Sudhanva Shetty Shetty
Writer, coffee-addict, likes folk music & long walks in the rain. Firmly believes that there's nothing more important in a democracy than a well-informed electorate.
“The intention is clear. The government wants to make getting information difficult as the draft rules empower public authorities more than citizens.” – RTI activist Lokesh Batra.
A proposal for amending the RTI process is under consideration by the government. These proposed rules (the RTI Rules, 2017) have been placed by the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT).
If approved, the new rules would replace the RTI Rules, 2012.
The full text of the proposed changes can be read here.
It must be noted that many sections of the media incorrectly reported that certain proposals were introduced only this year by the current government. Many of these proposals date back to 2012 and 2014.
RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal told The Logical Indian, “There is a misconception in sections of the media that the word limit of 500 is being imposed and imposed now. It was introduced in 2012 itself by the previous government. This is not something new.” He also proposed additional changes, which can be read here.
The Government has decided to invite the views and suggestions of the public – of you – before debating over whether the new rules should be implemented.
Public suggestions can be sent by 15 April 2017 through e-mail to Ms Preeti Khanna, Under Secretary (RTI), North Block, at the email ID [email protected]
The proposed rules have been uploaded on the DoPT website for comments from the public.
The new rules are numerous; however, the most significant among them are the following:
If you are a citizen deeply concerned about this country’s democracy and passionate about transparent governance, you should voice your opposition to some of the rules loudly and urgently to the Government so that it does not implement them recklessly.
The proposed changes have several features. Let us, for the sake of brevity, focus on the four most significant draft rules:
Any suggestions that you might have should be sent by 15 April 2017 through e-mail to Ms Preeti Khanna, Under Secretary (RTI), North Block, at the email ID [email protected].
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