Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, Government has brought to notice of all Ministries/ Departments of Government of India that personal information of an RTI applicant should not be disclosed.In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today, he said, the Government has launched the RTI web portal www.rtionline.gov.in to facilitate citizens for filing of online RTI applications and first appeals w.e.f. 21st August, 2013. As on 01.03.2021, 2381 Central Public Authorities are aligned with the system and since February, 2016, the citizens can file online RTI application and first appeal in Hindi also.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the RTI Act has an inbuilt mechanism to settle complaints/ grievances relating to implementation of the provisions of the Act. It empowers the citizens to lodge complaints directly with the Information Commission. The Commission has certain powers of a civil court in the matter of inquiring into complaints. It also has powers to impose heavy penalties in case of default.
The Minister informed that the Government implements the Centrally Sponsored Annual Programme “Improving Transparency and Accountability in Government through effective implementation of RTI Act” which includes annual expenditure on various activities like: –
Awareness Generation including the development of a long term communication strategy for RTI, assistance to States for RTI week celebration; Innovative Awareness Generation programmes.
A Call Centre plus portal for filing RTI requests to GOI offices and a knowledge management portal as initiatives under e-governance.
RTI Fellowships is granted to fellows in RTI for journalists, social activists, researchers & trainers in the field of RTI. It is open to professionals in the age group of 25 to 40 years.
Short Term Internships are granted to Undergraduates pursuing the five year integrated course in Law and pursuing Graduation in Law to conduct an analysis of RTI application in Select Public Authorities.
RTI Week is celebrated every year during 5th — 12th October for which State Information Commissions are provided financial assistance, for taking up various activities which may include conducting workshops, seminars, press-meets, competition in colleges on RTI related themes, etc.