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 2022-23 session students studying in BAPAH, BAG courses of IGNOU.
BPAE-141 Solved Assignment Solution by Gyaniversity
Assignment Code: BPAE-141/ASST /TMA / July 2022 & January 2023
Course Code: BPAE-141
Assignment Name: Right to Information
Verification Status"Verified by Professor
Answer the following questions in about 500 words each. 2×20
1. ‘‘The RTI Act is a path-breaking legislation that signals the march from darkness of secrecy to dawn of transparency’’. Comment.
Ans) Serving the people is essential to good governance.
It is an activity or style of governance that encourages fairness, accountability, and openness in the operation of a government agency or organisation. It helps societies or organisations make crucial decisions, choose who to include in the process, and decide how to hold each other accountable. The evolution of governance is the process by which rulers are given power, by which they create the norms, and through which they are upheld and altered.
Therefore, identifying the rulers and the rules, as well as the numerous procedures by which they are chosen, defined, and connected to one another and with the larger society, is necessary for understanding governance. When the word "governance" is prefixed with the adjective "good," certain value presumptions and characteristics are added to it, such as effectiveness, accountability, transparency, participation, rule of law, justice, and corruption control.
Accountability entails holding people and organisations accountable for results that are as objectively measured as feasible. The people in positions of authority have a responsibility to publicly explain how they are carrying out the duties assigned to them that have an impact on the public on a daily basis. The activities of these people in positions of authority must be conducive to the advancement of society, just, fair, responsive, effective, ethical, and reasonable for the benefit of the citizens. Public accountability is a concept that applies to all tiers of government, as well as all of its systems and subsystems.
Accountability calls for the authority to justify the purpose, expectations for performance, and outcomes of the actions conducted, or the output and the outcome. The premise that the institutions of public governance are the reservoirs of public power and that public power in turn is the confidence or faith of the people is where the need for accountability comes from.
It basically means that citizens should have access to public information whenever they need it. They ought to have access to information about the actions of public servants and the application of policies. The public expects increased openness from their governments and wants to know who makes decisions and how. Clarity is necessary for other facets of public service transparency. This indicates that the decision is integrated with others, logical and reasonable, accountable, truthful and accurate, and transparent.
If citizens encounter difficulties in receiving information or having their complaints addressed, they may anticipate the existence of a complaint resolution process that is both effective and efficient. By lowering the likelihood of fraud, corruption, and improper use of public funds, increased openness also contributes to maintaining integrity in the public sector. For the public to have access to information and help on numerous critical services, all departments and public organisations should have computerised information counters.
Rule of Law
Everything must be done in accordance with the law, according to the rule of law. When it comes to exercising governmental authority, this means that each government agency must be able to demonstrate that each action it does is permissible under the law, which almost always means that it was either directly or indirectly permitted by legal requirements. Giving the government full discretionary powers would be sufficient to ensure that everything they did was legal, but the rule of law requires something more. Therefore, the secondary meaning of the term "rule of law" is that government should operate within a framework of accepted norms and values that limit the use of discretion.
2. Examine the problems and gaps, which are responsible for lack of effective implementation of the RTI Act, 2005.
Ans) The following areas are where the RTI Act, 2005, implementation has encountered significant issues and loopholes that must be remedied in order for the Act to be effectively enforced:
Equipment that is adequate and effective for managing records and keeping an eye on RTI cells: Computerization and scientific record keeping are needed by Section 4 (2) of the Act to release "as much information suo moto to the public at regular intervals," although the majority of public entities have not yet done so. As a result, even when an authority wants to share information, it can't because the resources aren't available in electronic form. The issue of bad record keeping affects the authority of both the States and the Central Government.
A Public Information Officer's Appointment and Training Should Be Correct: Many ministries and departments of the Government of India appear to have employed multiple public information officers, the NCPRI itself noted in 2005. (PIOs). Citizens are forced to search from office to office for the right PIO as a result, often in vain.
