Last week the Hindustan Times quoted a prominent Central Information Commissioner, Mr. Shailesh Gandhi, warning the country that the government and the judiciary together pose a serious threat to the RTI. Gandhi argued that the government’s infrastructure – training, resources – for the implementation of the RTI is woefully inadequate. He also highlighted the role … Continue reading "How effective is India’s Right to Information Act (RTI)?"
What effect do information campaigns have on the political behaviour of citizens and their representatives?
In a democracy, having cast their votes and investing their elected representative with the power to govern them, citizens have a right to know how they are being governed, and to demand detailed scrutiny of the process. In this sense, information about their government is something that citizens have a reason to value intrinsically. But … Continue reading "What effect do information campaigns have on the political behaviour of citizens and their representatives?"
Neighborhood Associations have assumed an important role in public policy decision making as the principal voice of the middle class across urban India. In recent years, these associations have sought a more formal role in policy making by contesting for political office in local elections in at least five major cities. This is significant not … Continue reading "Indian Middle Class and Electoral Politics"
Public discourse in India has been dominated by a heated debate on how to address the endemic corruption in India’s public institutions. The agitation for the Lok Pal bill and the ensuing discussions has brought the role of anti-corruption institutions and accountability mechanisms to the heart of this debate. As potential solutions begin to emerge, … Continue reading "Strengthening Public Accountability: Andhra Pradesh"
In 2008, Kaluram Salvi, Sarpanch of Vijaypura Gram Panchayat, Rajsamand district Rajasthan, implemented a unique experiment aimed at strengthening transparency in the implementation of the Mahatama Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). He created a ‘Janta Information System (JIS) by painting crucial information related to implementation of MGNREGA on the walls of the Gram Panchayat … Continue reading "Unpacking Transparency and Accountability Measures"