In Madhya Pradesh, officials use social media for speedy disposal of cases

first_imgEven before the order copy from Bhopal reached his college in Rewa by post, Ramavatar held the marksheet gleefully, thanks to WhatsApp. The Madhya Pradesh Information Commission, on his appeal, had ordered that the marksheet be released. He just had to carry the printout of the order copy to the college, received on the mobile application. “This is a way to ensure speedy disposal of cases,” said Rahul Singh, Information Commissioner. “Applicants come to us harassed. And hearing takes months, even years. If we follow the same bureaucratic methods, and not adapt to technology, the harassment will continue.”Mandatory conditionWith the mandatory condition to provide information under the Right to Information Act, 2005, within 30 days often flouted, aggrieved appellants are left to grapple with long-drawn-out hearings, fiendish paperwork and delayed communication. To expedite proceedings, the Commission is admitting complaints, disposing of cases on Twitter too, and serving notices on government officials through WhatsApp. “The Act doesn’t rule out the use of technology for conducting hearings. As a result, videoconferencing has become a norm. Similarly, we are leveraging the social media and telephone to speedily dispose of cases,” said Mr. Singh. More than 7,000 cases dating as far back as 2012 were pending before the Commission.However, the social media wasn’t an alternative to postal correspondence, he cautioned. “That takes weeks, allowing some officials to mislead or discourage applicants. Even so, the original order is sent by post. But at least the possession of their copies by us can set the ball rolling,” said Mr. Singh.last_img