NEW DELHI: Indians living abroad would have to wait longer for a convenient process of filing Right to Information (RTI) applications online. The issue seems stuck for the next six months as government departments are going slow on finalising the procedure.
Department of posts had offered its e-commerce portal of department of posts at to help Indians living abroad in filing RTI applications. The matter is stuck now as Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has put a number of technical conditions, including security issues, before the service can be opened up for the consumers.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the nodal department for implementation of the Act, has also not provided the requisite information to start the project.
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 the Indian embassies and high commissions.
Applicants were largely depending on their friends back in India to pay the RTI fee. Department of posts had proposed a user-friendly way to generate a postal order of 10 for the customers through its own payment gateway on the portal.
The applicant would login to the website and go to "RTI counter" on the portal. 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 the RTI fee. The postal order would be generated from a special series and would be captured by the application. It would then be assigned to the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the department chosen by the applicant. The PIO would log into the system and confirm receipt of fee.
A senior official said, "There are several issues that RBI has posed. We will have to sort them out." According to sources, Department of Posts would require a database for all the PIOs so that it can give unique ids and passwords to them.
However, the department has not got the information from DoPT for the past two months. RBI has asked the department to create a unique software solution. The official said, "This would take at least 3-4 months to sort out."
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