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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Increase in RTI applications

A study, conducted by RTI Assessment and Advocacy Group (RAAG) and Samya – Centre for Equity Studies (CES), titled ‘Peoples’ Monitoring of the RTI Regime in India’ reported amongst other things that there are huge and growing delays in the disposal of cases in many of the Information Commissions, with pendency of cases growing every month. According to this report, the main reasons behind the delays seem to be the paucity of Commissioners in some of the Commissions and the low productivity of some of the other Commissioners, mainly due to inadequate support.

However, in absence of information regarding objectivity of the surveying organization, research methodology and survey design and scheme for data collection and its verification, it is not considered prudent to comment on their findings.

The Government has, however, taken several steps like capacity building through training and issue of guidelines for Public Information Officers and First Appellate Authorities, so as to enable them to supply information/dispose of first appeal effectively, resulting into less number of appeals to the Information Commission. The Government apart from a number of clarificatory orders has also issued an OM No. 1/18/2007-IR dated 21st September, 2007 and 1/6/2011-IR dated 15th April, 2013 impressing upon the public authorities to disclose maximum information proactively so that citizens need not resort to filing of RTI applications to access information available with the public authorities. The Central Information Commission has been granted autonomy in recruitment of staff. Further, Chief Information Commissioner and an Information Commissioner have been appointed in the Central Information Commission in June 2015.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Dr. Jitendra Singh in a written reply to a question by Shri Ram Charitra Nishad in the Lok Sabha today.
Source : PIB

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