Increasing the State Information Commission's Strength and Giving Appellate Authority Independence: There should be an effective decision-making process and RTI culture development at the state level. The majority of the SIC office runs on a single State Information Commissioner and a small staff. In many states, commissions either have open positions or don't have enough people to fill them. It has a negative impact on the quick processing of applications. Although a little amount of funding may be given to them, the SICs shouldn't rely primarily on the government for their operating expenses.
No formalities are necessary to submit an RTI application: For requests for information, there is no set application format. On plain paper, the application can be completed. The address where the information has to be sent must be stated by the applicant. It is not necessary for the information seeker to explain why they are looking for information. It has also been stated that certain government ministries and departments insist on only accepting the exact forms they have created for requesting information.
Cost-Effective Information Gathering Process Required : On first glance, it appears that acquiring information is a pretty simple process. But in reality, gathering information is a really laborious task. It is challenging to obtain accurate information due to the authorities' lack of cooperation, unless there are organisations at the local level that can provide assistance. Information is occasionally presented in illegible language, requiring technical expertise to decipher. The public is confused by the development of multiple sets of rules for the Center and States.
Interpreting Exemption Clauses Correctly: The RTI Act places restrictions and exclusions on access to information. Access to information pertaining to security, foreign policy, defence, law enforcement, and public safety is restricted, but the RTI Act also exempts cabinet papers, including records of the Council of Ministers and other officials, effectively shielding the entire decision-making process from being required to be disclosed. Since they have such broad definitions, Sections 8(d) and 8(j) are commonly written and frequently misapplied.
Agreement on the Deadline for the Resolution of the Second Appeal: The second appeal clause has not been given a deadline. Anyone who wants specific information may submit a written request to the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer of the relevant public entity, according to Section 6(1) of the Act. The Public Information Officer is regarded to have declined to give the information if it is not provided within the allotted thirty-day timeframe.
Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. 3×10
3. Write a note on the Central Information Commission.
Ans) The Central Information Commission was constituted in 2005 under the Right to Information Act, 2005. It is not a constitutional body. The jurisdiction of the Commission extends over all Central Public Authorities. The Central Information Commission shall consist of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and several Central Information Commissioners not exceeding 10 as may be deemed necessary. The Right to Information (Amendment) Act, 2019 amended the Right to Information Act, of 2005. The RTI Act, 2005 specified the tenure, terms of service, and salaries of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs) at the central and state levels, in the parent law.
Powers and Functions of Central Information Commission
To receive and inquire into a complaint from any person regarding information requested under the RTI act.
It can order an inquiry into any matter if there are reasonable grounds (suo-moto power).
While inquiring, the Commission has the powers of a civil court in respect of summoning, requiring documents, etc.
Adjudication in the second appeal for giving information;
Direction for record-keeping
Imposition of penalties and Monitoring and Reporting including preparation of an Annual Report.
Key Objectives of CIC
To receive and inquire into complaints from any citizen as provided in RTI Act.
To receive and decide upon the second appeal from any citizen as provided in the RTI Act, and RTI rules 2012.
To exercise the powers conferred on CIC under the RTI Act.
To perform the duty of Monitoring and Reporting as provided in Section 25 of the RTI Act.
Issues with Central Information Commission
The transparency in the functioning of CIC has been causing concern.
There is a huge backlog of cases as CIC takes more than a year to resolve complaints or appeals.
It has been shown that CIC is reluctant to take action against government personnel.
The CIC is mostly understaffed and the vacancies are not filled up.
4. Discuss the major challenges before the public authorities.
Ans) Public Authorities refusing to be “Public”: Many Public Authorities are refusing to be "public," which makes it difficult for them to provide information under the RTI regime. Political parties, utility companies, and educational institutions are some of these organisations. Additionally, private universities, institutions posing as public schools, trusts, cooperative societies, monopolistic sports organisations, institutions and authorities that were actually public authorities and offices established by the Constitution, as well as other organisations, have declined to disclose information about their authority.
