All you need to know about RTI

By: Vaidehi Nalwaya - 9th April, 2021

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RTI stands for Right to information. In simple words, RTI gives the Right to the Indian residents to enquire about any piece of information, from the central of state government departments or offices. Moreover, this information must be provided within the time specified under the RTI act.

However, besides the definition mentioned above, there are many more things that one must know about RTI. Hence in the below section, we shall be giving you a detailed explanation of what exactly RTI means.

What is RTI?

Most of us have come across the term RTI frequently, but a majority of us might not be very clear about what it means and the purpose behind amending it. Basically, RTI gives the Right to the Indian citizen to ask for any piece of information that must be brought into a public acquaintance.

This act was introduced by the Government of India, thereby giving all the Indian citizens the right to ask any relevant question about any information that must be bought to their knowledge from the Indian government or public utility service providers. This act was termed as Freedom to Information back in 2002, but later it was transformed into Right to Information (RTI).

How was RTI originated?

Back in 1987, some of the workforces of Rajasthan were abandoned from getting their daily wages on charges of underperformance. So apparently one of the workers activist group named Mazdoor Kisaan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) battled for these workers and demanded the government to produce necessary data as a proof to verify the actual performance records of the workers. After a lot of struggle and a series of protests, The MKSS got the copy of the performance data, which eventually spilled the beans about the corruption prevalent among the government officials. These discrepancies further enticed the activists to protest for the RTI.

This protest further lead to a national event, thereby leading to the promulgation of the Freedom of Information Act in 2002, which was further transformed into the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005.

Quick Takeaway: The First RTI application was received by the Pune police station in the year 2005.

Why RTI?

The main motive behind the RTI act was to help the Indian natives get swift and smooth services from the government agencies, thereby giving them the right to know the reason behind the delay in providing information or completing a process, etc. Another main reason behind the introduction of this Act was to develop a corruption-free India.

One important point to be noted here is that the residents are entitled to seek information related to all the sectors except the Indian defence, security or any other sort of personal information. Moreover, the Act provides for a time-bound response and the government must provide all the required data to the concerned individual/s within 30 days from the day of application.

Who controls the RTI act?

Before the amendment of the RTI Act, the work of information revelation across India was handled by the Official Secrets Act and some unique laws. But all these activities of information disclosure is now conducted by the RTI Act that apparently simplified all these complex laws, thereby making it more straightforward, swift and accurate.

All this was possible by computerizing the data and records system, thereby making it easier for the government authorities to process the public information through data categorization.

How to apply for RTI?

RTI application is a simple process, which can be done either online or offline. Although the online application is yet to be effective in some the Indian states, however, one can easily apply for an RTI application through their official website.

One important point to be noted here is that each state has its unique way of filing RTI.

What information can be accommodated under the RTI Act?

Mentioned herewith are some of the areas where the Indian citizens can seek information from the government authorities:

  • The reason behind the delay in Income Tax (IT) refunds
  • Driving License
  • Passport
  • Details of completed or ongoing infrastructure projects

Moreover, this Act also allows the student to get relevant information about their answer sheets from their respective universities.

We hope this article helped you get a close insight of what RTI is?


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