Online RTI

Citizens can now file an RTI  application online with 431 public authorities through a new government portal , reports Press Trust of India. Minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh added in a written Lok Sabha reply that all the states have also been requested to explore the feasibility of implementing online RTI in their respective states.

People can file RTIs at rtionline.gov.in and payments for the application can be made through internet banking of SBI & its associate banks, debit/credit cards of Master/Visa and RuPay cards. Note, the website cautions citizens that RTI applications should not be filed for other than the 431 public authorities under the central government. “If filed, the application would be returned, without refund of amount,” it added.

The sign up form for the RTI site is simple enough and asks for details such as an email, mobile phone number and address. Citizens can also search for the public authority or ministry they wish to submit an RTI to and it displays the newly added departments to the portal.

Text for RTI request application should be upto 3000 characters. If the text of RTI application is more than 3000 characters then RTI application can be uploaded in supporting document field. Users can also keep track of their RTIs on the portal.

Other recent government online initiatives 

– In July, the government cleared Rs 200 crore for setting up an online agriculture market place and which will integrate 585 wholesale mandis across India to give farmers better access to market prices for the produce. The portal will be set up by the Central Sector Scheme for Promotion of National Agricultural Market got its funding through the Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund (ATIF).

– In June, the National Informatics Centre developed a new portal called myvisit.gov.in where citizens can book an appointment with government officials from central and state departments. So far the portal says that it has 84 departments with 4,873 officers on it.

– In the same month, the government launched a website called KhoyaPaya.gov.in to enable public reporting of missing and sighted children. The service is also available on Android and iOS with a Windows phone version coming soon.

– The government launched an online marketplace portal for students to download school books and ebooks. The initiative called e-Basta is a portal where authorized school teachers can access the portal to compile course material and textbooks, and e-books as per a school’s preferences for each class. The portal currently holds 329 textbooks from the NCERT for classes 1 to 12 and the ebooks are available in Hindi, English, Urdu and Sanskrit. It also shows that a few schools have started posting syllabi  and course material on the website for students to download onto tablets.

– In February, the Indian government launched 11 central government services on its government-to-business portal eBiz, with the aim of making the process of setting up a business in India much simpler. The services on offer are from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Reserve Bank of India, Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation and Petroleum & Explosives Safety Organisation.