Non-bureaucrats may find place in CIC

Non-bureaucrats may find place in CIC

New Delhi: As public awareness about the Right to Information (RTI) Act increases, the government is looking at appointing more non-bureaucrats to the Central Information Commission (CIC) that oversees implementation of the law.

“The government has made a shortlist of nine applicants; at least three people in it are representing the RTI activists and media," a senior government official with knowledge of the development said on condition of anonymity. “There will be a likely meeting at the end of this month to finalize the names."

This is the first time that the department of personnel and training (DoPT) has invited applications from the public for the information commissioners’ posts in the CIC.

An RTI reply by DoPT, received by RTI activist C.J.Karira in Hyderabad on Monday, showed that 214 people have applied for the post. In the reply dated 18 January, the names of the applicants were made public. Their details and bio-data were, however, withheld on grounds that such information was “personal in nature". Karira also has applied for the post.

The list includes the names of several RTI activists. Activists see this as a step towards promoting transparency in the CIC itself.

“If you want transparency in government departments through RTIs, one needs to seek transparency in appointing the information commissioner," said Divya Jyoti Jaipuriar, an RTI activist and lawyer from New Delhi who has applied for the post.