News: The Supreme Court has asked the Centre and state governments to file reply on a plea seeking direction to establish Right to Information (RTI) web portals in all states to enable citizens, especially those living abroad, to file RTI applications online.
- The plea has said that the Centre has established an online RTI portal in which any Indian citizen, including NRIs, can apply for information under the RTI Act with the desired ministry or department
- It also noted that the Centre in December 2013 had requested state governments to explore the feasibility of implementing online RTI in their respective state. However, only Maharashtra and Delhi have established portals for that so far.
- The online RTI portals would enable people to electronically apply for the required information instead of filing applications physically. The present system of physical RTI applications makes it difficult, inconvenient, and costly and leads to long delays, especially for NRIs who seeks information under RTI.
Right to Information Act, 2005:
- RTI Act provides for timely disclosure of information by citizens from both central and State Public Authorities. It seeks to empower citizens and promote accountability and transparency.
- Under the Act, Public Authorities are required to make disclosures on various aspects of their structure and functioning. This includes
- disclosure on their organization
- functions and structure
- powers and duties of its officers and employees and
- Financial information.