In a massively impressive news bolstering the current ruling government’s go-digital mantra, it’s been recorded that as many as 92 percent RTI applications were filed online and within the last 10 months. Delhi Government seems to be reaping the benefits of a nation-wide campaign spurred by Prime Minister Modi envisaging the importance of going digital.
This is a rather unprecedented figure; something that previously hadn’t been achieved in all these years of Delhi Government’s rule. What is making news is something exemplary. Under the current online system, an RTI can be filed with around 190 departments and autonomous bodies registered with the Delhi Government.
But one wishes to know how does this pan out nationally? Well, here’s the numbers. And they convey an enormous streak signifying the urgency to go online. It’s been estimated that since the launch of the online option of registering RTIs online, of the 20, 276 Right To Information (requests) were registered with the Delhi Government, as many as 18,582 cases were registered online. Now if that isn’t a significant chunk online, then what will ever be?
The remaining 1688 cases were filed by other means such as by a post. The data was first accessed and corroborated by the IANS and is now causing an entire country to sit back and take notice of the proficiency of going digital. During the same period, the Delhi Government is said to have received a huge sum, somewhere in the nearabouts of INR 118,520 as the RTI fee. But that said, one would wish to know just what are the benefits from the government’s perspective about going online in registering RTI?
It’s honestly not a rocket science. How the online option helps the government is that it helps cut down the costs that would’ve otherwise been incurred in shelling out postal charges and fees. In fact, there’s been an ascendancy in the number of users who have switched for manual means to digital means of requesting for an RTI. One of the common users of the RTI act, an activist based in the capital, Mohit Goel, who’s been an RTI activist for past 12 months shares that ever since the introduction of the online RTI system has been executed the entire process of requesting for information and its subsequent receiving has become rather error-free, relaxed and convenient.
And that’s not the only thing to write home about where the RTI online facility is in place. An insider with the Delhi Government shared with great confidence that even the monitoring and management of the RTI system online has become much easier online. Anything, it ought to be said, that involves the use of technology over manual effort is slated to bring down the relative cumbersomeness.
But that said, what happens to the RTI fee that is received by the Delhi Government? How are the fees in lieu of requesting for RTI information used? It’s a relatively well-known fact that the money received by the Delhi Government is actually passed on ahead for the benefit of the workings of other departments. Now, it’s much more easier to keep a tab on the pending number of RTIs and those in the first and second run of appeals. Things, it can be seen are slowly but steadily changing for the better. One wishes how the scope of work might have been impacted had the online system been implemented earlier? But, it’s never too late, is it!