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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

RTI to go online this month, govt to launch epostal orders

Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 03, 2013
First Published: 21:33 IST(3/3/2013) | Last Updated: 21:36 IST(3/3/2013)

Your right to information is taking a big leap, into cyberspace.

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The government will launch two web portals this month to enable citizens to file their information requests and receive responses over the web.

The move will coincide with the department of posts launching an electronic version of postal orders, giving Indians abroad the option to pay for the information using postal orders. The e-postal order would initially be only available to Indians abroad and would be later extended to everyone living in the country.
 
The postal department's project is largely aimed at Indians abroad and is the outcome of RTI activists who complained about their inability to file RTI applications from foreign countries.
 
It is the second project - driven by the Department of Personnel and Training - that could change the way most people file RTI applications. It enables information applicants to pay Rs. 10 fee using a credit or debit card. Once the system stabilizes, applicants in India too can use the e-postal orders like the NRIs.
 
RTI activist Lokesh Batra - one of those who nudged the government to issue e-postal orders - said he was glad it was finally becoming a reality.
 
The online applications would initially start with DoPT and would be gradually expanded to cover all public authorities under the central government.
 
Government sources said the project to let people file online applications was in line with state minister V Narayanaswamy pushing officials to raise the transparency bar. In fact, the source said, it was on account of the minister's insistence that the department had started uploading some orders on its website.
 
Narayanaswamy envisaged a situation where the department would upload every order issued by his ministry at the end of the day. Once this target was achieved, he intends to persuade other departments to replicate their transparency model.

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