What is Right To Information? 

RTI - A Practical Guide 
Importance of RTI 

The right to information has been recognized around the world as an important instrument for checking corruption and misuse of power.
The Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) came into effect on
Oct. 12, 2005. It is a significant milestone in the history of the right to information movement in India.

(a)  Information means any material in any form. This includes records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advice, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material in any electronic form and information relating to any private body that can be accessed by a public authority under any other existing legislation.

    (b) The bill defines public authority as any authority or body established or constituted  

      1. By or under the constitution.
      2. By any law made by central/state legislature.
      3. Including any other body owned, controlled or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly by the government.

    (c) Freedom of information means the right to obtain information from any public  
         authority by means of

      1. Extracts and notes.
      2. Certified copies of any records of such public authority.
      3. Diskettes, floppies or any other electronic mode or through print-outs when such information is stored in a computer or any other device.
      4. Certified samples of materials.

A powerful legislation like the RTI Act has to be implemented with conviction to achieve transparency and accountability.  By themselves, laws can only create a climate for transparency and provide help to determine responsibility. Progressive laws such as these, however, must be backed by a citizens’ movement.