To encourage government staffers get acquainted with provisions of the Right to Information Act (RTI), 2005, the Administrative Reforms (AR) department of the Delhi government has planned an RTI comprehension test for its employees.
While the department has conducted similar tests earlier, efforts are being made this year to make the test mandatory for Public Information Officers (PIO) of all government departments.
The test, which will have a “college-exam-like” roll-number system, will be held in September, a notification issued by the AR department said. Those who score 80 per cent and above in the 90-minute written test, will be awarded Rs 1,500.
“The test would be confined to the provisions of the Right to Information Act and contain 100-marks objective/subjective type questions. The duration of the test would be one- and-half hours and separate papers would be set for each category — one for LDC (Lower Divisional Clerk), Group D and their equivalent, one for the UDCs, assistants and their equivalent and the third for superintendents and their equivalent and above,” the notification read.
The need for such a test was felt after regular complaints were received regarding PIOs not following provisions of Act and not updating websites and posting information online.
“There is a need to enhance awareness regarding various provisions of the RTI Act, 2005, amongst PIOs,” the notification stated.
An official associated with the test said, “From this year, we are going to make participation of PIOs compulsory. In the past years, an average of 700 people applied, but only 400 to 450 turn up. There will be several cash rewards starting from Rs 400, up to Rs 2000 for people who score 40 per cent and above. The enrolment so far has been good. The idea is to improve the RTI knowledge of our employees.”