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

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Global Hunger Index: Govt of India response pathetic, 'lacks' scientific empirical evidence

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* Come 16 October – and the world once again focused on the most basic need for a person’s survival: food! The first World Food Day was observed in 1994, to mark the launch of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Ever since, the day is marked to highlight the need and importance of food security across the world. The significance is accentuated especially in these difficult times like the C-19 povidandemic. The theme for 2021 is ‘Safe Food Now for a Healthier Tomorrow’, emphasising on the various immediate and long-term benefits of consuming safe and healthy food.

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.