Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked government departments to keep in mind three ‘T’s — timeliness, transparency and trouble-free approach — while replying to RTI applications as that would help in reducing errors in governance.
Addressing the 10th anniversary of Central Information Commission, the Prime Minister said more openness in governance will help citizens as there is no need for secrecy in this day and age.
“RTI replies should be timely, transparency and trouble- free. It will help in reducing possibilities of errors,” he said at the function which was boycotted by leading RTI activists, including Aruna Roy, after authorities restricted the invitations to some activists citing security reasons.
Modi said right to information is not only about the right to know but also the right to question as this will increase faith in democracy.
“People should have a right to question the government. This is the foundation of democracy, this will increase faith in democracy. When matters go online, transparency increases automatically. Trust also increases,” he said.
He said aim of the Right To Information Act is to bring about a positive change in governance.
Referring to the role played by the Right To Information Act in bringing positive changes in governance, the Prime Minister said the law can also help in reviewing government policies.
Modi said his government’s initiative of Digital India, which will ensure that all administrative work is done online, is fully linked with the RTI initiative.
“When matters go online, all issues become transparent and the key objective of RTI is to bring transparency in governance…Maximum online, maximum transparency. There is no need for maintaining secrecy in administrative work. Those days are gone,” he said.
On the government’s decision to end the practice of attestation by gazetted officers in photocopies of documents, the Prime Minister said it reflected the government’s trust in people and such a move increases people’s faith in government.
Modi said RTI should be used for bringing changes in governance and not to limit it to just replying to questions on a particular subject.
“If we limit RTI just to reply to questions, there will be no changes in governance. We have to analyse the RTI questions and ponder whether there is need to make changes in policy matters,” he said.
The Prime Minister said to ensure good governance, every department must take every RTI seriously and see that subjects raised are addressed adequately.