ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Science and the Right to Information

The many streams of human knowledge have been shaped by an interplay of seeking after truth and telling calculated lies. Of these, the folk and classical streams cannot effectively discriminate empirically valid knowledge from beliefs, and have grown slowly. Science is notably an organised enterprise of scepticism, anchoring itself firmly on the bedrock of empirical facts, thereby ensuring that deliberate manipulation of information is quickly exposed and eliminated. Official knowledge, though claiming to be science based, permits itself to be manipulated by vested interests, by discouraging scrutiny. As a result, much of the information base for managing India's environment is incomplete, outdated, or downright bogus. The only way to correct this is to expose it to public scrutiny. The new Right to Information Act makes this possible. The tools of information and communication technology can facilitate such scrutiny by making available all relevant information, in full detail, on a publicly accessible website. Together, these developments present a tremendous opportunity to replace the current bureaucratic "control and command" by a "share and inform" approach.

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