powers and functions of Central Information Commission to receive complaints and impose penalties. 20

Ans) The Central Information Commission (CIC) has the jurisdiction under Section 19 (8) to: a) require the public authority to take any steps necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Act, including—

  1. by providing access to information, if so requested, in a particular form;

  2. by appointing a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be;

  3. by publishing certain information or categories of information;

  4. by making necessary changes to its practices in relation to the maintenance, management and destruction of records;

  5. by enhancing the provision of training on the right to information for its officials;

  6. by providing it with an annual report in compliance with Clause

  • of Sub-section (1) of Section 4;

  • require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered;

  • impose any of the penalties provided under this Act;

  • reject the application.

The Central Information Commission is required under Section 19 (9 to notify the complainant and the public authority of its judgement, including any right of appeal.

The Central Information Commission is required by Section 19 (10) to resolve the appeal in accordance with any procedure specified by the Act.

Power to Impose Penalty

Under Section 20, the Commission is responsible for the implementation and

effectiveness of the RTI Act. If the PIO has without reasonable cause:

  1. Refused to receive an application for information or

  2. has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of Section 7 or

  3. malafide denial of request for information or

  4. knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or

  5. destroyed information, which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information.

The Commission will levy a fine of Rs. 250 each day until the application or information is submitted. The total amount of the penalty, however, shall not exceed Rs. 25,000/-. Penalties can only be imposed by the Commission. This must be done after the PIO has been given an opportunity to defend his or her behaviour. The PIO bears the burden of establishing that he or she acted in a reasonable and responsible manner.

If a PIO is in persistent default, the Commission has the authority to recommend disciplinary action against the defaulting officer, according to subsection (2). However, because it is a recommendatory power, the public authority must operate within the appropriate service norms.

Power of Monitoring and Reporting

The CIC has jurisdiction over all Central Public Authorities under Section 25 of the Act. To accomplish its responsibility of preparing and transmitting the Annual Report to Appropriate Government (, it requests online quarterly returns from Public Authorities (PAs) in a stipulated pro forma (Section 25(3), RTI Act, 2005). All PAs, as defined by Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act of 2005, must be registered with the Commission for this reason. The PAs are required by law to submit Quarterly Returns to the Commission under Section 25 of the RTI Act, 2005. 97.17 percent of PAs submitted all four Quarterly Returns during the reporting year of 2019-20, thanks to the Commission's efforts (Annual Report 2019-20, available at The CIC may also recommend ways to improve the functioning of government agencies in accordance with the Act's requirements and spirit (Section 25 (5), RTI Act, 2005).

Assignment II

Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.

Q3. What is proactive disclosure under the RTI Act, 2005? On what grounds information can be refused under the RTI Act, 2005? 10

Ans) Suo motu disclosure of information by public authorities was supposed to be the law's strongest pillar. Section 4(1)(b) of the Act sets out the information that public authorities must provide proactively. It listed 17 categories of information to be disclosed proactively, including its organisation, functions, and duties; the procedure followed in making decisions, and the norms and rules followed in performing functions; a list of the types of documents it holds or controls; a directory of its officers and their compensation; and information about its Public Information Office. Suo-motu disclosure is designed to put as much information in the public domain as possible. This will allow citizens to obtain public records without having to use the RTI Act. More information will increase government transparency and accountability.

Sections 4(2) and 4(3) of the RTI Act mandate that public authorities always strive to offer as much information suo motu to the public via various methods of communication, including the internet, so that the public has to utilise this Act to acquire information. All information must be extensively distributed and easily accessible to the public. The administration must also make all such information public without waiting for citizens to file RTIs. Cost-effective dissemination is required.

Section 11 covers third-party data. A third party is anyone other than the person making the request for information [Section 2(n)]. 11 specifies process, not exemption. According to Section 7 (1), “...information requests may be denied for any of the grounds stated in Sections 8 and 9”. Section 11 allows a third party to object to the disclosure of material that may harm their interests.

