Four new Information Commissioners under the Right to Information Act were sworn in on Tuesday after their names were cleared by the Governor.
They are former Indian Forest Service officer C. Madhukar Raj, former IPS officers S. Prabhakar Reddy and M. Ratan and a journalist P. Vijay Babu. They will hold office for five years from now or till the date they attain 65 years of age, according to the Government Order announcing their appointment.
Chief Information Commissioner Jannat Hussain administered the oath of office to the four incumbents who took charge soon after a brief ceremony. He told presspersons later that with the four new RTI Commissioners, much could be achieved and said his target was to reduce the pendency of applications seeking information from three years to three months.
Other issues that needed to be addressed in the department could also be handled now with the addition of officers, he said, adding that despite being a powerful tool, the RTI was yet to create an impact in rural areas primarily due to lack of awareness. Mr. Vijay Babu said the primary purpose of the RTI Act was to serve as a tool to ensure transparency between the government and citizens. “Our role will be just that of facilitators to promote the use of the Act,” he added.