- India, with a score of 128 out of 150, is ranked number 6 out of 123 countries in the global RTI rating developed and published by Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) and Access Info Europe.
- While the list is topped by Afghanistan with a score 139, India and Sri Lanka are the only South Asian countries to figure in the top 10.
- Sri Lanka holds the 4th position in the Global RTI ranking list.
- India’s position in the ranking has consecutively slipped to 6th in this year’s ranking from 4th position in 2016 and 2nd position in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Reasons for slip in ranking
- Increasing vacancies in state information commissions and central information commission.
- 48 out of 156 total posts are vacant across the state information commissions and the CIC. Only 12 states have filled all posts of chief information commissioners and information commissioners.
- 11 states have made provisions for online RTI appeals and complaints. Thus lack of online access is another reason for the slip.
- One of the parameters in the ranking is the right of access to information which applies to the executive branch with no bodies or classes of information excluded.
- However Schedule 2 of the RTI Act 2005 in India exempts intelligence and security organizations, as well as other research and economic entities like IB, RAW, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, BSF, CRPF, CISF, ITBP, National Security Guards etc.
- The ranking is also based on right of access to information for everyone including non-citizens and legal entities.
- However RTI in India applies only to citizens, and legal persons but not non-citizens.
- The right to obtain information about private entities performing a public function is not a part of legal framework though recognized by courts.
About Global RTI rating
- It is a measure of the strength of the legal framework for the right to access information held by public authorities.
- It has 61 indicators divided into seven main categories namely:
- Right of Access
- Requesting Procedure
- Exceptions & Refusals
- Sanctions & Protections
- Promotional Measures
- The rating was first launched in 2011 by Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) and Access Info Europe.
- RTI Rating indicates the strengths and weaknesses of the legal framework, and provides a means for pinpointing areas in need of improvement.
About Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) and Access Info Europe
- Access Info Europe is a human rights organisation dedicated to promoting and protecting the right of access to information in Europe.
- The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) is a non-profit organisation based in Canada.
- CLD works to promote, protect and develop those human rights which serve as the foundation for democracy, including the right to information (RTI).