NEW DELHI: The Chief Information Commissioner of India, Shri Heeralal Samariya on sunday called on Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh. He also updated the Minister about the RTI disposal rate this year rising above 90%.
This is the first meeting between the CIC and the DoPT Minister since Samariya, who was working as an Information Commissioner for three years, was sworn in as the CIC on 6 November, 2023.
During an hour-long meeting with the Minister, Samariya informed the Minister that the disposal rate of Right to Information (RTI) Appeals/Complaints has, for the first time, crossed 90% in the current Financial Year of 2023-24.
Dr Jitendra Singh lauded the Central Information Commission for achieving consistent decline in pendency with corresponding rise in disposal of the RTI appeals.
As per CIC data available as on November 9, 2023, 11,499 RTI Appeals/Complaints were disposed of while a total of 12,695 were received, marking a disposal rate of 90.5%. In 2022-23, a total of 19,018 Appeals were registered, while in 2021-22, a total of 19,604 appeals were registered and in 2020-21, a total of 19,183 RTI Appeals were registered. The figures for RTI Appeals disposed of in 2022-23, was 29,210;in 2021-22, 28,793 Appeals were disposed and in 2020-21, a total of 17,017 Appeals were disposed. Figures include the backlog of pending RTI Appeals also disposed of during the respective year.
The Minister applauded the office of Chief Information Commission for being the first Government body to use Artificial Intelligence for study, analysis and pattern of RTIs and also checking credentials of RTI applicants.
CIC also apprised the Minister of the hybrid mode, – physical cum video conferencing, introduced in the office of CIC for hearing and disposal of RTI appeals.
Dr Jitendra Singh told the CIC to urge the State Information Commissions to also introduce the hybrid mode latest by this year end.
The Commission conducted 4,783 VCs in the year 2020-21, 7,514 in the year 2021-22 and 11,090 during 2022-23. With such improvements the pendency of appeals and complaints was brought down progressively from 38,116 in the year 2020-21 to 29,213 in 2021-22 and further to a record low of 19,233 in the year 2022-23.
The Union Minister said that it was during the Modi Government that a 24-hour portal service was introduced for e-filing of the RTI applications at any time of the day or night and from any part of the country or abroad. It was during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure, he said, that the office of Central Information Commissioner was shifted to its own exclusive office complex.
Dr Jitendra Singh reiterated that the role of the Central Information Commission is important to live up to PM Modi’s vision of transparency and citizen participation in the functioning of the government.