central government and the union territories and a State Information Commission deals with the
      appeals pertaining to offices, financial institutions, public sector undertakings, etc. under the
      concerned state government.
           The Central Information Commission/State Information Commissions are high-powered
      independent bodies created by the Act, and they can impose penalty on the defaulting Public
      Information Officers. This comprehensive law covers almost all levels of governance, and are
      applicable not only to union, state and local governments but also to the recipients of government
      grants. Access to information under this Act is extensive with minimum exemptions. The Right
      to Information Act has converted the prevailing culture of secrecy into culture of openness and
      transparency in the working of the government.
      Official Language
           Article 343 (1) of the Constitution provides that Hindi in Devanagari script shall be the
      official language of the Union. Article 343 (2) also provides for continuing the use of English in
      official work of the Union for a period of 15 years (i.e., upto January 25, 1965) from the date of
      commencement of the Constitution. Article 343 (3) empowered the Parliament to provide by law
      for continued use of English for official purposes even after January 25, 1965. The Act also lays
      down under Section 3 (3) that both Hindi and English shall compulsorily be used for certain
      specified purpose such as resolutions, general Orders, Rules, Notifications, Administrative and
      other Reports, Press Communiques; Administrative and other reports and official papers to be
      laid before a House or the Houses of Parliament; contracts, agreements, licences, permits, tender
      notices and forms of tender, etc.
           With a view to ensuring compliance of the constitutional and legal provisions regarding
      official language and to promote the use of Hindi for the official purposes of the Union, the
      Department of Official Language was set up in 1975 as an independent department of the
      Ministry of Home Affairs. Since then, this Department has been making efforts for accelerating
      the progressive use of Hindi for the official purposes of the Union. In accordance with the
      Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, this Department has been entrusted
      with the following items of work that include:- co-ordination in all matters relating to the
      progressive use of Hindi as the Official Language of the Union, including administrative
      terminology, syllabi, textbooks, training courses and equipment (with standardised script)
      required there for; matters relating to the Kendriya Hindi Samiti and the Central Translation
      Bureau, etc.
           In 1976, Official Language Rules were framed under the provisions of Section 8 (1) of the
      Official Languages Act, 1963 as amended in 1967. Salient features of the rules are as under: (i)
      They apply to all central government offices, including any office of a Commission, Committee
      or Tribunal appointed by the central government and corporation or company owned or
      controlled by the central government except Tamil Nadu; (ii) Communications from a central
      government office to state/union territories or to any person in region ‘A’ comprising Uttar
      Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand,
      Rajasthan, Haryana and union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Delhi, shall be in
      Hindi; (iii) Communications from a central government office to states/union territories in region
      ‘B’ comprising Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the union territory of Chandigarh, Daman and
      Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli shall ordinarily be in Hindi and if any communication is issued
      to any of them in English, it shall be accompanied by a Hindi translation thereof; (iv)