Every Indian should be aware of their rights. and we all should know how to file RTI if we ever need to. RTI can be a powerful tool to ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the government.
What is RTI?
It is okay if you don't know what is RTI. It is not okay if you don't want to find out. Why do I say this? Because Right to Information is a fundamental right of every citizen. What this means is that it is meant to give you more power as a citizen. Anytime you come across an interaction with the government, RTI can help you.
Read more to understand RTI on Beginner's Guide to RTI (Right To Information Act)
Has RTI ever helped anyone?
Yes, it has. RTI helps many people every single day. Many people file RTI everyday for various reasons like
to question the government,
to ask rules and regulations,
to get relevant government documents and certificates
to find out case details from government body
to inquire status of their personal requests.
RTI has a lot of uses from income tax refund status to ownership certificates for apartments. You can get all of this by simply using RTI
The scope of RTI is huge, most of the times the respective departments will display RTI Act information as it applies to them on their websites. Doing this research can be overwhelming but it is necessary. Thankfully, the government has made a website where you can go and easily file RTI.
In case of a department/body/authority under the Central Government, an RTI application can be filed online by going to this website rtionline.gov.in. There is a list of Public Authorities to which you can file RTI through this website. This list is also available here.
A lot of people don't file RTI because they don't know how to file RTI. Although it's not a very difficult exercise, it does require some effort. In order to make things simple for anyone looking to file RTI, I am listing down the process in 5 easy steps. You can follow these steps and file your RTI with the government office.
How to file RTI - 5 Easy Steps!
For filing RTI to Central Government departments, please follow these 5 simple steps
Step 1: Go to https://rtionline.gov.in/ and click on Submit Request button at the top-left of the page. Read "Guidelines for use of RTI Online Portal" and give your approval
Step 2: Decide the Ministry/Department/Apex body that you want to send your application to. Then you need to select the Public Authority from the list that is shown. This might require research and knowledge of governance on your part
Step 3: In the next step, fill in your personal details like email, address, phone etc. The confirmation and tracking details will be sent here. Also, the government will use this to categorise the demographics of applicants. Like how many urban illiterates applied for RTI(through this site) in 2016
Step 4: Finally, you need to draft your RTI application. You need to ensure that the PIO(Public Information Officer) understands your query and cannot reject your application without responding. This might need some additional RTI drafting knowledge.
- Step 5: After completing these steps, you can pay for your application using Netbanking, Debit Card, Credit Card or Rupay Card
That's it! As simple as that..
It is clearly stated on this website that applications addressed to any state government body/authority will not be entertained through this website.
You will get notified on SMS/Email about the reference number. Use the same number to track your RTI on the same website. Generally, the PIO takes around 10-15 days for the reply. The reply will be received at the address you had given in the form in hard copy.
You will also be notified that the reply has been sent.
Your reply can get transferred if you had provided an incorrect department and the departments are related.
Your RTI can get rejected if the department does not deal with the topic of your RTI.
You might not get satisfactory reply if the questions or the language was not clear.
You might be asked for additional payment in case your RTI deals with excessive information
If you take care of a few details, filing RTI can be really useful. To file RTI to any of the State Government departments or offices, apply on https://onlinerti.com/apply