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MP rejects call centre proposal to process RTI applications

Madhya Pradesh government does not favour setting up a call centre specifically to process RTI applications, as has been done by Bihar.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2009 11:48 IST

Madhya Pradesh government does not favour setting up a call centre specifically to process RTI applications, as has been done by Bihar.

In reply to a Right to Information query on the subject, the state government said, "It was decided, after discussion, not to work in this direction."

At present, the Bihar government is running an RTI call centre since January 2007, to entertain verbal applications to state public authorities in English, Hindi, Maithili and Bhojpuri, over the phone for any central government department or organisation across the country.

RTI activists say a call centre would save people from the trouble of not only writing and posting the RTI applications to different public authorities but also of buying postal orders or demand drafts for paying the nominal fee of Rs 10.

Founder-member of an NGO 'Prayatna' Ajay Dubey in an RTI query last month addressed to Information Officer of General Administration Department Aruna Gupta, sought details of steps being taken as per the study undertaken by the state on setting up of call centre for RTI on the lines of Bihar.

A letter by the PIO on the query was then forwarded to Chief Minister's Office, which read "Presently, people can file their application under Right to Information Act using postal services or through in-person. They can also ask for information through call centre already established by department of information technology for general queries related to state government."

"The fee of Rs 10 for RTI application will be deducted by adding it to the phone call charges. The application then can be forwarded to public information officers of concerned departments. A list of all PIOs of all departments will be made available to the call centre. Aforesaid proposal is for your consideration," Gupta said giving her views on the query.

The call centre of the IT department at present does not accept RTI pleas.

The reply sent to Dubey on his plea included comments of two secretaries of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. One of the Secretaries, Anurag Jain (Secretary, Information Technology Department) appreciated it while another Secretary turned down the proposal saying "It was decided, after discussion, not to work in this direction.