(GIST OF YOJANA) BRINGING INFORMATION TO THE CITIZENS
BRINGING INFORMATION TO THE CITIZENS
Right to Information (RTI) Right to Information is a part of fundamental
rights under Article 19(1) at the Constitution. Article 19l) says that every
citizen has freedom of speech and expression as early as in 1976, the Supreme
Court said in the case Raj Narain vs State of UP, that people cannot speak or
express themselves unless they know. Therefore, right to information is embedded
in article 19. In the same case, Supreme Court further said that India is a
democracy and people are the masters. As masters they have every right to know
government is functioning Every citizen pays taxes at least in the form of goods
and services tax if t all he or she is not covered in the purview of Income tax.
Right to information Act 2005 mandates timely response to citizen requests
for government information. The basic object of the Right to
Information Act is to empower the citizens, promote transparency and
accountability in the working of the Government, contain corruption,
and make our democracy work for the people in real sense. It goes without saying
that an informed citizen is better equipped to keep necessary vigil on the
instruments of governance and make the government more accountable to the
governed. The Act is a big step towards making the citizens informed about the
activities of the Government.
The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions had provided a web
portal for the facilitation of citizens and this RTI Portal works as a Gateway
to them for quick search of information on the details of first Appellate
Authorities, Principal Information Officer PIOs etc. amongst others, besides
access to RTI related information / disclosures published on the web by various
Public Authorities under the government of India as well as the State
Further, every public authority is obligated to maintain computerized
versions of all records in such a way that it can be accessed over a
network anywhere in the country and issued to the person who has requested for
information.Every public authority should provide essential information to the
public through various channels of formation (including internet) at frequent
intervals that the use of the RTI Act to obtain information can be kept to a
Any person who desires to obtain information shall submit a written or
electronic request in English or Hindi or is the official language of the
area to the Central Public Information Officer or his/her counterpart at the
state level. No applicant will be required to give any reason for
application for request or to provide any personal information except for
contact details where it is necessary for the authorities to contact the
Under normal circumstances, the information requested for will be provided in
the form sought for-ifa citizen asks for some information in the form of an
email attachment, it will be provided unless it causes damage to the original
The authority will be under no obligation to provide such information that
might hurt the sovereignty and integrity of India, information that
has been for hidden to be shared by any court of law, information received under
confidence by a foreign Government and cabinet papers.
Here are FAQs related to RTI Act (Courtesy-www.righttoinformation.org.in)
If RTI is a fundamental right, then why do we need an Act to give us this
This is because if you went to any Government Department and told the officer
there, "RTI is my fundamental right, and that I am the master of this country
Therefore, please show me all your files", he would not do that. Therefore, we
need a machinery or a process through which we can exercise this fundamental
right. Right to nformation Act 2005, provides that machinery.Right to
Information Act does not give us any new right. It simply lays down the process
on how to apply for information where to apply, how much fees etc.
When did RTI Act come into force?
The Central Right to Information Act came into force on the October 12, 2005.
However, before that 9 state Governments had passed state Acts.These were Jammu
and Kashmir, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil
Nadu, Assam and Goa.
What rights are available under RTI Act 2005?
- Right to Information Act 2005 empowers every citizen to
- Ask any questions from the Government or seek any information.
- Take copies of any government documents.
- Inspect any government documents.
- Inspect any Government works.
- Take samples of materials of any Government work.
Who is covered under RTI?
The Central RTI Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu
and Kashmir. All bodies, which are constituted under the Constitution or under
any law or under any Government notification or all bodies, including NGOs,
which are owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Government are
Are Private bodies covered under the RTI Act?
All private bodies, which are owned, controlled or substantially financed by
the Government are directly covered. Others are indirectly covered. That is, if
a government department can access information from any private body under any
other Act, the same can be accessed by the citizen under the RTI Act through
that government department.
