Information Sharing And Transparency In Government

Information Sharing And Transparency In Government

The right to free information is a fundamental human right. For the protection of human rights, the ability to seek, receive, and transmit information is essential. The ability of every person to get the information they need to improve their lives by assisting them in effective decision-making is one way to look at "Democratisation of Information."
 
•    Another facet of this is the creation of an information-driven society in which all services and facilities are available with the bare minimum of bureaucratic and procedural red tape.
 
•    Transparency and accountability result from an information-driven society. This gives a boost to programmes aimed at improving public-sector processes and systems, thereby improving service delivery. 
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•    The fundamental nature of the Right to Information has been recognised by a number of international bodies charged with promoting and protecting human rights (RTI).
 
•    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1948, is widely regarded as the cornerstone of international human rights law.
 
•    Article 19 guarantees the right to freedom of expression and information in the following terms, which are binding on all states as a matter of primary international law.
 
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and ex¬pression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and re¬gardless of frontiers.” 
 

INFORMATION IS REQUIRED AT MULTIPLE LEVELS AS FOLLOWS:

1.    The public should be aware of their rights at the first level. Countless examples exist where millions of people are unaware of their basic rights. The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in India, for example, has been in place for decades, but many of the targeted beneficiaries are unaware of their rights.
 
2.    At the second level, people require information to enable them to use government services. For example, in order to receive benefits, a beneficiary must understand how to register for a ration card. A simple IT-based system for registering vaccination cards in which the beneficiary is assisted throughout the process can make a significant difference.
 
3.     At the third level, people will be able to demand services based on the government's service level agreements and file grievances, allowing the system to correct itself based on user feedback.

•    Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the first level of information. As a result, knowledge of rights, government services, and welfare programmes is critical to information democracy. 
 
•    The electronic delivery of services provides users with information so that they are aware of the services and can take advantage of them through a variety of communication channels.
 
•    Web portals (available on the Internet), e-mails, SMS, kiosks, and Common Service Centres (CSCs) are some of the electronic channels used today to ensure that information reaches people wherever they are. 
 
•    Information is also disseminated through service centres staffed by skilled personnel. Print media, television, radio, and public office buildings are among the other means of disseminating information.
 
•    Civil society organisations and the media play a critical role in this context. Civil society organisations are raising public awareness and assisting people in obtaining information.
 
•    The media has played a role in raising awareness and continues to be a powerful tool for increasing reach and awareness.
 
Information Sharing And Transparency In Government
•    The Electronic Delivery of Services Bill has been introduced in India, and the Right to Information Act was passed in 2005. The problem isn't that there isn't any law; it's that it isn't enforced properly. 
 
•    This includes bringing about a cultural shift in the way government agencies operate toward "openness." It also entails controlling the cost of information and utilising innovative ideas and information technology (IT) to make information available to the public at a reasonable cost wherever they are. Because technology can remove economic, language, and other barriers to information flow, it is the only way to make information available to India's billion-plus people.
 
•    While increased transparency, accountability, public participation, and empowerment are all obvious benefits of information flow, it also has some drawbacks. If the information is used to make accusations against public servants or to cause chaos, it can have a negative impact on how government agencies operate. 
 
•    To ensure that information is not misused by such elements, adequate checks and balances are required in the systems. Today, a number of federal and state government agencies use information technology to manage and disseminate data.
 
•    Progress, on the other hand, has been slow. While India is far ahead of other countries in terms of the depth and breadth of its IT industry, adoption in the government sector is slow. 
 
•    Various governments have been attempting to change the way government agencies operate. There have been large-scale transformational projects implemented. 
 
•    The technical solution, as well as its adoption by various stakeholders, is critical to the success of these projects.

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