“A CPIO or an SPIO, as the case may be, shall, within five days of receipt of the request, give written notice to such third party of the request and of the fact that the CPIO or SPIO, as the case may be, intends to disclose any information or record, or part thereof, that relates to or has been supplied by a third party and has been treated as confidential by that third party.” Section 7(1) requires the PIO to respond within thirty days of receiving the application. So, for third-party information, the period is extended to forty days.

Q4. Discuss the term of Office and Service conditions of the members of State Information Commission. In this regard what changes have been brought by the RTI (Amendment) Act and Rules of 2019? 10

Ans) There were no changes made to the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners' terms of office prior to the RTI (Amendment) Act 2019. Section 13(1) and (2) state that the Chief Information Commissioner and each Information Commissioner shall serve for a term of five years or until they reach the age of sixty-five, whichever is earlier.

Under Section 13(2), a former Information Commissioner may be appointed as Chief Information Commissioner in the manner indicated in Section 12(3). The Information Commissioner's term as both the Information Commissioner and the Chief Information Commissioner cannot exceed five years. Section (3) requires the Chief Information Commissioner or an Information Commissioner to swear before the President or another person designated by him/her. The oath shall be taken on the First Schedule proforma. Section 13(4) allows the Chief Information Commissioner or an Information Commissioner to retire at any time by writing to the President, provided that the Chief Information Commissioner or an Information Commissioner may be removed in accordance with Section 14.

After the RTI (Amendment) Act, 2019

By amending Section 13 of the RTI Act, 2005, the RTI Amendment Act, 2019 modified the terms and conditions of employment of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs) at the Centre and in States.

Right to Information Rules 2019

The RTI (Amendment) Rules, 2019 were promulgated pursuant to the RTI (Amendment) Act, 2019. Officially, the rules are of an administrative character and solely affect the internal administration of the involved organisation. Section 2 of the RTI Act gives public authorities and public information officers responsibility to provide information to citizens. The Information Commissions' powers and activities remain unaffected by the Act's changes to Chapter V. Neither is the independence or autonomy of these institutions harmed”. Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions.

Q5. Explain the innovative practices that may be replicated in other states and measures for conducting effective Social Audit. 10

Ans) Innovative best practices: Study of selected States

Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh established the bar for all other states in the Social Audit.

  1. Monthly Collector and District Vigilance Officer Review Meetings.

  2. The State and District Vigilance Officers meet monthly.

  3. Technical verification in front of co-workers and friends;

  4. Identifying village and block Resource Persons among the workers' families;

  5. Wall writings in all Gram Panchayats throughout the Social Audit process;


  1. Public hearings are held by juries with PRI and CSO members to address grievances;

  2. Jury members are advised to act on specific irregularities;

  3. Hearings are held at all levels, i.e. Panchayat, Block, District and State;

  4. Special and test audits are promoted to examine the conduct of Social Audit; and

  5. For the Information, Education and Communication (IEC).

The following measures are taken for effective Social Audit:

  1. Preparation of Annual Calendar: The Annual Calendar must be prepared regularly and monitored for proper execution.

  2. Timely submission of records to the Social Audit Team: All states must inform procedures for timely submission of records to the Social Audit team and the nature of penalties for non-submission. The Government and Stakeholders must also take action to ensure that SAU resource personnel verify all job card holders and worksite.

  3. Record Management: Adequate staffing and training of authorities in record keeping and management will help the Social Audit's legitimacy.

  4. Enhancing level of Awareness and Knowledge of Stakeholders: Stakeholders must be well informed and educated to actively participate in the Social Audit process.

  5. Conducting Social Audit Meetings and Reporting Mechanism: It is evident that the Social Audit meetings are not handled effectively in accordance with the Rules. Political leaders, administrators, and citizens should be encouraged to work together to ensure successful implementation of plans and programmes through effective Social Audit.

  6. Training of Social Audit Team: Training will ensure that Team members can effectively contribute to the Social Audit, verify project sites, and conduct door-to-door visits in accordance with the Rules.

  7. Conducting Periodic Test Audits: The SAUs shall periodically test audit a selection of GPs already examined by the State Level Technical Teams.

Assignment III

Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.