Isn’t Official Secrets Act 1923 an obstacle to the implementation of RTI
No. Sec 22 of the RTi Act 2005 clearly says that RTi Act would override all
existing Acts including Officials Secrets Act.
Can the PIO refuse to give me information?
A PIO can refuse information on 11 subjects that are listed in section 8 of
the RTI Act. These include information received in confidence from foreign
governments, information prejudicial to security, strategic, scientific or
economic interests of the country, breach of privilege of legislatures, ets.
There is a list of 18 agencies given in second schedule of the Act which RTI Act
does not apply. However, they also have to give information if it relates to
matters pertaining to allegations of corruption or human rights violations.
Does the Act provide for partial disclosure?
Yes. Under Section 10 of the RTI Act, access may be provided to that part of
the record which does not contain information which is exempt from disclosure
under this Act.
Can access be denied to file notings
No. File notings are an integral part of the government file and are subject
to disclosure under the Act. This has been clarified by the Central Information
Commission in one of its orders on January 31, 2006.
How to use Right to Information
How do I locate the full Act?
The full Act in Hindi and English is available on the website of Department
of Personnel and Training www.persmin.nic.in and on the RTI
Who will give me information?
One or more existing officers in every Government Department have been
designated as Public Information Officers (PIO). These PIOs act like nodal
officers. You have to file your applications with them. They are responsible for
collecting information sought by you from various wings of that Department and
providing that information to you. In addition, several officers have been
appointed as Assistant Public Information Officers (APIOs). Their job is only to
accept applications from the public and forward it to the right PIO.
Where do I submit application?
You can do that with the PIO or with APIO. In the case of all Central
Government Departments, 629 post offices have been designated as APIOs. This
means that you can go to any of these post offices and submit your fee and
application at the RTI counter in these post offices. They will issue you a
receipt and acknowledgement and it is the responsibility of that post office to
deliver it to the right PIO. The list of these post offices is given at http://www.indiapost.gov.
What if I can not locate my PIO or APIO?
In case you have problems locating your PIO/APIO you can address your RTI
application to the PIO C/o Head of Department and send it to the concerned
public authority with the requisite application fee. The Head of Department will
have to forward your application to the concerned PIO.
Do I have to personally go to deposit my application?
Depending on your state rules for mode of payment you can deposit your
application for information from the concerned departments of
your state government via post by attaching a DD, Money Order, Postal Order or
affixing Court fee Stamp For all Central government departments the Department
of Posts has designated 629 postal offices at the national level. The designated
officers in these post offices work as Assistant PIOs and collect the
application to forward to the concerned PIO. A list is available on
Is there a time limit to receiving information?
Yes. If you file your application with the PIO, you must receive information
within 30 days. In case you have filed your application with
Assistant PIO then information has to be made available within 35 days. In case
the matter to which the information pertains affects the life and liberty of an
individual, information has to be made available in 48 hours.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) announced that citizens who file
appeal/cases filed under the RTI (Right to Information) Act will now receive
real time updates about the status of their cases. The updates will be delivered
via emails and SMSs.
A citizen's duty does not end with voting and the RTI Act is a great tool for
citizens to come together and be more involved. The government is taking steps
to make sure that citizens are not denied the right to information by making the
application and follow up process easy.
GPS enabled device in Trains
Ministry of Railways in collaboration with Indian Space Research Organisation
(ISRO) is implementing Real-Time Train Information System (RTIS) which involves
tracking of trains by placing GPS/GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation
System) based devices on locomotives. In Phase-I, the RTIS project will cover
about 2700 electric locomotives in which the GPS device will be installed. This
phase is planned to be completed by December, 2018. Remaining locomotives will
be covered in subsequent phases.
The trials for this system have been done on New Delhi-Guwahati and New Delhi
- Mumbai Rajdhani trains on six electric locomotives. A reliable and high level
(about 99.3 percent) of real time reporting of arrival departure timing updates
has been observed, which is considered adequate to meet the RTIS requirements.