Step By Step Guide for Filing RTI Application Online
So, as a citizen of India, it is your democratic right to get full access to information that by one way or the other affects your life and the life of those related to you. Do you agree? There have been many instances in our lives where we needed some information but unfortunately, we did not have access because of at least one of the following reasons:
- We did not know exactly how to approach the government for the information.
- We sighed away simply because the procedure of applying for RTI was way too complicated.
- We thought that our application will probably never reach the concerned department and the money we pay for the information we need will just go on to feed the money hungry politicians.
Whatever the reason be, we just didn’t access our right. Luckily for us, government took the entire process to the cloud, making the whole process pretty simple and easy. Now, if you know how to open your email account or shop online for your birthday, you can easily apply for RTI online. It is hassle free and quick. All monetary transactions are accounted for and there is absolutely no chance for your application being lost or misplaced during transit. It will reach the concerned department in a flash. So, how do you do it? We are going to explain this to you in a step-by-step guide which will involve 4 steps. You ready?
Step 1: Create a thorough descriptions of the information you need.
You will actually need this later but we highly recommend that you prepare it before you head online. Open up a word document and describe your request in as much details as possible. Take your time and key down everything that you think is relevant for your request. In case you need to provide additional document in support of your request, keep the scanned electronic copy ready with you. You will have to attach the document. Make sure that the document is in PDF format and does not exceed 1MB of size. The scanned document will be in image format and so, you will have to convert it into a PDF document. There are at least two ways of doing so. The two most popular methods are:
- Insert the image in a blank word document and while saving it, select the desired format as .pdf. Remember that this can be done only for Microsoft Office versions 2010 and above. If you are using Linux OS and you are acquainted with LibreOffice, you can do the same. All versions of LibreOffice allow .pdf conversion.
- If you are good with Adobe Photoshop, create a blank document of A4 size (2480 x 3508 pixels). Open the image file in Photoshop. Select the Move Tool. Right Click on the image and click Copy. Go to the blank document and click Paste. Do the necessary resizing and color corrections and then select the Save As option from the top menu. You can use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Ctrl+S to open the Save As option. Select PDF and save.
Step 2: Create your account with RTI website
In order to file RTI application online, you need to visit the website. Click this link to reach the website. From there you need to head for the registration page. In case you cannot find the registration link, click here to land on the registration page. The registration page will open up where you need to enter the relevant details. Make sure that you follow all instructions while filling up the form. In case you are confused about a particular field, click on the question mark symbol you will find beside the field. You can find proper explanation for the field there. Fields with red colored asterisk marks are mandatory. You cannot leave them blank. Also, ensure that you provide accurate data. In case you are trying to commit any fraud, government can easily get hold of you by using your IP address and your computer’s mac address. So, be careful. This is not a place where you can fool around at will.
Once you provide all the details, enter the security code that you see in the captcha image and click ‘Submit’ button. Once you click Submit, you will receive one SMS and one email. The SMS will tell you that you have applied for RTI and the email will contain the activation key. This key is necessary. Without the key, your account will not be activated.
Once you receive the activation key thorough your email, return to the RTI registration page which will now be asking for the activation key. Type in the key properly and check again before you click on Submit button again. Once the activation key is submitted, the system will verify the key and if it is correct, your registration will be accepted and your account will be activated.
Step 3: Fill up the RTI application
Once you successfully register with RTI website, you can access your account and make changes, if necessary by clicking on My Account button on top menu. In case no such changes are required, you can simply click on Submit Request button on top menu and the request submission page will open up.
The first thing you will notice there is that you will be asked to select the proper department or apex body or ministry. You must know exactly which department, ministry or apex body you need to contact. No one is going to tell that to you. So, from the dropdown menu select the relevant body or ministry or department.
Some of the demographic information will already be prepopulated. This data is automatically pulled from the database where your registration application is stored. So, in case you made mistakes during registration, you need to make changes from My Account section to ensure that proper data is showing up on the request page.
The last section of the request page is where you need to fill up the details of the request you created in Step 1. Copy and paste the text in the field which reads, “Text for RTI Request”. If any document needs to be provided, click on Choose File button on the next field and the document will be attached. Enter the security code from the captcha image and click on Submit button.
Step 4: Make the payment
Submitting the application only puts your application in queue. It will not be processed unless you pay the RTI fee. For every application you submit, you need to pay ₹ 10 as the application fee. Once you submit your application, you will be taken to the payment page. The payment page will have 3 options:
- Net Banking (only a limited number of banks are available and that too, all of them are state owned banks).
- ATM-cum-Debit Card (only SBI users will be allowed to use this option).
- Debit Card or Credit Card (as long as you possess a VISA or a Master Card, you can use this method irrespective of the bank that issued the card).
Proceed with the payment by clicking on the Pay button. No matter what option you select, you will have to pay through the payment gateway provided by SBI. Once the payment is successful, you will be taken back to the RTI portal where you will be shown the electronic format of your application complete with registration number, filing date and application status. You can either print the application or print the status or print both.
That completes the RTI application procedure. However, there are several things you need to keep in mind:
- The information you request may require additional fees. If that is the case, CPIO will update the status accordingly. You need to click on ‘View Status’ button on the top menu to see the current status of the application. This is basically how you need to follow up on your RTI application online.
- Make sure that you print the RTI application and the RTI status that was shown to you once you completed the payment. The application will have the unique registration number. This number will be required in case you need to follow-up with the current status of your application.
Exactly how much time is required to get the information?
This is completely dependent on the nature of information you have requested. Do not expect a reply anytime sooner than 30 days. Sometimes reply may be sent by the authorities after 45 days. However, if you do not hear from the authorities within 45 days, you can make appeal. To appeal, you need click on ‘Submit First Appeal’ tab on the main menu and follow the instructions. You will have to provide the registration details and all other relevant information. This is why you need to print the RTI application and RTI status and keep them safe.