How Effective is the Right to Information (RTI) Act?

The Center for Media Studies recently published a Transparency Review through its Journal of Transparency Studies, which gauges the overall impact of the Indian Right to Information Act (RTI). The review is critical in its assessment of the effectiveness and extent of impact of the RTI Act. A summary of the concerns cited, courtesy of OneWorld South Asia, follows:

For instance, it was found that most of those availing the Act were either in the system or with the establishment. Also, largely the RTI act is being used for individual purpose than for community concerns.

An important finding of the Review is that men in urban areas are using this option more than those living in rural areas. The awareness about the RTI is notably disappointing.

Like a study conducted in 16 towns and villages of Karnataka by Consumer Rights Education and Awareness Trust (CREAT) revealed that out of 250 applications that were filed to different public authorities, only 67 responded to queries under section 4 1 (a) and 60 responded under section 4 1 (b) of the Act.

Moreover, a lot of information is incomplete and most of the authorities do not even have their own websites.

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