Deepak Sandhu, who has been an information commissioner for the last four years, on Thursday became the first woman Chief Information Commissioner of the country.

A former Indian Information Service officer of 1971 batch, she was administered the oath of office by President Pranab Mukherjee at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan, attended among others by Vice President Hamid Ansari.

Ms. Sandhu had served in many key positions such as Principal Director General (Media and Communications) in the Press Information Bureau, Director General of DD (News), Director General (News) All India Radio before taking over as Information Commissioner in 2009.

She had represented the country at international Film Festivals in Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Tokyo, International Conference on Terrorism and Electronic Mass Media at Glendzhik (Russia) and Cyprus besides Heads of News Meetings at Atlanta, USA and Beijing.

Speaking to PTI she said the RTI journey which began in 2005 is just a beginning and she propose to take it forward by engaging with various stakeholders.

The new CIC said her priority would be to reduce the pendency of cases at the Commission.

The 64-year old officer is joining office for a relatively smaller tenure of nearly three months in which her biggest challenge would over 30,000 pending cases with the Commission.

“We are waiting for new Commissioners which are likely to be appointed soon. It will ease our burden of disposal of cases and also reduce the pendency at the Commission,” she said.

Ms. Sandhu will succeed Satyananda Mishra who demitted office after five-years of tenure at the Commission on Wednesday. During his tenure, he headed the Bench that declared political parties to be under the ambit of the RTI Act.

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