NEW DELHI: Non-domicile or non-state subjects of Jammu and Kashmir are entitled to file RTI applications related to issues of the Union Territory (UT), Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Sunday.
The minister held a meeting with newly appointed Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha during the day in which he discussed various matters related to the office of the CIC.
Sinha briefed Singh on the status of disposal of RTI applications from Jammu and Kashmir ever since the Union Territory was brought under the purview of the CIC earlier this year, according to a Personnel Ministry statement.
Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, referred to a number of new initiatives taken under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to improve the functioning of the Central Information Commission and to ensure prompt disposal of RTI appeals, it said.
"As for Jammu & Kashmir, he said, the difference now is that non-domicile or non-state subjects of Jammu & Kashmir are also entitled to file RTIs related to UT issues or agencies," the statement said.
Sinha, who retired as the High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom before being appointed as information commissioner from where he has been elevated to the present post of the Chief Information Commissioner of India, happens to be the son of Late Lieutenant General S K Sinha, former governor of Jammu & Kashmir and Assam, and former Vice Chief of the Army Staff, it said.
During the half-an-hour-meeting with the minister, the new CIC gave a brief about the progressively improving disposal rate of RTI applications and also informed that in the month of June, in spite of the Covid pandemic, the monthly disposal rate of RTI applications was higher than the rate in June 2019, the statement said.
He said this was possible because the Central Information Commission had carried on its working uninterrupted even during Covid times by using modern technology of online, virtual and video conferences, it said.
The Union minister also noted that it was during the Modi government that a 24-hour portal was introduced for e-filing of RTI applications during any time of the day from anywhere, the statement said.
It was during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's tenure, he said, that the office of the Central Information Commissioner was shifted to its own exclusive office complex, it added.
Singh reiterated that the role of the Central Information Commission is important to live up to Prime Minister Modi's vision of transparency and citizen participation in the functioning of the government, the statement said.