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Govt reduced need to file RTI application through proactive disclosures: Shah

PTI

New Delhi

The objective of the Modi government is to proactively put out as much information as possible in public domain to reduce the need for RTI applications, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Saturday.

The success of a government does not lie in the high number of Right to Information (RTI) applications, Shah said while addressing the 14th annual convention of the Central Information Commission (CIC) here.

“Low number of RTI applications in spite of convenient avenues to file them means the government’s work is satisfactory. Large number of RTI applications does not represent the government’s success.

“We want to introduce a system where people do not feel the need to file an RTI application to get information,” the home minister, who was the chief guest at the event, said.

Shah also emphasised the need to make people aware of their responsibilities along with their rights.

“I believe that along with Right to Information, we should also inculcate a sense of responsibility in the people. Do not use RTI without any reason, use it for transparency, avoid using it for personal reasons unless injustice is happening. In case of injustice, do use it. We should also promote right to responsibility,” he said.

The dashboard system introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensured that everyone gets information about ongoing schemes online without filing RTI applications, Shah said.

“Through the use of dashboard, we began a new transparent era. One can go to the dashboard and see how many toilets have been built. Using the dashboard, one can check when one will get electricity connection under the Saubhagya Yojna. Any illiterate woman can click the dashboard and get to know when she will get a cooking gas cylinder,” he said.

Asserting that RTI should be there, Shah said the government has gone two steps ahead of the law in ensuring transparency.

“The government has made the administration’s work so transparent that there is minimum requirement to file RTI applications. The system should function in a way that we don’t need to file RTI applications,” he said.

“I have a request to the CIC, that you not only dispose of RTI applications but also inform people about the steps that have been taken to ensure that we do not need to file RTI applications,” the home minister said.

Shah said during the last 14 years, the country has been successful in fulfilling the intention of framing the law. The fundamental thought behind the RTI Act is to build the trust of the public in the system, he said.

“The system runs on the four corners of the Constitution. The core objective of this law is to create trust among people that the system runs according to the Constitution.

“When this trust awakens about the Constitution and the system, the participation of people increases automatically which takes the country forward. But when there is mistrust, participation of people takes a back seat,” he said.

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