The Right To Information Act is a very powerful tool . We have seen in recent months how the RTI has empowered the ordinary Indian citizen. However,the hassle involved in the process might deter some people from using this power vested with the common man. For those who are repelled simply by the thought of visiting a government office, www.rtination.com is the perfect solution.
What is the process of filing an RTI application through RTI Nation?
All you have to do is register on the site(it is free), write your application, pay a nominal fee (that includes government fees, service charges and taxes) and just sit back and relax. “Rtination acts as an online repository of RTI applications filed on the website and acts as a guide to new applicants. Once a person files an RTI application through our website, we review the application and suggest changes, if necessary, to the application”, says Prateek one of the founders of RTI Nation.
So, who are the brains behind this initiative?
“The country’s best brains have just given (RTI Act) a mass push.” – Economic Times .
Let’s introduce you to the masterminds of this initiative.
Rahul Gupta, a 2008 graduate from IIT Kanpur is the full time CEO of rtination.com and is currently pursuing his MBA from IIM Bangalore.He had earlier worked as an analyst in J.P. Morgan.
Prateek Kumar, a 2008 graduate from IIT Kanpur is the COO of the website and currently works as associate in Religare Capital Markets, Mumbai.
Rasaal Dwivedi is behind the promotional activities and operations of the website.He did his B Tech from NIT Raipur in 2009, where he was the only student representative of 3100 students before the Board of Governors of the Institute. He did his MBA from IIM Kozhikode, interned at JP Morgan, Mumbai and is currently working with Deutsche Bank.
Prashant Gupta is a 2nd year undergraduate pursuing his BTech in Biological Sciences and Bioengineering from IIT Kanpur. He is the Chief Marketing Officer at rtination. He has also contributed significantly to rtination by helpng create its own database of PIOs, perfecting the backend management of application data and handling the costumer care of the organisation.
What prompted these techies to venture into the RTI zone?
The initiative found its roots when the founders were pursuing their undergraduate degrees in various IITs and NITs. An initiative under the name of ‘India Inspired’ was conceived in IIT Kanpur by the founders of rtination.com wherein several nation building activities were conducted year after year. In one such year the entire focus was on popularizing the RTI.
“We invited Anna Hazare, Aruna Roy, Arvind Kejriwal and OP Kejriwal (then Information Commisioner of India) for a panel discussion to IIT Kanpur. To popularize the concept in campus, we made 14 ad films which were screened in various halls and over the Local area network. The first ad here went on to be telecasted on MTV. We were also instrumental in getting MTV to make a 30 minute show to popularize RTI. This show also featured a Street play on RTI made at IIT Kanpur.Incidentally, Rajkumar Hirani used this streetplay as a base while shooting for a streetplay in his film, HallaBol”,says Prateek .
“One of us had to file an RTI application to seek some information. After running through the corridors of many offices, we realised how difficult it is to file an RTI application, in a country where almost everything, from a pizza to a camera is now available at the click of a mouse. We then embarked towards devising a portal which enables citizens to file RTI applications online”, he further adds.
Rtination.com was launched on August 15th 2009 with a vision to facilitate filing of RTI applications online. Through the past 2 years, RTINation.com has made a significant difference in the lives of many Indians. By making available valuable information ranging from lost property records to diversion of public funds for unwarranted purposes, it has helped Indians from California to Azamgarh. People with pending passport, EPF application, driving license for over a year (or two) have got their issues resolved by filing the RTI application within a matter of stipulated 30 days. People of all ages (students, working individuals) and all professions (corporates, gram panchayats etc) have filed applications through the website.
In general people are unaware of the different formats followed in different state offices. For instance an applicant might not know whether an application pertaining to land ceiling will go to the concerned municipal officers in the field or an officer concerned with town planning in the department headquarter or the city development authority etc. Many PIO routinely reject applications on the basis of absence of clarity of information sought. RTI Nation thus not only guides people with filing a proper application, but also helps them with the entire process.
In the words of one of their applicants, “I would never have thought of filing an RTI application had it not been for rtination.com”.
So, if you are also one of those people having questions but have not sought answers to them, then with www.rtination.com you are about to run out of excuses for not having asked the right questions.