More RTIs not reflective of govt's success: Amit Shah

Home Minister Amit Shah. (PTI Photo)

Emphasising that rising number of RTI applications do not represent a government's success, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said Narendra Modi government's objective is pro-active disclosure so that people do not feel the need to seek information under the transparency law.

Addressing the 14th annual convention of the Central Information Commission (CIC), Shah said the success of a government does not lie in the high number of RTI.

"Low number of RTI applications in spite of convenient avenues to file them means the government's work is satisfactory. A 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," he said.

Touching upon allegations of misuse of RTI, he said there is a need to ensure that people use the transparency law responsibly.

"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 the right to responsibility," he said.

Referring to the introduction of dashboard system where all information is available, Shah said the Modi government has now ensured that people get information about schemes online without filing an RTI application. The aim is that the system should function in such a way that there is no need for filing RTIs.

"Through the use of dashboard, we began a new transparent era. A sarpanch can find the status of projects in his village. One can go to the dashboard and see how many toilets have been built, one can check when one will get electricity connection. Any illiterate woman can click the dashboard and get to know when she will get a cooking gas cylinder," he said.

With the use of RTI in the past 14 years, he said we have been able to fill gap of mistrust between the administration and citizens.

"When we assess the results of the RTI, we find that transparency has been increased, corruption has been reduced and the speed of governance has also been increased due to the RTI Act. We are heading towards a digitally empowered society," Shah said.

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