Lok Sabha Speaker, Shri Om Birla says effective use of the RTI will help in building a developed and corruption-free India, as envisioned by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi
Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh says transparency and citizen-participation are the hallmarks of the Modi governance model
By PIB Delhi
- Dr. Jitendra Singh addresses the 15th Annual Convention of the Central Information Commission on “Citizen–centric Governance through RTI” at Vigyan Bhawan
- CIC has succeeded in reducing pendency from 38116 cases in 2020-21 to 23405 cases in 2021-22: Dr. Jitendra Singh
- Empowered citizens are an important pillar of democracy and the CIC will continue to work for empowering the people through information: Dr. Jitendra Singh
Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla today said that the main aim of the Right to Information Act is to empower citizens, bring transparency, get the system rid of corruption, and take democracy to the hands of the people of the country in the true sense. Speaking at the 15th Annual Convention of Central Information Commission titled, “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav: Citizen–centric Governance through RTI” at Vigyan Bhawan, Shri Om Birla said that effective use of the RTI will help in building a developed and corruption-free India, as envisioned by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, Dr. Jitendra Singh today said, transparency and Citizen-centricity are the hallmarks of the Modi governance model. Addressing the 15th Annual Convention of Central Information Commission titled, “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav: Citizen–centric Governance through RTI” at Vigyan Bhawan, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over in 2014, transparency, accountability and citizen-centricity became the hallmark of the Governance Model. He said that in the last eight years, every conscious decision was taken to strengthen the independence and resources of the Information Commission.
The Minister noted that empowered citizens are an important pillar of democracy and the Central Information Commission will continue to work to empower the people through information.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, RTI Act is not a standalone law, but it is part of the larger narrative of strengthening Indian democracy, ensuring transparency in governance, and building capacities of the common citizen to enable him to take informed decisions and choices. Above all, it is about nurturing the trust between citizens and the state – where both must have faith in each other; the Minister added.
Dr Jitendra Singh noted that it was during the Modi government that a 24-hour portal service was introduced for e-filing of RTI applications during any part of the day or night and from any part of the country or abroad. He added that technology has been harnessed for developing mobile-based applications, e-filing, e-hearing, e-notification, etc., facilitating the task of information seekers in availing remedies under the law. The mobile app developed by CIC enabled citizens to file appeals with ease, besides using technology for audio and video hearing of cases. The Minister said, as a result, the Central Information Commission has succeeded in reducing the pendency from 38116 cases in the year 2020-21 to 23405 cases in the year 2021-22.
Referring to the indiscriminate filing of RTI applications in an era of Information Explosion, Dr. Jitendra Singh humbly appealed to check before filing the application, whether the desired information is already existing in the public domain or not. He elaborated that today all major decisions and information are in the public domain and we have achieved transparency with credibility.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, despite the challenges posed by the unprecedented pandemic, earnest efforts were made by CIC and SICs to dispose of RTI second appeals and complaints and some Commissions even exceeded pre-Pandemic figures of disposal during certain periods. He also mentioned that June 2020 saw higher disposal of cases in CIC in comparison to the pre-pandemic year of 2019. The Minister said this became possible due to the innovative approach of shifting into a virtual mode (audio-video) for hearing and disposal of cases.
Dr. Jitendra Singh also pointed out that it was during the challenging times of the pandemic in May 2020, the Central Information Commission started entertaining, hearing, and disposing of RTIs from the newly created Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, through virtual means, after the passing of J&K Reorganisation Act 2019. He said applicants from J&K and Ladakh were allowed to file RTI applications from home and even for appeals to the CIC. He added that the significant change now is that the non-domiciles and non-State subjects of Jammu & Kashmir will also now be entitled to file RTI related to Union Territory issues or agencies.
Dr. Jitendra Singh lauded the Central Information Commission for achieving a consistent decline in pendency with a corresponding rise in the disposal of the Right to Information (RTI) appeals.
Chief Information Commissioner Shri YK Sinha, in his address, said that the level of transparency and accountability of the government has increased through RTI. He said that it has also led to controlling the corrupt practices in the system.
Chief Information Commissioner of States and Union Territories and other officials of the Central Information Commission were also present during the event.