Wajahat Habibullah, chairman, minority commission of India and former chief information commissioner

DQI Bureau
New Update

Beginning with the Right to Information Act, although it has made much impact on exposing corruption cases, don't you think an electronic platform-like the EDS bill-could have done more?


Even in RTI, you can make electronic applications to access information but that is not happening. There was no channel for making the fee for accessing the information online. The electronic system in RTI, if had been implemented, could make it very much approachable to all.

The upcoming EDS bill would require all the government departments to provide services in an electronic mode and also has a provision of penalizing. Do you think a move like this would help check corruption?

I hope that the bill will help put a tab on corruption. As far as the RTI is concerned, it has the provision of only giving out the information which helps exposing the corruption and errant officials. However it does not have any provision to penalize. In the case of EDS bill, I believe that its provision of penalizing the officials, which are found guilty, would be effective in checking the corruption.


Don't you think delivering services electronically would not be smooth in the areas where there are connectivity problems?

There is connectivity problem in many areas of India, but the government needs to resolve that. By encouraging the private parties to invest in that area, and asking states to invest in the connectivity and sanctioning internet, the government can resolve the problem. As and when, people begin deriving benefits of the internet, they would demand more and private vendors to flow in automatically.

The bill, in a way, is reducing the interface between the customer and the service provider, or the consumer and the government. Thus, there would be lesser chances of corruption. Do you think that the bill is far superior to the much-debated Lokpal bill?


In the form that the Lokpal has come up, it is unworkable. I think that should be broken, keeping in mind the concept of accountability not considering forming another government authority to enforce accountability. Ultimately the staff would come from the government and this was the same case with the RTI also. However with the EDS there won't be such case. The electronic mode would help limit corruption and also eliminate the corruption.

Where Lokpal bill is a bill that could reduce corruption, the EDS, on the other hand, could help prevent corruption. Please comment.

That is a good idea. By making the system transparent, there will be no corruption. The Lokpal and RTI exposes corruption but the EDS bill would help put a check on it.