HOW-TO: Demystify The RTI Act 2005 (Part 1)

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PART I: Dissecting the Act Part by Part, from the Common Man's Perspective

The main objective of the RTI ACT 2005 was to ensure we have a Democracy that largely functions on the principles of transparency and accountability.

The Right to Information act has duly provided for this objective, and has done a good job of it.

A quick study of our RTI Act will show us how the measures taken, ensure this objective of transparency and accountability.

But, first let us take a look at what transparency and information means to us in this context.

"Transparency" simply implies being open about public governance matters and a government that is "see through". It means that every citizen can see its government functioning, be duly informed about it and question the government and the state where and when necessary for clarity and information.

"Information" means everything that is available on record, be it written or printed records to modern forms of stored information on CDs, DVDs and other forms of digital storage media used. However, here "Information" does not include any verbal means of communication or discussions not captured on paper and reasons or opinions on any of the governmental decisions or actions.

So how does the act ensure transparency in seeking of information for us the citizen?

The act explicitly states that to facilitate the access of information, the public authorities shall maintain all records –catalogued and indexed and where necessary computerized.

The act further states that the citizen can exercise her right to information by inspecting the available material, taking notes, samples (of even things like construction materials), printouts etc. when you gain access to the information.

As a company providing streamlined RTI Application processing services, Online RTI gets thousands of requests for RTI Applications from citizens from all parts of the country. The scope and types of information sought by these RTI Applicants are also multiple and varied. Some of the more common types of RTI Applications are with regard to:

  • Passport Delays,
  • Income Tax refunds,
  • Copies of Exam Answer Sheets and Marks,
  • Status and Details of FIRs,
  • Details and Status on Scholarships,
  • Issues and Status of Provident Fund,
  • Status and Details on Road Works,
  • Status of MP and MLS Funds,
  • Status of Gram Panchayat Funds Allocated,
  • Status and issues with regard to Pensions,
  • Status and Details on Property related matters,
  • Details of Traffic and other government rules in each state, etc.

We also receive some interesting RTI applications, as in:

  • Costs incurred on PM's Foreign Travels,
  • PM's expenditure on his, recently in the news, wardrobe,
  • Clarifications on rules for selection to state-level sports teams,
  • Details on Buddhist Artifacts gifted to foreign dignitaries,
  • Family members seeking details on actual income and earnings of a government employee,
  • Crime rates in each city by region of the city, and many such more . . .

For further questions contact us or visit Online RTI site, and to file your RTI Application, please click here.

If you have already filed your RTI Application, you can track the status and progress of your application on our site.

And if you just need details on our pricing or want to take a look at the FAQs or our other blog articles, you will also find them on our site.

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Jolly Thomas, RE Pro Executive

jathomas@onlinerti.com

I am from Vellore, a small town in Northern Tamil Nadu where healing is in the air with CMC (Christian Medical College) touching most peoples' lives there. Marriages and deaths there are still screamed out as before with loud hoardings all over, and education is at its best with Vellore Institute of Technology. This small town bustles with people from different religions, walks of life, struggling with narrow lanes and traffic, and this town comes alive with fairs and kills you with its extreme hot weather.

I happen to be this small town social worker with dreams, tinier than the cells in my body, but alive and teeming around, rearing to go. And now Online RTI is the place for me to be, with its big heart and dreams that comfort your soul – if just being good is all what you want.

So, what do I love doing? Singing my guts out, no matter whether I am good at it or not, is what I love. Haunting my spacious home with my poor ageing parents in it (I often hallucinate that I am dead . . .) and living my life to its fullest, which is expressed in my ever expanding and contracting waistline.

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