From the coming year, you will be able to file online right to information (RTI) applications in all departments of the state government.
The Maharashtra government will introduce online RTI in departments of the Mantralaya from January 1. This will be replicated in all offices across the state by April 1, 2015.
Applicants can submit their requests through a web portal currently being prepared by the state information technology (IT) department.
The central government already allows the e-route for filing RTI queries, where the applicant can submit a request through a common web portal to the ministry concerned, fill up a form and pay the fee – as prescribed under the RTI act – online.
On submission of an application, a unique registration number is issued, which the applicant can refer to for future references. The state will follow the same process, and the application will be sent electronically to the nodal and public information officers of the departments concerned.
“We have collected data of information officers from all departments of the Mantralaya. At present, we are inaugurating the trial version of the RTI web portal, which will be upgraded by the first week of February. We are requesting all the users to give their suggestions during this one month, so we can make the portal better,” said Rajesh Aggarwal, secretary IT, Maharashtra.
The state is also planning to set up a helpline number, which will provide assistance to the user in case of technical glitches. “The helpline number will be displayed on the web portal,” said Aggarwal.
RTI activists welcomed the government’s move, but said government departments should make efforts to display maximum information on their websites, according to the provisions of section 4 of the RTI act.
“This is a good move by the state, but it would be better if the government makes all department and public offices display maximum information on their respective websites,” said Bhaskar Prabhu, RTI activist.