Agarwal, Chetan
January 2013
Journal of Governance & Public Policy;Jan-Jun2013, Vol. 3 Issue 1, p27
Academic Journal
Right to information movement in India started in 1990s intensifying the process of paradigm shift from state- centric to citizen-centric model of development. Grassroots movements began in India demanding freedom of information in order to combat corruption deeply rooted in the Indian public sector. Being pressurised from all sides, the state finally responded and passed the Right to Information Act in October, 2005 to promote good governance. In this study the framework developed by Stirton and Lodge was applied. Stirton and Lodge (2001) developed a contingency approach to build transparency into an institution. They suggested that public service architecture must be analysed and accordingly transparency mechanisms should be built into the system in order to promote transparency. This study extends the idea of transparency mechanisms by suggesting that underneath each of these doctrines of public sector architectures are 'dominant' instruments which in turn activate certain mechanisms to promote transparency. I conducted content analysis, interviews, and secondary analysis and the results clearly showed that the RTI as an instrument is reducing potential information asymmetries which in turn are exercised by Indian public in the form of 'voice' and 'representation' to promote transparency. Media and civil society organisations have played a crucial role in passing, scrutinising, and monitoring the implementation of the Act.


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