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Use RTI to fight Ragging


In 2005, the Govt. of India came up with a very powerful act called the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which empowers you to ask any question to any govt. department, agency, or institute and the reply has to be given by them within 30 days, otherwise a fine of Rs. 250 per day is levied on the responsible officer.

Generally you can use the RTI act to ask action taken by the college on the ragging complaint made or action taken by RTI-helpline on the ragging complaint. You can also ask the local police through RTI what action has been taken if you have made any complaint to it. You can even ask the college reasons why the anti-ragging squad does not conduct surprise checks at night, why complaint boxes have not been kept at various locations at the college, or why the seniors found indulged in ragging have been given a very mild punishment. You can ask why the various anti-ragging steps as mandated by UGC’s anti-ragging regulation are not being implemented by the college. Remember, the fight against ragging is in your own hands!

When an RTI application is filed, the govt. officers come under pressure to perform since they can not write back that no action has been taken till date! They generally take action within 30 days and write back the action taken in the RTI reply.

An RTI application generally doesn’t cost much and the entire process is completed in Rs. 50 only. If you do not wish to disclose your name, you can make any of your friend/ cousin apply for you.

 
 
SAVE advocates a wide use of RTI to get any information or to ensure a timely action by the authorities in case you are facing the ragging. The link below gives details to acquaint you with various aspects of the RTI application process.

In every Government Department/ Agency/ Institute – whether State or Central Department – one or more officers have been designated as Public Information Officers (PIOs). The PIO acts as the nodal officer for the implementation of Right to Information. He is supposed to receive applications from the people, collect information and then provide that information to the applicant. In some Departments, which are very huge, a number of officers have been designated as PIOs. Here, it is important to mention that only entities related to govt. come under the purview of RTI Act, so for private colleges you will have to file RTI application to the UGC or the university to which the private college is attached.
 
Any person desirous of obtaining information should apply on a plain paper (some departments/ institutes have prescribed their own application forms) to the concerned PIO. You should deposit Rs 10 application fee. This could be deposited either in cash or through Demand Draft or postal order. However, these rules and fee are different for different state governments.
 
In general, every department/ institute on its website provides in detail the process of filing the RTI. It gives the name and address of the PIO and in whose name the Demand Draft is to be made.


 

How to write the Application:

• Be very specific & ask to the point questions. Don't ask vague questions.
• Ask 4-5 questions in one application. If you want to ask more questions, divide them with more than one RTI application each having about 5 questions.
• Ask information always by writing your name and signature, and not by your post, as only citizen have the right to information.
• Do not ask a question containing 'WHY'! The RTI act does not necessitate the reply to the “WHY” questions. In such cases, just re-frame the question like in place of asking “Why has no action been taken by the college/ police against the raggers”, ask “Please furnish the reasons of no action till date against the raggers”.
• Remember that, you do not need to write the reason for asking the information.
• Mention the payment details like DD/PO number, issuing bank/post office, date, cash receipt details , etc., towards the end of your application. Do remember to attach the DD/PO with the application.
• Keep the copy of the application and the DD with you for future record.
• In such cases when the information involves giving you photo-state copies of any document, the PIO will charge you extra (generally at a maximum rate of Rs. 2 per page) for the cost of those photo-copies. He will inform you the amount and once you submit that amount, then only will you get the information.


 
 
How to submit the RTI Application:

You will need a proof, that your RTI application has been received by the PIO. Once the PIO knows that you have got the proof of delivery, he can not say that never got the application and may be the application was lost by the postal deptt/ courier company. The tested methods to submit a RTI application are:

Personally, by hand: Please ensure that you get your copy of the application and proof of payment duly stamped, signed and dated, either by the PIO or by the department.

Registered Post AD: You can send registered post with an AD card and after delivery it will be returned to your address with a signature of the department/institute which has received it. The AD card will act as proof of submission.

Speed Post (A postal department service): Send Speed Post with a proof of delivery card attached. Once the speed post is delivered, the delivery proof will be delivered at your address by the postal department. Also once the application is sent by Speed Post, track it on http://www.indiapost.gov.in/Speednew/track.aspx and keep a print out of the delivery status carefully with you.

Do not use ordinary post, private courier companies, etc. since these will not provide you with a confirmed proof of delivery.

I have found the Speed Post with proof of delivery option to be the best for us based on our experience. It provides speedy delivery and dual mode of confirmation of the delivery, and is yet very economical!


 
 
Where to get help from:

There are many websites which guide you on RTI. Just search “right to information” on google and make a visit on those websites for more on RTI.
Many RTI related website provide samples also of RTI applications. You can take a look at those also to get more clarity. Again just google for it!
Also, there are people who provide free guidance on phone to people who face some difficulty in filing an RTI application. Just search “RTI helpline” on google for it!
In case you still need guidance, you can write to us at rtidesk[AT]no2ragging.org

File RTI application (Samples from the RTI desk)

In case you still need guidance, you can write to us at rtidesk[AT]no2ragging.org