Right to Information and Good Governance

By Prof. Sairam Bhat   |   National Law School of India University
Learners enrolled: 2033
Transparency and Access to Information, is pivotal to the functioning of a democracy. In the Information Age, access to data, reports, documents, etc are sine qua non of every Individual. This course seeks to provide a comprehensive learning on the Right to Information, dealing with its multiple facets from a constitutional perspective to be a Statutory right, and thereby its evolution as an executory right through administrative and judicial process. While the Right to Information Act 2005, being a Central legislation, allows State Governments to make Rules for its implementation. It attempts to create a practical regime for the exercise of the Fundamental Right to know and establishes a mechanism within the Government to facilitate the same, in an alternate to judicial enforcement. The Act also attempts to bring in transparency and accountability in the working of ‘public authorities’. The interpretation of the Act has seen interesting developments, such as, which Institutions are accountable to provide information under the definition of ‘Public Authority’? Whether information can be provided to non-citizens? What is the content of the ‘right to Information’? What kind of information is exempted? Increasingly, the Courts have been called upon to interpret various provision of this Act, hence the case law development have contributed enormously to the jurisprudence of transparency law in India. The Course will aim to trace the legal development of the RTI and compare the development of the ‘right of information’ in comparative jurisdictions such as Sri Lanka USA and UK. 

INTENDED AUDIENCE : Under-graduate Students, NGOs, Social Activists, Beneficiaries of Government Services, Advocates, Public Information Officers, Legal Advisors, Information Commissioners, Judges, etc.
INDUSTRIES  SUPPORT   : 1. All Departments and Ministries of the Government.
2. All Public Sector Undertakings
3. All Public Authorities as defined in the RTI Act
4. All Public Universities and bodies owned and controlled and substantially financed by the Government.
5. All non-governmental organisations substantially financed by the Government.
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Law
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 26 Jul 2021
End Date : 15 Oct 2021
Enrollment Ends : 09 Aug 2021
Exam Date : 24 Oct 2021 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1 : History and Background to RTI
Week 2 :
  • Legislating RTI
  • Official Secrets Act and RTI
  • Role of NGOs and activist in RTI
  • Mis-use of RTI
  • Important SC and HC judgments in RTI
Week 3  :Constitution and RTI
Week 4  :Salient Features of RTI-1
Week 5  :Salient features of RTI-2
Week 6  :Powers and Functions of Information Commission
Week 7  :Public Authority
Week 8  :Exempted Information
Week 9  :RTI & Its interface
  • Public Records Act
  • Whistleblower Protection Act
  • Judiciary and RTI
Week 10 :
  • Ecological perspective on RTI
  • Lessons from RTI: Sakaala: Public Service Guarantee Act
Week 11 :  RTI: A comparative perspective
  • Comparative Constitutional and Comparative FOI regime
  • RTI in Srilanka
Week 12 :  How to Draft RTI Application and Appeals: Do it yourself

Books and references

1. Book- Sairam Bhat [ed], Right to Information and Good Governance, NLSIU Book Series-3, 2016. [ISBN-9789383363452]
2. Book-Sairam Bhat, Right to Information, Eastern Book House, 2012. [ISBN-978838021553]
3. Dr. Sairam Bhat; Reposing the Constitutional Trust through the Right to Information, NLSIU Journal, 2013.
4. Subhash Chandra Agrawal; My Experiences on RTI & Judiciary, Central Information Commission, 2012.
5. Praveen Dala; Consumer Protection and Right to Information; Central Information Commission, 2007.
6. Harsh Mander and Abha Joshi; The Movement for Right to Information in India: People’s Power for the Control of Corruption; http://www.rtigateway.org.in
7. Srinivas Madhav; Election and Right to Information; http://www.rtigateway.org.in
8. Analysing Right to Information, CTUS International, 2010.
9. M. M. Ansari, Impact of Right to Information on Development: A Perspective on India’ s Recent Experiences, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2008. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001865/186510m.pdf
10. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Right to Information: International, Member State’s Laws and Papers;http://www.humanrightsinitiative.org/programs/ai/rti/international/laws_&_papers.htm
11. Global Trends on the Right to Information: A Survey of South Asia. http://www.article19.org/pdfs/publications/south-asia-foi-survey.pdf
12. Dr. Sairam Bhat; ‘Best Practices under RTI Act 2005: Lessons from Central Silk Board, Administrative Training Institute, Mysore, 2011
13. Prabodh Saxena; Public Authority and RTI, Economic and Political Weekly, April 2009, Vol XLIV no. 16.
14. Priyanka Jana; Limitation of the Right to Information Act; Global Media Journal – Indian Edition Winter Issue / December 2010.
15. Pankaj K P Shreyaska; Investigating Compliance of the RTI Act; Economic & Political Weekly; March 2, 2013 vol KLV III no 9

Instructor bio

Prof. Sairam Bhat

National Law School of India University
Prof. Dr. Sairam Bhat, Professor of Law at National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, India’s pioneer legal institution, with over 20 years of experience in the legal fraternity. His areas of specialization include the Law relating to Public Private Partnerships, Competition Law, Tendering, Contract Management, Environment Protection and the Law on Right to Information.

He has served as a Consultant to several Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations and has conducted several training programmes and workshops for various officers of Government of India, and other State Governments under the aegis of various government bodies including the Administrative Training Institute, Mysore; National Academy of Direct Taxes, Delhi; Vaizag Steel; Central Silk Board; National Productivity Council; GIPARD, Goa and Fiscal Policy Institute, Bengaluru.

He did his LL.M, and Ph.D from the Department of Law, University of Mysore and has been awarded the ‘Young India Environmental Law Fellowship’ and served as Adjunct Faculty at Golden Gate University, California, USA, during the fall, 2003. As a Fulbright-Nehru Fellow, 2010, he was a ‘Visiting Researcher’ at the Georgetown University, Law Centre Washington DC, during Aug-Dec. 2010. He was also a Linnaeus-Palme Academic Exchange Fellow at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, 2012-13. He has published books titled, Natural Resources Conservation Law [SAGE], Right to Information [Eastern Book House], Contracts, Agreements and Public Policy [NLSIU Book Series -1], Energy Law and Policy in India [NLSIU Book Series-2], Right to Information and Good Governance [NLSIU Books Series-3]. He is also the Chief Editor of the Journal on Environmental Law, Policy and Development and Journal on Law and Public Policy, published by NLSIU.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 24 October 2021 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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