India's Right to Information Act

The Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) is a landmark legislation in India that empowers citizens to access information held by public authorities. Enacted on 15th June 2005, it replaced the earlier Freedom of Information Act, 2002. The Act is a powerful tool for promoting transparency and accountability in government and has been hailed as a game-changer for democracy in India.


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Key Objectives of the RTI Act:

  • To empower citizens by giving them the right to access information held by public authorities.
  • To promote transparency and accountability in the working of public authorities.
  • To contain corruption and misuse of power by public authorities.
  • To make our democracy work for the people in real sense.

Key Features of the RTI Act:

  • Any citizen of India can file an RTI request for information from any public authority.
  • The request can be made in writing or orally.
  • The public authority is required to provide the information within a specified time limit, usually 30 days.
  • There are certain exemptions from disclosure of information, such as information that is related to national security, personal information, and trade secrets.
  • If the information is not provided or the request is denied, the citizen can appeal to the Information Commission.

Impact of the RTI Act:

The RTI Act has had a significant impact on India in a number of ways:

  • It has made government more transparent and accountable.
  • It has helped to expose corruption and misuse of power.
  • It has empowered citizens to hold the government accountable.
  • It has improved the quality of governance.

Challenges of the RTI Act:

Despite its successes, the RTI Act also faces some challenges:

  • Lack of awareness about the Act among citizens.
  • Delays in providing information by public authorities.
  • Frivolous and vexatious RTI requests.
  • Non-compliance with the Act by some public authorities.

Overall, the RTI Act is a powerful tool for promoting transparency and accountability in India. It has had a significant impact on the country and has empowered citizens to hold the government accountable. However, there are some challenges that need to be addressed in order to ensure that the Act is fully effective.

Right to Information (RTI) Fellowship Guidelines:

The RTI Fellowship programs aim to support research and capacity building in the field of Right to Information (RTI) in India. These fellowships are typically offered by government agencies like the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) or independent institutions like the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI).

Here's a general overview of the guidelines you can expect, though specific details may vary depending on the program you're interested in:

(RTI) Fellowship Guidelines: Eligibility

  • Age: Typically for individuals between 25 and 40 years old.
  • Background: Open to journalists, researchers, trainers, and professionals associated with civil society organizations working on RTI.
  • Experience: Prior experience in journalism, research, RTI activism, or relevant fields is usually required.
  • Qualifications: Some programs may specify educational qualifications like a postgraduate degree.

(RTI) Fellowship Guidelines: Application Process

  • Proposal: The core requirement is a comprehensive research proposal outlining your chosen topic, research plan, methodology, deliverables, and expected outcomes.
  • Supporting Documents: CV, statement of work related to RTI, reference letters, no objection certificate from current employer (if applicable).
  • Selection Process: Proposals are evaluated based on originality, feasibility, potential impact, and applicant's qualifications. Interviews or presentations may be part of the process.

(RTI) Fellowship Guidelines: Benefits

  • Stipend: Monthly stipend for the duration of the fellowship.
  • Research Grant: Additional funding to support research expenses like data collection, travel, and equipment.
  • Mentorship: Guidance and support from experienced RTI experts.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with other RTI researchers and practitioners.
  • Publication & Dissemination: Opportunity to publish your research findings and present them at conferences.

(RTI) Fellowship Guidelines: Additional Points

  • Duration: Fellowships typically last for 6-12 months.
  • Focus Areas: Research topics may be broad or specific, but often focus on under-researched areas within RTI or its impact on various sectors like governance, social justice, or environmental issues.
  • Reporting: Regular progress reports and a final report are usually required.

(RTI) Fellowship Guidelines: Finding Programs

  • Check the websites of relevant government agencies and institutions like DOPT, CHRI, RTI Resource Centre, etc.
  • Subscribe to RTI newsletters and announcements.
  • Network with RTI practitioners and researchers.

Remember, these are general guidelines. Always refer to the specific program you're interested in for the most accurate and up-to-date information.