Transparency: Definition and Overview

Transparency has been defined by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission as, the
‘availability of information to the general public and clarity about functioning of governmental

Further, Vishwanath and Kaufmann (1999) have defined transparency as the “increased flow
of timely and reliable information, which is accessible to all relevant stakeholders”. This
perspective emphasizes not only the availability of information, but also its reliability and

It is not a new concept as shown in the timeline depicting the evolution of ‘transparency and
right to information’ which can be charted out as follows:

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