- 07/13/2019 at 11:00 am #1432492EduGorillaKeymasterSelect Question Language :
Directions: Read the following passage carefully and answer the given question.
James Madison said, “People who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with power that knowledge gives.” In India, the Official Secrets Act, 1923 was a convenient smokescreen to deny members of the public access to information. Public functioning has traditionally been shrouded in secrecy. But in a democracy in which people govern themselves, it is necessary to have more openness. In the maturing of our democracy, right to information is a major step forward; it enables citizens to participate fully in the decision-making process that affects their lives so profoundly. It is in this context that the address of the Prime Minister in the Lok Sabha is significant. He said, “I would only like to see that everyone, particularly our civil servants, should see the Bill in a positive spirit; not as a draconian law for paralysing Government, but as an instrument for improving Government-Citizen interface resulting in a friendly, caring and effective Government functioning for the good of our People.” He further said, “This is an innovative Bill, where there will be scope to review its functioning as we gain experience. Therefore, this is a piece of legislation, whose working will be kept under constant reviews.”
The Commission, in its Report, has dealt with the application of the Right to Information in Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. The Judiciary could be a pioneer in implementing the Act in letter and spirit because much of the work that the Judiciary does is open to public scrutiny. Government of India has sanctioned an e-governance project in the Judiciary for about Rs. 700 crore which would bring about systematic classification, standardisation and categorisation of records. This would help the Judiciary to fulfil its mandate under the Act. Similar capacity building would be required in all other public authorities. The transformation from non-transparency to transparency and public accountability is the responsibility of all three organs of the State.
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