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Finally, ill-thought amendments to the Right to Information (RTI) Act have been discarded by the Union cabinet. If legislated, they would have ensured that file notings by ministers and civil servants remained secret.

In a sense, this step will serve the United Progressive Alliance government well even if the government refuses to see it that way. Today, a large part of corrupt practices are due to secrecy behind which executive discretion thrives. Amending the RTI Act would have heightened this problem. Now, ministers will be forced to think before opting for a dubious course of action. Once a paper trail is created, even the most hardy believer in corruption can be deterred.

Of late, the RTI has come under attack from those expected to guard it. This is unfortunate. Hopefully, this will be the end of amendments that attempt to weaken this precious law.

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