SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL
(Guinness Record Holder & RTI Activist)
Presently Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances and President’s Secretariat are providing useful services by having Public Grievance Portals at their websites www.pgportal.gov.in and www.helpline.rb.nic.in where members of public can lodge their submissions with provision of password-facility to know status of the lodged submissions. Information both through e-mail and SMS is sent when the submission is disposed of advising to see the outcome by lodging the password. But system of knowing status fails because usual response coming that ‘Password does not exist’. National Informatics Centre and/or any agency involved in maintenance of these two websites should solve the problem. Rather final outcome should be e-mailed as it is instead of advising to visit the website to know disposal of submissions.
Option to select public-authorities on www.pgportal.gov.in is very limited with even top-most public-authorities like Supreme Court, President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariats etc missing from the option. It has been further minimized by now removing Union Cabinet secretariat from the option-list. Scope of selecting public-authorities at www.pgportal.gov.in should be widened by even having sub-options under every ministry and department to select public-authorities and undertakings under them. Rather it should be made compulsory for all public-authorities to have such portals on their respective websites. System will largely reduce burden of huge number of RTI petitions handled by public-authorities, and will also put less pressure on system to be implemented through new-to-be introduced Citizens Charter Bill.
It should be compulsory for all responding officers of various public authorities to print their respective official e-mail IDs and websites in all their correspondences, advertisements and other publications. All public-authorities should provide details of personal official e-mail IDs of all their officers on government-websites. Print-directories published by governments and public-authorities should also include such e-mail IDs and websites.