Claiming rights without duties is against democratic values: PM

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 06, 2018, 05.03 PM (IST)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said it was imperative that people are made aware of the importance of their duties as asserting one's own rights without rendering duties is against the fundamental value of the democracy.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new building premises of the Central Information Commission (CIC) here, he also said that it has been noticed that some people misuse rights of people for vested interests.

He said that the system has to bear the burden of such attempts.

Modi said people need to be made aware of their duties along with their rights.

"Only talking about rights and forgetting duties, forgetting aspirations of the Constitution, is against the fundamental spirit of the democracy," he said.

He said just like the RTI (Right to Information), the concept of 'Act Rightly' should be discussed and the citizens should be informed about their duties along with their rights.

He urged the CIC, which has a large public interaction, to take up the task of making aware the citizens about 'Act Rightly'.

"When there is transparency in the arrangements, increasing responsibility towards the people, a sense of responsibility, both the work of the governments and the impact of the schemes change," he said.

At the event, Modi also launched a mobile application of the CIC for tracking and filing appeals and complaints at the transparency panel.

"I agree", he said, "that an empowered citizen is the strongest pillar of our democracy".

"In the last four years you have seen how the central government has attempted to inform and empower the people of the country through different means," he said.

According to Modi, there have been many examples in history when information is treated like a one-way channel and hence there were many serious consequences thereof.

"So our government, instead of one dimensional approach, works on the principle of modern information highway," he said.

An empowered citizen is the most important pillar of our democracy, he said.

He said his government has been working on five pillars of modern information highway -- ask, listen, interact, act and inform.

"India is fast becoming a digitally-empowered society; information technology is being used to ease processes and ensure transparency and quality of service," he said.

He said since the enactment of the RTI Act about 12 years ago, the CIC has been operating in rented accommodation and his government, in 2014, accorded a sanction of Rs 60 crore for constructing an independent building for the transparency body.

The prime minister said democratic and participative governance requires transparency and accountability.

He said CIC plays a key role in this regard and work as catalysts for trust-based governance.

The prime minister said that over the last four years, the central government has been informing and empowering people through various means.

Underlining achievements of his government in ensuring transparency in work culture, Modi said information commonly asked for is being uploaded on web portals of the departments and ministries concerned, digital technology is being used to improve transparency and quality of citizen services.

"In a meeting of PRAGATI last week, the progress of reconstruction works at Kedarnath was monitored through a drone camera... PRAGATI meetings have helped speed up projects worth over 9 lakh crore rupees," he said.

The prime minister said recently Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals, which employed 1,100 personnel, has been closed down to ensure transparent procurement process which will allow anyone in the country to become the supplier for the government.

He said these employees are now being transferred to other departments.

He said that public procurement is now being done through the Government e Market, or GeM platform which is helping to end corruption and bring transparency in government procurement.

He also spoke of minimising human interface in government-people interactions.