The Right to Information (RTI) Act was brought into enforcement during the Congress regime as has been reminded to us repeatedly by Rahul Gandhi. But what he never cares to divulge is whether his own governments were adhering to the norms of the RTI Act or not? And how many of the ministries during Congress rule were declaring RTI details? The figures are bound to surprise many –
One can see that the percentage of central government ministries reporting RTI statistics was reasonably good during the first few years, but since 2009-10 it started to fall & reached a new low of just 67.5% in 2010-11. This period can also be correlated with massive scams in various ministries under the Congress.
This figure was 75.27% (wrongly shown as 5.27% in the picture) in 2014-15 which was the first year of governance under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, & reached an all-time high of 94% in 2015-16. For the first time since the RTI was implemented has a government truly fallen in line. These 94% of ministries reporting RTI details signifies –
- Most importantly shows the honest functioning of the ministries under the leadership of Narendra Modi. It is but obvious that only honest ministries would declare details of their workings.
- Prime Minister Modi had promised the people a transparent & corruption-free government, & this is ample proof that he is doing exactly that.
- The tremendous rise from 75.27% ministries declaring their statistics to 94% doing the same shows that the ministers & officials are falling in line with Prime Minister Modi’s vision of a corruption-free India & working towards achieving that.
These statistics are included in the Central Information Commission (CIC) annual report of 2015-16 that would be released to the public next month. Every year, a department has to register itself with the CIC & submit four quarterly returns during a year for assessment of their performance. These returns include the number of applications received, disposed of, applications rejected, grounds of rejection, number of first appeals filed & the pendency at each ministry.
These statistics not only show the transparency in ministries & public authorities, but also reflects the efficiency & usefulness of the RTI. CIC has been instructing ministries to ask subordinate offices to report on their RTI Act implementation also, & a central government is finally acting accordingly & ushering in a new era of transparent governance.