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The official secrecy law is in direct skirmish with the Right to Information Act, 2005. Examine the statement in the context of recent Covid 19 pandemic policies.

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

4. The official secrecy law is in direct skirmish with the Right to Information Act, 2005. Examine the statement in the context of recent Covid 19 pandemic policies. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article explains in what way Official secrecy on pandemic policies aggravates a crisis.

Key Demand of the question:

Examine in what way the official secrecy law is in direct conflict with the Right to Information Act, 2005 amidst the pandemic situation facing the country.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with brief background of Official secrets act. And throw light upon importance of RTI of 2005.

Body:

The answer must present a critical analysis of as to why the official secrecy law is in direct conflict with RTI.

Discuss how the Government secrecy is growing during the coronavirus pandemic. Give examples of the vaccination policies and programs and the lack of information/denial of information.

Effective planning and administration cannot occur in the dark, and experts attribute the death toll and suffering to mismanagement and lack of preparation as much as the virus itself. Official secrecy is undermining the capacity of scientists, public health and policy experts to provide timely feedback and suggestions to the government. Such is the information black hole.

Highlight the concerns in detail.

Conclusion:

Conclude that rather than limiting public information, however, agencies can use this crisis as an opportunity to take governance to the next level – making government even more accessible to the public it serves.