Online RTI facility now extended to MHA, Agriculture Ministry

In a step towards enhancing transparency, the Centre has extended facility of e-filing of RTI applications to ministries of Home Affairs and Agriculture.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which acts as nodal ministry for implementation of Right to Information Act, has launched to facilitate e-filing of applications and payment of fees.As a pilot project, the facility was restricted to DoPT only.

"This facility is being extended to Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and Department of Consumer Affairs and Department of Food and Public Distribution from May 22, 2013," the DoPT said in an office memorandum.

The Centre's flagship Right to Information Act, which was enacted in 2005, mandates timely response within 30 days to citizen requests for government information. One has to pay a fee of Rs 10 for seeking information.

The portal, developed by NIC, is a facility for Indian citizens to online file RTI applications and first appeals and also to make payment of fees for seeking information.

The prescribed fees can be paid through Internet banking of State Bank of India and its associate banks as well as by credit or debit cards of Visa or Master, through the payment gateway of SBI linked to this site, it said. The government plans to extend e-filing of RTI applications to all central ministries or departments through the website.

However, it will not be extended for field offices, attached or subordinate offices, it said. The DoPT has also trained RTI nodal officers, RTI Cell officials and National Informatics Centre (NIC) and Information Technology (IT) personnel attached with Ministries or Departments for the purpose.

"It is again requested that training to all the Central Public Information Officers (CPIOs) and First Appellate Authorities (FAAs) may be provided by the concerned Ministry or Department, through the officials trained by DoPT or NIC," it said.

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