In a step towards greater transparency, the government has started a unique facility of submitting RTI applications and fees online.
The portal -- www.rtionline.gov.in -- has been created with an aim to help people exercise their right to seek information through online medium, said officials in Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which acts as nodal department for the implementation of transparency law in the country.
An information seeker can submit a fee of Rs. 10 via Internet banking through SBI and its associated banks. One can also use credit or debit cards for payment of the fee, they said.
“At present, people can file online applications and appeals for information related to the DoPT only. They can also make payment of RTI fee using this platform,” a DoPT official said.
The website was launched earlier this week. Through it, RTI applications or first appeals can be filed by Indian citizens only for the main ministries or departments of central government, located at New Delhi.
“The government will extend this facility to all its ministries and offices in the national capital by this month end,” the official said.
The website will give an individual greater and easier access to government information, the officials said.
The Centre’s flagship Right to Information Act, which was enacted in 2005, mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information. One has to pay a fee of Rs. 10 for seeking information.
The portal also help an RTI applicant and appellant to see the status of his application and appeal.
“At present, the text of an application that can be uploaded at the prescribed column (on the website while filing application) is confined to 500 words only. In case an application contains more than 500 words, it can be uploaded as an attachment,” the official said, adding that an applicant will get alert on his or her mobile about movement of the applications.
The Centre had last month started an online facility -- eIPO (electronic Indian Postal Order) -- for Non-Residential Indians to pay fee of Rs. 10 to access their Right to Information from abroad.