Proactive Disclosure of Information: The RTI Act's requirement for proactive disclosure of information is one of its key characteristics. Since the RTI Act's adoption, a significant amount of data pertaining to how the government operates has been made available to the public. The number and quality of proactive disclosure, however, fall short of expectations. According to a research by the RTI Assessment and Advocacy Group and Samya-Centre for Equity Studies, Public Authorities do a poor job of complying with Section 4 of the RTI Act's highly strict proactive disclosure clause.
Poor Record Management: The poor state of record administration in most Public Authorities is a significant obstacle for PIOs in providing information promptly. Major institutional issues include the disorganised nature of the information and public records system, the dearth of appropriate archives, and the absence of any uniform method for handling information throughout the government.
Lack of Training: Secretive public officials often view information as power and are hesitant to give it up. They thus cause a delay in information processing. Public employees frequently view the files they possess as their own private property in an administrative setting. Information itself is a kind of power in traditionally secretive bureaucracies, and officials are reluctant to share it with other officials and, very infrequently, with the general public.
Lack of Awareness among Citizens: Lack of understanding and awareness of the RTI Act, particularly among the weaker parts and the rural population, as well as caste-based divide are the biggest challenges for the RTI regime in India.
5. “Social Audit is a powerful tool, which is associated with accountability and promotes the RTI”. Examine.
Ans) Members of the team working on the social audit must have access to various government documents in order to monitor how the scheme or programme is being carried out and make arrangements for its beneficiaries. These records include invoices and receipts for purchases, copies of enabling laws, norms, and standards, as well as bills and vouchers of reported spending for justification and verification of expenditure.
Since the Social Audit is a fact-finding process that relies on evidence and records, if required documents are not readily available due to the bureaucracy's dishonest motives, they can be obtained through the RTI. The Audit Team members and beneficiaries/community can then compare official obligations and commitments to their own experiences of a given scheme/program after acquiring the necessary documentation, which serve as proof for a clear knowledge of what can be anticipated from the government. Keeping the aforementioned in mind, it can be said that the RTI is a tool against corrupt activities and is crucial to the Social Audit process.
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005, later renamed the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), which requires the regular conduct of social audits of works sanctioned under the MGNREGA in the Gram Sabha, at least once every six months, marked the beginning of the process of social audit. It increases the efficiency of political leaders and administrators at the local level as well as the effectiveness of programmes being implemented.
The Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY), the Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDM), the Integrated Child Development Services, and the Public Distribution System have all undergone social audits by the states in India (PDS). However, very little study has been done on the nature, format, and procedures for conducting social audits; the institutional framework required for conducting audits; and the difficulties that participants in the aforementioned programmes encounter. We will talk about the Social Audit's purpose, goals, function, and importance in this Unit. The study will also examine the principal problems and difficulties in conducting.
Answer the following questions in about 100 words each. 5×6
6. Enumerate the various initiatives for generating public awareness regarding RTI.
Ans) RTI on Wheels: The marginalised communities must be made aware of the Act in order to increase participation of people in the democratic process through the RTI. JANPATH, Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel, and Association for India's Development have launched a combined programme called "RTI on Wheels" to educate the general public about the RTI.
The RTI on Wheels is a multimedia vehicle intended to carry out outreach programmes for raising awareness and mobilising people. These events take place all throughout, including at bus stops, civil hospitals, government buildings, and folklore festivals.
Jan Sunwai & Social Audit: People should be consulted frequently and their opinions should be solicited in order to promote accountability and openness in how government functions. The citizen must have the legal right to make inquiries, lodge grievances, and participate in the remedial procedure.
Several NGOs are setting up Jan Sunwai and RTI camps in several states, raising awareness of the RTI Act and emphasising marginalised groups in particular. The main goal of public meetings is to inspire attendees to use the RTI Act as a tool to assert their rights and ensure that the law is implemented in letter and spirit.
