Maharashtra government allows online filing of RTI applications in the New Year
The New Year would bring cheers to the right to information (RTI) applicants of Maharashtra as the state government has decided to permit online filing of RTI applications. Initially, the Mantralaya shall start receiving the RTI applications from January 1, 2015 which would subsequently be extended to all the departments of the state government by April 1, 2015.
A web portal is being prepared by the state information technology (IT) department to enable the filing of applications by the applicants. The central government already has an online system of filing of RTI applications and also for payment of the fee online for which the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had asked all the states through their Chief Secretaries of states to consider using eIPO facilities for the payment of RTI fees. Secretary IT, Maharashtra Rajesh Aggarwal said that data regarding the public information officers from all departments of the Mantralaya has been collected and the trial version of the RTI web portal shall be inaugurated initially which shall be upgraded by the first week of February. He called for suggestions from all the users during this one month to make the portal better. Maharashtra is also planning to institute a helpline number to provide assistance to the user in case of technical glitches.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that allowing online RTI queries will lead to better monitoring of the queries and ensure that information is provided to the seeker within a specific time frame. The Maharashtra state plans to observe 2015 as the year of efficient delivery of services. For promoting e-governance, a web portal and mobile app – Apale Sarkar or “our government” – is likely to be launched soon to facilitate the public take part in policy making. 85 online citizens facilitation centres are currently functioning in the state.