How to File an RTI Application Online

With more and more Indians connecting to the Internet, it's no surprise that many of our government agencies are also going online. Because of this it's easier than ever to do things like apply for a passport or get a copy of your Aadhaar card. Since these digital services are new, people don't always know how to make use of them, but we're here to help. This week, we're going to show you how to file a Right to Information (RTI) application online.
The Right to Information Act 2005 makes it mandatory for the Indian government to issue a timely response to citizens' requests for information in the public domain. Filing an RTI application is a very simple process unlike most other requests to the government. You can easily file an RTI application online, but you need to know a few details to do so.
For one thing, you can't file an RTI application for certain kinds of information such as matters concerning national security or if the data you seek could compromise someone's safety or privacy. You can find the full list of information you can't request here. The Right to Information is powerful, and these restrictions are in place to ensure that it isn't misused.
The other important thing about filing an RTI plea online is that you need to submit it to the correct authorities. There are different RTI authorities for Central and state governments, and you will have to send your query to the correct department as well. RTI applications for State Authorities will be rejected, but according to the website, if your application is sent to the wrong Public authority in the Central government, it can be transferred to the correct authority by the nodal officer. The full government guide to RTI is available here.
The following steps will tell you how to file an RTI plea online in just few minutes This guide focuses on sending an RTI application to Central government bodies. Not all state government bodies let you file an RTI application online yet - on most of the state's sites, you can just download the forms.
Here's how to file the application with the Central Government.
1. Go to the RTI website and click on Submit Request. Alternatively, click to go to the RTI application page, here.
2. Check I have read and understood the above guidelines and click Submit.
You can now begin filling in the form for submitting an RTI application. Pick the correct Ministry and department and fill in your contact details. You have to enter your email id to complete the application, but if you want SMS alerts about the status of your application, then you can also enter your mobile phone number.
If you don't know the public authority to file your application with, use the search bar on top - it will help choose the ministry/ department and public authority.
3. You have to fill the entire form - so for example, even if you are not below the poverty line, you need to choose the correct option from the drop down menu. Click the menu, and select No (or Yes, if applicable - this waives the fee for submitting the plea).
4. Next to Text for RTI Request application, you can write your RTI request. This form limits you to 3,000 characters.
5. If your request exceeds 3,000 characters, or if you need to submit documents to support the application, click Choose File next to Supporting document. You can upload a pdf file up to 1MB in size with your plea.
6. Enter the characters in the image next to Enter security code.
7. Click Submit.
8. The fee for submitting an RTI application is Rs. 10. You can pay that via credit/debit card or net banking on the next page.
9. Once you've paid, you will be shown an acknowledgement with a unique registration number for your RTI plea. This will be sent to you via SMS and email as well.
10. You can check the status of your RTI application on this page.
Have you ever filed an RTI plea online? Tell us about your experience via the comments. For more tutorials, visit our How To section.