How is the experience of filing RTI?

How is the experience of filing RTI?

By Cathline Chen

I wanted to assess the situation of BMTC buses (both AC and non-AC) in Bangalore. I had watched a documentary called ‘Social life of a bus’ where the major transportation system of Bangalore i.e. the buses, were discussed about.

Though the problems were illustrated in the documentary there was no definite numbers or statistics given. One of the problems illustrated was the funding. It was stated in the documentary that there was no proper funding for the transport system and whatever money the officials get they spent it on Volvo AC buses(assumption was made that it was done so to uphold the swanky ‘status’ of the city).

I decided to file a RTI to find out the funding for the transportation and how much actually was spent on the buses, along with talking to the officials there. I submitted the RTI directly to the RTI cell of BMTC office in Shantinagar, since I knew a postal delivery may take time. As for the talking part, it was what expected of a government office. I was shuffled from one person to another with no end result. I visited BMTC offices twice or thrice, reminding them of my RTI every time I went there. I received my RTI 14 days late and I could not deduce much of what was written in it.

I also wanted to do a story on the higher education system, specially the NIFT colleges.
NIFT, despite being a government college, hikes its fee by 10% every year. The director has justified the fee hike citing to problems like power usage and infrastructure. It was strange to me as even the IITs have equipments which consumes as much power or more than the NIFT’s. But nobody hears of IITs raising their fee by any percentage every year.

I wanted to see the funds to government institutes and filed an RTI to the Ministry of Education for the same. I received a reply which stated the **annual budget estimates of the Department of Higher education for the year 2016-2017.**But my other question as to how much of it is directed towards NIFT was forwarded to the Ministry of Textile. I still haven’t got the reply to the latter question.

In conclusion I think filing and deducing RTI takes practice and time. It also needs intuition and a lot of research. I did not have any expectations when I started to file my RTI’s, but soon realised that it needs time and attention.

This Article is written by Cathline Chen as part of curriculum at IIJNM

Read Aman Madan's answer to Have you ever filed online RTI in India, how was your experience? on Quora

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