Haridwar: How about knowing your passing status through RTI application? Or using the RTI Act to know your numbers in an examination....? The above mentioned cases are the kind of queries that Public Service Commission of the Uttarakhand comes across daily through applications filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Meant for seeking information through a proper channel, the RTI Act is proving to be a headache for the Commission as applicants are seeking irrelevant information. In past four months the Commission has received more than 400 applications under RTI.

According to the latest figures, the numbers of applications received in January were 80, the applications increased the next month to 119. March registered higher RTI applications than previous month and the number climbed to 144. April recorded highest number of 145 applications under RTI Act.

Categorically, Haridwar tops the districts in the state receiving highest number of applications.

Already facing crisis of staff, the Public Service Commission has to spend hours replying to such queries, which according to the officials is a time-consuming process.

Surprisingly, despite transparency in the procedure, majority of the applicants are not satisfied with the functioning of the commission. The dissatisfaction among the masses over the working procedure has also been cited as the prime reason for the high number of RTI applications.

Loaded with the time and energy consumed in replying the void RTI queries, Secretary Uttarakhand Public Service Commission, Kunwar Singh says, “Every month more than 100 such cases are registered. The time which we spend in replying to the applications can otherwise be utilised in doing other important work. But the number of these applications is really very high, and under the provisions of the RTI Act we are bound to reply."

Many of the applicants often seek personal information from the Commission.

Singh said, “At times, the applications are filed to seek information about our salary structure, property and details of children.”
Online information

Irked over the increasing number of RTI queries, the Commission has uploaded the results and number of the candidates online. Through the online facilities, candidates can have an access to the information with a click of the mouse. 

JPN/Bureau