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Online RTI Filing to Begin from April 1st Wk
The government will soon launch an e-portal where an applicant would be able to file RTI application online and pay the.10 fee too. The department of personnel and training (DoPT), the nodal agency for RTI Act implementation,will launch e-portal, rtionline.gov.in, by the first week of April.The project has been initiated with the help of NIC and SBI. An applicant would have to do a one-time registration on the e-portal and obtain an userid and password.An applicant can file his application even without registering. The fee of.10, now paid at the accounts office of a ministry or through postal order, would be paid through a debit or credit card. According to a source, DoPT is treading very carefully with the e-portal project and plans to launch it first for the department and then later extend it to all 83 central ministries and departments based in New Delhi. A senior official of DoPT told ET, the current system generates a lot of paperwork. Then add to this misplaced letters and maintaining physical files of all applications and their status. Though the present system is working fine, the electronic system would help the government in reducing the cost of providing information. We will first launch this portal for DoPT applications. After we are successful and the system is settled, we will extend it to other ministries and gradually to all central public authorities. In six months time, applicants would be able to receive replies to applications online. The success of e-portal depends on how the central public authorities react to the new system. Not all public authorities would want to give up the old filing system in favour of the hi-tech system.But our aim is that by the end of this year, the applicants should be able to receive information under RTI electronically, the official said. The e-portal project is likely to be announced later this month with yet another landmark initiative of an electronic postal order for Indians living abroad.DoPT, along with the Department of Posts, has framed an electronic postal order so that Indians living abroad can file RTI applications. Indians living abroad had been finding it difficult to use RTI Act effectively as the government had not made specific rules to pay the mandatory fee of.10 in foreign currency through Indian embassies and high commissions. Applicants were largely depending on friends in India to pay the RTI fee. Department of Posts had proposed a user-friendly way to generate a postal order of. 10 for customers through its own payment gateway on the portal. The applicant would login to the website. Registration would be mandatory for first time applicant. The process would capture basic information about the applicant. The applicant would file RTI application in the format provided on the portal and upload his passport copy. After this,the applicant would buy an electronic postal order for paying RTI fee.The postal order will be generated from a special series and would be captured by the application. It would then be assigned to the public information officer of the department chosen by the applicant. PIO would log into the system and confirm receipt of fee.
Economic Times, New Delhi, 05-03-2013