Skip to main content

Modi govt's 13% ministries, 6% departments comply by Cabinet Secretariat's RTI transparency directive: Report

By Our Representative
Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh has admitted in the Rajya Sabha that the Government of India has “no mechanism” to monitor compliance with its own transparency directive, requiring each ministry and department to submit monthly report to the Cabinet Secretariat on proactive disclosures to be made under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
Singh said this in reply to an unstarred query regarding the April 2016 Central Information Commission (CIC) directive to the Cabinet Secretariat to upload monthly reports of work done by all Ministries and Departments on their respective websites. Two months later, the Cabinet Secretariat issued a circular to all Central Ministries and Departments requiring them to upload the monthly reports.
Meanwhile, the Delhi-based advocacy group Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), which works on RTI issues, has said that its “quick website check” of 52 Central Ministries and as many Departments reveals that only 13% of the Ministries and 5.7% of 52 Departments are compliant with the transparency directive by publishing monthly reports up to December 2017.
If the Ministries and Departments that have their own websites are counted, the compliance rate for Ministries goes up to 14.89% and 6.5%, respectively, says CHRI’s Venkatesh Nayak in a report based on the quick check.
Nayak says, “Having uploaded all monthly reports up to January 2018, the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change is the only entity to comply fully with the transparency directive.”
He adds, “Three Ministries, Civil Aviation, Coal and Petroleum and Natural Gas have published monthly reports up to December 2017”, while the Ministry of Finance has published monthly reports “up to November 2017.”
Nayak further reveals, “The Ministry of Home Affairs is also reasonably compliant with the transparency directive having uploaded reports up to December 2017”, though adding, “Monthly reports for May and July 2017 are missing from its website.”
According to Nayak the Ministry of Mines “seems to have stopped publishing monthly reports after February 2017”, while the Ministry for Rural Development appears to have “stopped this practice after July 2016.
Coming to departments, Nayak says, “The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and of Food and Public Distribution have uploaded all monthly reports up to December 2017.
Also, he says, “The Department of Justice has published all reports for the calendar year of 2017 but seems to have removed reports of previous months.”
However, Nayak regrets, the “Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has published only bullet pointed information for each month.”
Similarly, he says, “the monthly reports of the Department of Pharmaceuticals are published intermittently”, while, the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances “stopped publishing monthly reports after January 2017.”
Comments Nayak, “Section 25(1)(c) of the RTI Act obligates the Central government to require all public authorities under its control to publish accurate information about their activities from time to time. This is a statutory mandate. However, the evidence indicates a deficit of both political and bureaucratic will to ensure compliance with this transparency requirement.”

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Story of a foot soldier of Gujarat riots coming from a vulnerable community, Chharas

By Rajiv Shah
He is one of the more prominent "foot soldiers" of the 2002 Gujarat riots. Suresh Jadeja, alias Langdo, alias Richard, is indeed a well-known name in the Naroda Patiya massacre case, in which 97 persons were killed on February 28, 2002, the first day of the riots that shook the nation. Ordinarily, such a person should have been subjected to sociological scrutiny. What have here is a keen journalistic account, with clear political-ideological overtone.

Noteban: Harvard, Goldman Sachs scholars bemoan lack of "authentic" growth data

By Rajiv Shah
In a sharp observation, scholars of a recent high-profile study, "Cash and the Economy: Evidence from India's Demonetization", whose results have been widely reported, have bemoaned: That there is lack of authentic official data on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with the Government of India, forcing them to use “nightlights data”, a methodology usually adopted by top international scholars to assess socio-economic growth in highly underdeveloped countries of East Africa and parts of Asia, where no authentic ground level surveys are available to assess development.