Information is power, free flow the essence of democracy: Pres

New Delhi


Emphasizing that information is power, President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said that free flow of information is the essence of democracy and that people have the right to know how they are being governed.

"RTI (Right to Information) is not standalone. It is part of the larger narrative of strengthening Indian democracy, of ensuring transparency across systems of governance," said President after inaugurating 13th convention of the Central Information Commission (CIC) here. 

"Free flow of information is the essence of democracy. And for the people of a free and free-spirited country, information is power," he said. 

He said people have the right to know how they are being governed, how public money is being spent and how resources are being deployed and delivered. 

"In a democracy, there is no such thing as too much information. Information overload is always preferable to information deficit" he said.

The President said RTI improves transparency and "removes doubts that may arise" about favouritism and misappropriation. 

However, President emphasized said that one must be cautious against fringe cases, which use the RTI mechanism to "settle personal scores". 

"Especially in an age when privacy has become a matter of such intense debate, it is crucial to maintain this balance," he said.

Lauding the Central government initiatives, Kovind said: "Jan Dhan accounts, Aadhaar-based unique indentities and mobile phones have helped with direct bank transfers to beneficiaries of schemes." - IANS