Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the RTI disposal rate had remained unaffected by the pandemic and during certain given intervals of time, the disposal rate was even higher than the usual. Addressing a meeting of the CIC and State Information Commissioners, Dr.Jitendra Singh said that ever since Modi Government came into power in 2014, Transparency and Citizen-Centricity became the hallmark of the Governance Model. He said that in the last six years, every conscious decision was taken to strengthen the Independence and Resources of the Information Commissions and all vacancies were filled as fast as possible.Referring to statistical figures, Dr.Jitendra Singh said that rate of RTI disposal remained unaffected by the pandemic and from March to July 2020, disposal of cases by Central Information Commission was almost equal to the preceding year. He added that in June,2020, RTI disposal rate was higher than June 2019 and everyone took note of that. This reinforced vigour proved to society and the nationthat nothing can deter the working of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Government, he added.
Dr.Jitendra Singh also suggested that the Information Authorities should ponder to avoid the avoidable RTIs and underlined that almost all information today is in public domain. He also added that avoidance of duplication and misguided RTIs will lead to reduction in pendency and workload and will enhance efficiency.Dr Jitendra Singh that it goes to the credit of the Commission and its functionaries that inthe midst of the pandemic on 15th May this year, the Central Information Commission started entertaining, hearing and disposing of RTIs from the newly created Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, through virtual means.The Minister also informed that any citizen of India can now file RTI pertaining to matters related to J&K and Ladakh, which was reserved to only Citizens of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir, before the Reorganisation Act of 2019.It is pertinent to mention here that consequent to the passing of J&K Reorganisation Act 2019, the J&K Right to Information Act 2009 and the Rules there under were repealed and Right to Information Act 2005 and the Rules there under were enforced from 31.10.2019. This measure was widely hailed by people of Jammu and Kashmir and the Administration of the UT.Chief Information Commissioner Shri BimalJulka said that the Commission had effectively continued its interactive and outreach activities during the lockdown period and afterwards. These, he said, included video conference with civil society representatives and video conferencing with members of National Federation of Information Commissions in India (NFICI).