- The article discusses India’s performance in RTI ratings
About Global RTI Rating
- The Global RTI Rating has been developed by Access Info Europe (AIE)and the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD)
- It provides a numerical assessment for the overall legal framework for the right to information (RTI) in a country, based on how well that framework gives effect to the right to access information held by public authorities.
- The Ratings are based on 61 indicators which are divided into seven different categories, namely: Right of Access, Scope, Requesting Procedures, Exceptions and Refusals, Appeals, Sanctions and Protections, and Promotional Measures. It examines countries using a 150-point scale to indicate their strengths and weaknesses.
- The RTI Rating is limited to measuring the legal framework and does not measure the quality of implementation.
Highlights of RTI Rating 2018
- Afghanistan topped the list scoring 139 out of 150 points followed by Mexico (136), Serbia (135), Sri Lanka (131) and Slovenia (129).
- Austria was placed at the bottom scoring just 33 points.
- India secured 6th rank out of 123 countries. India has slipped from its second position (2011) to fourth, fifth and sixth in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.
India scored 128 out of a possible total of 150 points.
- India performed worst under the section “Sanctions and Protections”, scoring just above 60 percent points
- Further, India failed to match up to the expectations in five of the sections including scope of the RTI Act, requesting procedures, exceptions and refusals and measures taken to promote the Act, and has scored just above 80 percent points.
- The report states that one of the biggest issue faced by India’s RTI Act is the fact that it offers no protection to officials (from sanctions) who “release information that shows wrongdoing”, thus keeping them open to punitive actions for upholding the Act.
- Another major problem with RTI Act is blanket exceptions in Schedule 2 for various security, intelligence, research and economic institutes. The report advocates that instead of such broad exclusions, these interests should be protected by individual and harm-tested exception