Main Objective of RTI Cell is to ensure effective and efficient Implementation of the RTI Act, 2005 in Department of Commerce as well as in all the 31 Public Authorities.under Department of Commerce. For achieving the same, RTI Cell should be well informed about the RTI Act as well as the functioning of the RTI Online Portal so thoroughly so as to be the master division for all other sections/divisions/public authorities for clearing any doubts related to RTI.
Functions of the division
- RTI Cell functions under a Nodal CPIO who is a Director/DS/US level officer who is also designated as the Nodal CPIO for Department of Commerce. Nodal CPIO functions under the Transparency Officer of Department of Commerce, who shall also act as the First Appellate Authority to the Nodal CPIO. Following are the vital points concerning RTI Cell:
- Proactive Disclosure on Website: This is the most important component of RTI as an updated and complete proactive disclosure will not necessitate an RTI applicant to file RTI in the first place itself saving lot of time and energy for both parties. Even if an RTI is placed, the applicant can be easily guided by indicating the link where the information is already uploaded. Nodal CPIO should monitor the Proactive Disclosures under RTI Link on the website of DOC and ensure that the same is being updated atleast on a quarterly basis by the respective Sections/Divisions. In case the same is not done, it should be brought to the notice of appropriate CPIO and as a next step to the FAA. Nodal CPIO should also monitor the websites of all Public Authorities under DOC periodically and verify whether they are providing up to date information under Proactive Disclosure under the RTI link. In case of any deficiency, the same should be brought to the notice of Nodal CPIO of concerned Public Authority and as a next step to the FAA cum Transparency Officer of the concerned Public Authority to rectify the deficiency at the earliest.
- A link titled ‘RTI replies as per DoPT website’ has been incorporated in the website of each Public Authority by the local NIC of the particular Public Authority to pull data using webservices from the NIC-DOPT Server which hosts Online-RTI Portal. This link can be used by General Public to see all previous replies to RTI/Appeal which will further help in reducing the number of RTIs. It is the responsibility of Nodal CPIO to ensure that CPIOs/FAAs are made aware about exercising the option to upload reply to NIC-DoPT Server at the time of disposal of online RTI/Appeal by clicking corresponding checkbox.
- Disposal of Online RTI/Appeal: The online RTI filed by an applicant directly to Department of Commerce will first come in the Nodal Account of DOC which is managed by RTI Cell. The same is the case when any other Public Authority transfers an RTI to DOC, the same will be received online in the Nodal Account of DOC. Most important responsibility of RTI Cell is the correct transfer of the RTI to the appropriate CPIO(s) in case, the RTI pertains to DOC. In case, the RTI pertains to any other Public Authority in addition to CPIO(s) in DOC, the same should also be correctly transferred. However, in case of transfer to any Public Authority, Nodal CPIO must ensure that remarks field is aptly filled to indicate the reason why an RTI pertains to that Public Authority. This will give more emphasis for the RTI. The remarks field can in general be filled as “transferred under 6(3) of RTI Act”. It is also important to indicate the question number in the remarks field in case only a specific question pertains to a Public Authority. For transferring to appropriate CPIO in DOC, Induction Manual uploaded under RTI Link and Contact List of DOC with subjects handled is helpful to match the content of RTI with that of the appropriate Section whose CPIO will be the concerned CPIO for that RTI.
An RTI Account is created for the Nodal CPIO which is similar to the other CPIO accounts in DOC. Any RTI pertaining to Department of Commerce as a whole or any RTI pertaining to Minister’s office is transferred to the Nodal CPIO account. Therafter information is sought from Minister’s office telephonically/email/letter in case RTI pertains to minister’s office and the it’s the responsibility of the Nodal CPIO to dispose off such RTI from the Nodal CPIO Account within the timelines as per RTI Act.
- Disposal of Offline RTI/Appeal: Offline RTIs are more challenging than online RTIs as they need to be handled more carefully. The same modus operandi has to be followed for disposing offline RTI and forwarding the same to appropriate CPIO(s) and or appropriate Public Authority, only difference being that forwarding is done by attaching the physical RTI with a forwarding letter. Care is to be taken regarding the RTI fee submitted in the form of IPOs. In case the IPO is blank, the same can be filled up by the RTI Cell in the name of appropriate officer. However in case the IPO has been wrongly filled by the Applicant, use a whitener to correct the IPO in the name of appropriate Accounts Officer. However in case correction is not possible, then the RTI may not be returned back, but disposed off just like a correct IPO RTI. However, a separate letter need to be sent to the applicant enclosing the incorrect IPO asking to submit the correct IPO at the earliest.
- RTI Cell is responsible for the timely submission of RTI Quarterly Returns to Central Information Commission.
- RTI Cell is responsible for the circulation of instructions relating to RTI issued by CIC/DoPT among all CPIOs/FAAs in Department of Commerce as well as among all Public Authorities under Department of Commerce by post/email.
- RTI Cell is responsible for coordinating with Director (Information Rights) in DoPT for resolving any type of issues faced by any Public Authority under Department of Commerce while using the Online-RTI Portal. RTI Cell is also responsible for deleting or adding a new Public Authority in the nodal account of RTI with the help of Director (Information Rights). RTI Cell is supposed to keep the information about Nodal CPIOs of all Public Authorities under Department of Commerce upto date inside the Nodal RTI Account of DOC.
- RTI Cell is responsible to issue User ID and Password to every officer who joins as CPIO or First Appellate Authority in Department of Commerce.
- RTI Cell is responsible to see whether there are any pending RTI/Appeals inside the account of any CPIO/FAA for a long time. CPIO/FAA should be instructed that they are made aware of their responsibility to clear all RTI Requests/Appeals inside their respective accounts irrespective of whether the same has been lying pending during the tenure of previous CPIO/FAA or not.
- RTI Cell is responsible for successfully conducting the Annual CIC Third Party Transparency Audit of Department of Commerce as well as for all Public Authorities under Department of Commerce. During the audit, its most important to request all CPIOs/FAAs to cooperate and update the information in DOC website pertaining to their individual jurisdictions so that DOC is able to secure maximum marks while undertaking the self audit part of Third Party Audit.
Officers in the Division
- Shri R. K. Ojha : Deputy Secretary
Officers in the Division
Dr. Surendra Kumar AhirwarJoint Secretary
- Room No : 241, Udyog Bhawan
Tel : 23014564
Email : surendra[dot]ahirwar[at]nic[dot]in
- Work Allocation : First Appellate Authority and Transparency Officer Department of Commerce
Shri K V AjithDeputy Director (Supplies)
Tel : 23062261 (extn 479)
Email : kv[dot]ajith[at]gov[dot]in
Shri Sudesh Pal TalwandiSection Officer
- Room No : 512
Tel : 2306 2261 (extn. 662)
Email : moc_rti[at]nic[dot]in