Q6. Discuss the origin of right to information in India. 6

Ans) The Right to Information Act (RTI) of India regulates citizen access to information. The Freedom of Information Act of 2002 was repealed. Any Indian citizen can seek information from a "public authority" and receive a response within thirty days under the RTI Act. If the information concerns a petitioner's life or liberty, it must be given within 48 hours. Furthermore, the Act requires all public entities to computerise their records for widespread distribution and to proactively distribute particular categories of information so that citizens can receive information without having to make a formal request.

The RTI Bill was enacted by India's Parliament on June 15, 2005, and it became law on October 12, 2005. Every day, almost 4800 RTI queries are filed. During the first ten years after the act's establishment, 17,500,000 applications were lodged.

Q7. Explain the meaning and concept of transparency and rule of law. 6

Ans) Concept of Transparency

Transparency in governance means access to public information at any time. Governments should be able to justify their actions and policies. Most citizens want governments to be more transparent about who makes decisions. Other challenges to public service transparency It is rational, accountable, accurate, and transparent. Citizens should expect a dependable complaint process if they cannot obtain information or resolve issues. Transparency minimises the risk of fraud, corruption, and financial mismanagement.

Rule of Law

a legalistic society demands legality. So, if the government does something illegal or violates someone's liberty, it must be able to defend it legally, which almost always implies directly or indirectly. Giving the government complete authority to ensure whatever they do is legal isn't enough. A government should follow established laws and norms that limit discretion. To avoid abuse of discretionary power, the rule of law requires regulations. Third, non-executive judges must decide legality concerns.

Q8. Highlight the constraints in implementation of the RTI Act at the district level. 6

Ans) There are number of issues and constraints which are identified and are being faced by an information seeker while filing application for information request, which are the main reasons for deformity in the proper implementation of the RTI Act, 2005.

  1. Behavioural Issues

  2. Lack of Capacity

  3. Administrative Issues

  4. Procedural Issues

  5. Suo Moto Information

  6. Railway Coach Syndrome Psyche

  7. Non-Cooperative and Unhelpful Attitude of the SPIOs

  8. Record and Retrieval Issues

  9. Frivolous Demands

  10. Apathy in Information Seekers.

These are the most common issues due to which an information seeker is not able to get the requisite information and at the same time the respected CPIO’s are not able to provide required information to the applicant within the prescribed time limit, Resulting improper implementation of the RTI Act, 2005.

Q9. Analyse the role of media in facilitating the right to information. 6

Ans) That's why the media is so important. It examines public distribution and service delivery under the RTI Act. As a bridge between the community and government, media raises awareness and builds capacity.

It can change people's lives by educating them on their rights and entitlements to government programmes. Debates and dialogues can also help encourage critical thinking about public issues, putting pressure on governments to do better. Lesser-known forms of power abuse and corruption are revealed by the media. It can raise national and international human rights issues. People can also use media to be heard.

The RTI is vital to the media's function as social watchdogs. It has spurred media and public scrutiny of state actions. The media can help improve the country's governance by informing individuals and spreading awareness of the RTI Act, 2005.

Q10. Discuss the major challenges before Public Authorities. 6

Ans) The major challenges before the Public Authorities are as follows:

Public Authorities refusing to be “Public”

Many public authorities refuse to be “public” and hence refuse to provide information under the RTI framework. Finally, some Public Authorities are misinterpreted as private bodies when read out of context. Sadly, the spirit of access law is often neglected, resulting in utter denial of a parliamentary right.

Proactive Disclosure of Information

Main criticism of proactive disclosure is that all Ministries and Departments ignore Section 4 and distribute outdated information. This has led to rising concern among civil society groups and residents that the government is aiming to further restrict the Act by enacting Section 4.

Poor Record Management

The poor state of record management in most public authorities is a key obstacle for PIOs in providing timely information. The lack of proper archives and a standardised mechanism for handling information across the government are key institutional issues.

Lack of Training

Officials raised on secrecy tend to view information as power and resist giving it up. They are not transparent about the data they hold. Changing the bureaucracy's perspective is challenging. Training programmes to modify the thinking and shift the orientation can be beneficial.

Lack of Awareness among Citizens

The lack of understanding and awareness of the RTI Act, especially among the poorer sectors and rural people, illiteracy, poverty, and caste divisions are important obstacles.

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