Newly appointed Chief Information Commissioner of India, Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha today called on Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space Dr Jitendra Singh.
62 years old Sinha, who retired as High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom before being appointed as Information Commissioner from where he has been elevated to the present post of Chief Information Commissioner of India, happens to be the son of Late Lieutenant General S. K. Sinha, former Governor of Jammu & Kashmir and Assam, and former Vice Chief of the Army Staff.
During half an hour meeting with the Minister, the new Chief Information Commissioner gave a brief about the progressively improving disposal rate of the RTI applications and also informed that in the month of June, in spite of COVID pandemic, the monthly disposal rate of RTI applications was higher than the rate in the corresponding month of June last year i.e. 2019. He said, this was possible because the Central Information Commission had carried on its working uninterrupted even during the COVID times by using modern technology of online, virtual and video conferences.
Sinha also briefed Dr Jitendra Singh about the status of disposal of the RTI applications from Jammu & Kashmir ever since the Union Territory was brought under the purview of Central Information Commission earlier this year. He thanked the Minister for continuous support from the government and coordination by the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT).
Dr Jitendra Singh referred to a number of new initiatives taken under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to improve the functioning of the Central Information Commission and to ensure prompt disposal of RTI appeals. As for Jammu & Kashmir, he said, the difference now is that non-Domicile or non-State subjects of Jammu & Kashmir are also entitled to file RTIs related to UT issues or agencies.
The Union Minister also noted that it was during the Modi government that 24 hours’ portal service was introduced for e-filing of the RTI applications during any part of the day or night and from any part of the country or abroad. It was during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure, he said, that the office of Central Information Commissioner was shifted to its own exclusive office complex.
Dr Jitendra Singh reiterated that the role of the Central Information Commission is important to live upto to Prime Minister Modi’s vision of transparency and citizen – participation in the functioning of the government.