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Day 68- Ques Ans

The Judiciary must be brought under the purview of the Right to Information Act to address the lack of transparency in its processes and functioning. Do you agree? Critically examine.

RTI act 2005, do not allow any special relaxation to judiciary system under RTI act 2005, however after Delhi HC order in affirmation, SC has not accepted it yet. Judiciary should be under purview of RTI because

  • As per legislation- RTI act do not allow judiciary to keep itself out from preview like few organizations as RAW, CISF and so on.
  • Moral conduct- SC demanded other legislative and executive institute to fall under RTI, while keeping itself in isolation do not set right example.
  • Protection clause- judiciary argument regarding independence can be rejected on the ground that, in act itself there is a provision to reject the information if it is not justifiable.
  • Nature of RTI act- do not explore something which has not been done, so judiciary should not have any fear if there is transparency are as per law.
  • Recent debates- regarding judicial appointment process need clarity to restore people faith on judiciary.

However there are certain arguments against it

  • Judiciary as unique institute- as custodian of constitution, judiciary cannot be comparing with any other institute for forcing to become part of RTI act.
  • Reputation of judges- there is wide ambit of questions which may hurt the reputation of judges and may effect on overall judicial procedure.
  • Impact on judicial process- already overburden judiciary, will be more in trouble by any such act, which has already debated as cause of policy paralysis among executives.

It is a transition time for Indian judiciary where it need to take many tough decisions to  restore democratic faith and joining RTI act is one such decision.

  1. A strong PMO with centralized decision making powers doesn’t augur well to the ideals and objectives of  democratic governance. Elucidate.

After independence, PMO office gets attention especially under Shastri ji and Indira Gandhi.. PMO has seen as challenges to democratic governance as

  • It is not constitutional office like cabinet secretary or also do not make after consensus with state like planning commission or NDC but hold significant power.
  • It is a symbolic of centralization of power under prime minster which is not as per ethos of Indian democracy where cabinet is the highest decision making body.
  • It is a symbol of prime ministerial governance which can do lot more danger as emergency in 1975
  • PMO promotion do not seen as balance with debate with other political officials, opposition and other stake holders which is the base of democratic value.

However with passing time PMO office is need of time-

  • PM as head of government is prime responsible to deliver promises by him during election so need strong office to look after progress.
  • Strong PMO, many argued better than having parallel system as NDC in previous UPA regime.
  • PM have responsibility of many other departments so to deliver that task PMO needed
  • As coordinating and conflict resolution body between ministries PMO has done well job.
  • In the era of collation government, when ministries are more by political compulsion, PMO need for policy monitoring.

So rising PMO is not against democratic values as it is need of time but need to balance it with other constitutional and federal offices.

Recently India has merged minister of Overseas Indian Affairs with Minister of External Affairs; there is also a demand to merge minister of Panchayat raj with minister of agriculture. Merging ministries good by following reasons-

  • Reduce overlapping- there are certain functions which need to go through single window system for efficiency and reducing duplicity like in MOIA and MEA.
  • Less government and more governance- it reduces complexity in government functions and fast forwards the policy implementation.
  • Reduce government expenditure- to sustain a full ministry is a costly matter so reduce to use resources efficiently.
  • Federalism- on many regards there is demand for more decentralization so fewer ministries will help to achieve it.
  • Will reduce political clashes- at political level, more ministries become cause for political tussle especially in coalition government, so merger will reduce such confusion and challenges.

But there are certain challenges with it

  • It promotes the delegate legislation and execution and bureaucracy holds more power
  • Ministries like Panchyat Raj are very important for reforming the third tier so need to maintain it
  • With more welfare agenda, government needs more specification of implementation and channelizing resources, which may not be possible after clubbing ministries.

In recent time need to merge ministries like

  • Rural development and urban development
  • Agriculture and panchayat raj
  • Ayush with health
  • Power with mines, pertolium and natural gas, and renewable energy.

Merging ministries will one step ahead for reducing government interferes and gap can be filled with experts’ entry in governance and use of IT and technology at all level.

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