New Delhi: Moving further towards greater transparency in governance, the government has extended the facility of e-filing of RTI applications to President and Vice President's Secretariat, and Foreign Ministry among others. Citizens will also be able to seek information online from ministries of Food Processing Industries, Health & Family Welfare, Home Affairs, Information & Broadcasting and Road Transport & Highways by exercising their Right to Information.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which acts as nodal ministry for implementation of Right to Information Act, has launched a website-- www.rtionline.gov.in --to facilitate e-filing of applications and payment of fees. As a pilot project, the facility was restricted to DoPT only but late last month it was extended to Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and Department of Consumer Affairs and Department of Food and Public Distribution.
Now it has been extended to other public authorities like Department of Agricultural Research & Education, Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Department of Commerce, Department of Disinvestment, Department of Public Enterprises and Ministry of Culture also, a DoPT official said. The Centre's flagship Right to Information Act, which was enacted in 2005, mandates timely response -- within 30 days-- to citizen requests for government information.
One has to pay a fee of Rs 10 for seeking information. The government plans to extend e-filing of RTI applications to all central ministries or departments through the website.
At present, the text of an application that can be uploaded at the prescribed column (on the website while filing application) is limited to 500 words only. In case, an application contains more than 500 words, then it can be uploaded as an attachment.
The initiative for filing of RTI pleas through electronic mode is getting good response from information seekers. However, the department has asked people not to file information related to state governments.
"Please do not file RTI applications through this portal for the public authorities under the state governments, including government of National Capital territory of Delhi. If filed, the application would be returned, without refund of amount," said a note put up on the website.