The Right to Information is set to take its next big leap, into the Internet. The watchdog body will this week ask all departments to begin accepting applications via E-mail, and has proposed to the prime minister that government-related information of any kind that can be shared with citizens - possibly tens of millions of pages - be put on the Internet.
In the future, citizens can even look forward to seeking information from the government sitting at home - making payments online through credit cards.
"The idea is to ease things, so that right from the time of the first application, to the appeals, no paper activity is involved anywhere," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah told the Hindustan Times. At the commission's main office in New Delhi, paperless appeals are already possible.
He said instructions will be sent out to all departments in a few days. "These are only recommendatory instructions, but departments usually follow them," he said.
"The original application can be sent via e-mail, and the fee of Rs 10 can be sent through postal order whose number will be in the e-mail. The first and second appeals can be sent in a scanned version via e-mail," he said.
The Right to Information Act, implemented in 2005, enables all citizens to seek any information from the government, with some riders related to national security and privacy concerns.