RTINation : Online Portal for Filing RTI Application
While the whole nation debates about making system and government functioning more transparent, four youths from IIT Kanpur and IIM Kozikode decided to do their bit by leveraging the existing law of RTI and founding RTINation.
In 2006 a speech session by Civil Society activists organized in IIT Kanpur on the issue of transparency of government systems and the power of Right To Information Act opened the eyes of these students on the importance of such Acts for the people.
The speech was organized under an initiative named ‘India Inspired’, which was conceived in IIT Kanpur by the founders of rtination.com wherein several nation building activities were conducted year after year. In 2006 the entire focus was on popularizing the RTI and they had invited Anna Hazare, Aruna Roy, Arvind Kejriwal and OP Kejriwal (then Information Commissioner of India) for a panel discussion.
“To popularize the concept in campus, we made 14 ad films which were screened in various halls and over the Local area network. The first ad here went on to be telecasted on MTV. We were also instrumental in getting MTV to make a 30 minute show to popularize RTI. This show also featured a Street play on RTI made at IIT Kanpur. Incidentally, Rajkumar Hirani used this street play as a base while shooting for a street play in his film, HallaBol”, says Prateek.
The Beginning of RTINation
When one of the founders had to file an RTI application to seek some information, they had to run from one office to another to get the application filed. It was then they realized that in a country in which everything is moving online and available in a click of mouse, it was still too difficult to get information from Government through RTI. They decided to build an online portal to make filing RTI applications easy for people and rtination.com was launched on 15th August 2009. Rahul had created a simple interface for the website and they rented a small office space and hired a couple of employees to help with the application process.
Rahul Gupta, a 2008 graduate from IIT Kanpur is the full time CEO of rtination.com and is currently pursuing his MBA from IIM Bangalore. He had earlier worked as an analyst in J.P. Morgan.
Prateek Kumar, a 2008 graduate from IIT Kanpur is the COO of the website and currently works as associate in Religare Capital Markets, Mumbai.
Rasaal Dwivedi is behind the promotional activities and operations of the website. He did his B Tech from NIT Raipur in 2009, where he was the only student representative of 3100 students before the Board of Governors of the Institute. He did his MBA from IIM Kozhikode, interned at JP Morgan, Mumbai and is currently working with Deutsche Bank.
Prashant Gupta is a 2nd year undergraduate pursuing his B.Tech in Biological Sciences and Bioengineering from IIT Kanpur. He is the Chief Marketing Officer at rtination. He has also contributed significantly to rtination by helping create its own database of PIOs, perfecting the backend management of application data and handling the costumer care of the organisation.
How it works?
If you want to file an RTI application, you just have to register on the rtination.com, fill in an application form addressing your query, pay a fee of Rs. 150 and leave the rest to the rtination team who figures out the government office/officer to address the query and edit and file the application properly. They also provide information related to filing RTI, sample applications and latest applications filed on their portal which could help anyone filing the application.
While many people object that Rs. 150 is too much for the application, considering that it is used for paying the employees, the office rent and the rest to run the venture, they only manage to break-even.
The tag line of RTINation says, “Be The Change”. Well if not the change lets be the change agent at least!
All the best to RTI Nation.