Electronic Indian Postal Order (eIPO) launched for Indians living abroad
The Indians living abroad have a lot to cheer. Their long standing demand has finally been accepted by the government of India and the mode of payment of fees has been simplified which would make filing of RTI applications easier.
The scheme of Electronic Indian Postal Order (eIPO) has been launched by the Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, in association with Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). This would enable the Indian citizens abroad to pay the RTI fee online.
How does it work?
An Indian Postal Order can be purchased electronically by paying a fee on-line through e-Post Office Portal or through India Post website. The web-links for payment are:
How is the payment made?
The Credit Card or Debit Card of any bank powered by Visa/ Master can be used for this purpose.
The RTI applicant is required to register on the website to create his/ her profile. Then he has to select the Ministry/ Department from whom he desires to seek information under the RTI Act. The eIPO is generated which can be used to seek information from that Ministry/ Department only. A printout of the eIPO is required to be attached with the RTI application sent in hard copy. In case RTI application is filed electronically, the eIPO is enclosed as an attachment.
The profile is required to be created during the first time only.
Are there any restrictions during the filing of eIPO?
The RTI application accompanied by an eIPO is similar in all respects to the RTI application accompanied by fees through any other approved mode. All the provisions regarding eligibility, time limit, exemptions etc; as provided in the RTI Act, 2005 continue to apply.
For whom is the facility available?
Currently, this facility is available only for Indian Citizens living anywhere other than in India. By this measure, those living abroad would be facilitated to seek information under the RTI Act, 2005. It is hoped that in future, this facility would be extended to all citizens within the country too.
Will the public authorities other than the central public authorities accept the eIPO?
Any public authority which accepts a postal order should also accept an eIPO. One has to refer to the respective Fee Rules to come to a conclusion.