by Er. Gaurav Singhal - an alumnus of
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.
[For getting an idea
qucickly, you may watch the short video (less than 4
min) on this page.
Please feel free to share the YouTube
link with your friends for awareness]
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
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
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
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
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!
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