7. Write a note on the Project Sarathi.
Ans) The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation in Pimpri, Maharashtra, has launched an effort called "SARATHI" to simplify and organise the current procedure for registering complaints about the Municipal Corporation's services and for providing information. Officers used to waste a lot of time providing even the most basic information to the public as a result of the information distribution process being slow. Therefore, it was felt that a system was necessary to conserve the administration's valuable time, which it spends responding to inquiries and disseminating information.
A project was launched under the name "SARATHI," which is Marathi for "one who leads toward the correct road." SARATHI, or "System of Assisting Residents and Tourists via Helpline Information," has been given an acronym in English. Through this effort, information on the fundamental services provided by the many Municipal Corporation departments may be easily accessed without having to physically visit the office. Under this project, FAQs were created from the department-specific descriptive material..
8. Examine the role and access of Media to Court Proceedings.
Ans) A person's freedom of speech and expression, including their press freedom, may be restricted in order to meet both the unique requirements of the administration of justice and the unique demands of the legislative chambers as part of their legislative privileges.
Sections 4 and 7 of the 1971 Contempt of Courts Act provide as guidelines for media access to court proceedings. The rule under Section 4 specifies that, with regard to such proceedings, "one would not be guilty of contempt for publishing a fair and truthful report of such proceedings or any stage thereof." Normally, the administration of justice takes place in open court.
In a recent decision, Election Commission of India v. MR Vijaya Bhaskar (LL 2021 SC 244), the Supreme Court ruled that reporting on judicial institutions' procedures is also protected under the First Amendment. Under the law, courts are charged with carrying out important duties. Their activity directly affects not only the rights of citizens but also the degree to which they may hold the administration accountable for upholding the law. Citizens have a right to guarantee that courts uphold their mandate to serve as a check on arbitrary acts of power.
9. Highlight the significance of Commonwealth Human Rights initiative campaign for RTI.
Ans) The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative was established in 1987 by a number of Commonwealth professional groups. It is an independent, non-partisan, multinational non-governmental organisation whose goal is to make sure that human rights are actually implemented in Commonwealth nations.
The CHRI promotes the promotion of this viewpoint in all Commonwealth nations since it believes that the right to information serves as a fundamental link between numerous human rights. Midway through 1997, at a time when significant RTI-related changes were occurring both at the grassroots level and in the legislative arena, CHRI also launched a national discussion on the topic. It released a number of publications aimed at different segments of the population to assist them by demystifying the problems.
"Civil society organisations joined together by CHRI launched a campaign to inform the public about how the right operates and to activate the government orders by filing applications for information." A variety of workshops and other small gatherings were also held by the CHRI, usually at the regional level but also on a national and worldwide scale. Participants came from a variety of backgrounds, including NGO representatives, academics, lawyers and judges, students and youth organisations, media professionals, government employees, and people from other professions.
10. Discuss the role of Jannakari - A facilitation centre to strengthen the RTI.
Ans) In January 2009, Bihar became the first state in the nation to open a helpline where citizens could report government employees who had harassed them for using the RTI tool to request information. The "JAANKARI" Facilitation Center is a creative and efficient use of ICT for growing the RTI's clientele. This unusual initiative, the first of its type in India, attempted to "empower" the populace through information. Voice communication through phone lines has been employed by the Bihar government to address concerns with digital divide and illiteracy. Easy communication is essential to the success of this endeavour.
By providing the general public, especially the underprivileged groups, with important information, this creative use of the RTI Act encourages e-governance. Two numbers are provided: one is the RTI Helpline Number, and the other is the RTI Application Number (RAN- 155311). The RHN(155310) is a regular phone number with a hunting line feature and standard call rates. Any citizen can utilise the RTI Application Number to seek assistance with using the RTI. The additional number is offered in case someone wants to inquire. The technology allows a citizen to request any information under the RTI Act without having to deal with contacting the PIO of the relevant department.
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