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One fourth Information Commissioners’ posts are vacant, says report

One fourth Information Commissioners' posts are vacant, says report

New Delhi, Oct 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) While one fourth of the Information Commissioners posts are vacant, there are only 5 per cent (only 8) women Information Commissioners in the country. Out of the total 165 posts, 42 are vacant including 2 Chief State Information Commissioners.

A report by Transparency International India, 'State Transparency Report' on the implementation of RTI said that more than 4.2 crore RTI and 26 lakh second appeal or complaints have been filed before the Information Commission.


It said that while the RTI regime is yet to adapt to the pace of technology and digitalization, the website of the state information commissions of UP, Bihar and Kerala improved in the last two years.

The report stated that Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu state information commissions get more appeals/complaints than the central government CIC.

"From average waiting of 2 years at information commissions due to huge pendency of appeals/complaints, one-fourth post of Information Commissioners post vacant, commissions are becoming parking lots for retired bureaucrats, casual attitude by PIO/First Appellate Authority while rejecting RTI Applications are major challenges in the 17-year journey of RTI in India." Said Rama Nath Jha, Director of Transparency International India

The RTI Act lost its strength and vigour due to the lack of political will, while the poor infrastructure and staff requirements of the Central and State Information Commissions are ignored; information requests made by active citizens on important matters of public importance are outrightly rejected and through covert means attacks and threats are used against RTI activists and applicants to suppress their voices, it said.

The report talked about the urgent need of digitization of the RTI regime in the states. "Only 11 Information Commissions out of 29 (States, UT & Union Govt) provide e-filing facility for RTI application and/or appeals, but only 5 are functional," it added.

"The digital RTI portal (Website or Mobile App) can deliver more efficient and citizen-friendly services which are not possible through conventional mode. This will be beneficial for both transparency seekers and the government. E-filing is still a rare facility in the states. In the age of Digital India, Digital Governance has to be fostered within the RTI regime in order to ensure that information flows throughout the democracy while establishing in-built mechanisms of accountability, transparency, and proactive disclosure within the governance system," observed Prof Madhu Bhalla, chairperson, Transparency International India.

Source: IANS

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One fourth Information Commissioners' posts are vacant, says report

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