Skip to main content

Lack of RTI-related data blamed on "poor inputs" from public authorities of Central ministries, state departments

Counterview Desk
As India's Right to Information Act (RTI Act) will enter the 12th year of implementation on October 12, a new study by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has said that “not all Information Commissions come out with their Annual Reports in a timely manner.”
“A major reason for the delays in the preparation of the annual reports is lack of inputs from the public authorities through their parent ministries and departments”, a CHRI report, prepared by senior RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak, says.
“Although the Information Commissions are known to press upon the respective Governments to fulfill their reporting obligations, compliance is poor”, it adds.
This year, like before, CHRI says, “There are only a handful of annual reports published for the latest year due. As a result, it is difficult to answer the most basic question - how many RTI applications are received from citizens all over the country in a given year.”
Based on the data collected by CHRI about RTI applications from all the annual reports of the Information Commissions available on their websites, the report says, “A total of 1.75 crore (1,75,23,154) RTI applications are reported to have been made to the Central and State Governments during the period 2005-2015.”
Giving a break up, it says, the Central Government received more than a quarter (27.20% i.e., 47.66 lakh) of the 1.75 crore requests submitted by citizens in 2005-15, followed by the Maharasthra government, which received 26.40% i.e., 46.26 lakh, the Karnataka government 11.83%, Tamil Nadu 4.89%, and Gujarat, long propagated as India's model state, 4.32%, less than the proportion of its population, which is about 5%.
“Counting the RTI statistics published by 15 Information Commissions during the period 2013-15 (taking into account statistics available only for the latest year) a total of 26.60 lakh RTI requests were made by citizens during a period of one year”, the report says.
Based on this, the report adds, “It may be estimated said that the total number of RTI requests submitted across the country in a year during this period could be about 53-56 lakhs.” Other RTI activists peg the figure at 75-80 lakh RTI applications per year.
The report regrets, “None of the Information Commissions that follow the financial year reporting cycle, have published their Annual Reports for the year 2015-16”, adding, “Amongst the Information Commissions that follow the calendar year reporting cycle, only Meghalaya and Sikkim have published their Annual Reports for the year 2015.”
It further says, “The Karnataka Information Commission is the only body that has published online, all annual reports due, since October 2005”, insisting, “There is an urgent need to ensure the publication of annual reports in the larger States of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.”
The report underlines, “Without data from these States which have a large number of RTI users and activists, it is not possible to draw a more accurate statistical picture of the volume of RTI applications filed across the country.”

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”