While It Moves to Exclude Political Parties from RTI; Govt. Expands Online RTI Service

The Indian government, which is on one hand trying to amend the right to information bill to exclude political parties from its ambit, is now extending online filing of RTI requests to all government departments.

Starting Wednesday Indian citizens will be able to file online Right To Information(RTI) applications in all government ministries and departments according to a report.

RTI onlineEarlier in April this year, the portal www.rtionline.gov.in was started as a pilot project to facilitate online submission of RTI applications. During the pilot phase the submissions were restricted to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), and slowly in phases 37 other government ministries and departments were also included.

V Narayanasamy, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions will launch the portal in New Delhi today.

An official from DoPT, the nodal department in charge of the RTI implementation said, “This facility would be extended to all the Ministries or Departments of Government of India with effect from August 21, 2013,” (Via)

The Right to Information Act, enacted in 2005, requires a response within 30 days to the citizen requests for government information. Only a fee of Rs. 10 is charged for seeking information under the RTI Act.

Other online RTI portals

Websites such as Rtination facilitate online application for RTI, but charge a premium of Rs 150 per application because it will costs them to send the RTI on post, pay payment gateway charges and other overheads.  Similarly Onlinerti.com charges Rs 75 per application request. The introduction of the RTI online website by the government will come as a big blow to them. The only people who might be interest in the alternate option are overseas Indian, for whom the payment options on the government websites might be limited.

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