Right to Information
Here's what you need to know about eIPO for online RTI applications

CM Devendra Fadnavis' push will mean RTI applications will soon go online, the next step is for the applicant to know how to pay RTI fees online using eIPO.


In a welcome move to enhance transparency, Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, has announced that citizens would be able to file their Right To Information (RTI) applications online from January 2015 onwards. For filing RTI applications at the click of the mouse, it is important to know how to pay the Rs10 RTI fees online, which will also now become easy.

Thanks to the single-handed and untiring efforts of Delhi based RTI activist Commodore Lokesh Batra (retd.), the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has directed all Chief Secretaries of states to consider using eIPO facilities for the payment of RTI fees.


While it is imperative that the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra would have to implement the eIPO facility along with the facility to file an RTI online, it is important for RTI users to understand the mechanism of online payment. Presently, around 2,500 central public authorities and 176 missions abroad have applied this facility for citizens.

The DoPT letter dated 12th August, 2014 to all the state chief secretaries states that, ``A service called eIPO (Electronic Indian Postal Order), was launched on 22 March 2013 for purchasing Indian Postal Order online through the e-post office portal for paying RTI fee to access information under RTI Act from central public authorities. The facility which was started initially for Indian citizens abroad was extended to Indian citizens residing in India from 13 February 2014. DOP (Department of Posts) has now proposed that the feasibility of extending this facility to the state governments also, where IPO is one of the modes of payment for RTI applications may be explored. I therefore request you to explore the feasibility of introduction of eIPO facility for state public authorities to make the RTI regime more citizen friendly.’’

Lokesh Batra, who has filed 101 RTI applications online and paid through the eIPO route urges every RTI applicant to use this facility if available, because he says ``if we do not use it, it does not remain viable for the Department of Posts (DOP) to maintain this facility.” The other fact being that the physical form of IPO costs Rs36.40 for the tax payer, says Batra, and much public expenditure could be avoided with the eIPO, the cost of which is negligible.

In order to purchase an eIPO, you need to register with the post office portal at  https://www.epostoffice.gov.in. Select the Ministry and Department from the displayed list, then select the payment mode and Bank name. Click on Payment button to book the eIPO. It will lead to the bank's payment gateway, where users can make the payment online.

Let's hope the Maharashtra government, which has been quite sloppy in many areas of RTI governance, picks up speed under Fadnavis by making it RTI-user friendly.



FAQs published by DOP to guide citizens on how to use eIPO facility

1. What is eIPO?
eIPO or Electronic Indian Postal Order is a facility to purchase an Indian Postal Order
electronically by paying the fee online.


2. How eIPO can be purchased?
eIPO can be purchased by registering once on the portal https://www.epostoffice.gov.in
under eIPO Service.


3.What is the cost of eIPO?
The minimum cost of eIPO is Rs10/-


4. Is eIPO expensive?
eIPO tariff has been kept same as an ordinary IPO (Indian Postal Order), though
electronic transmission has been introduced.


5.Whether eIPO can be purchased from any corner of the world?
Yes, eIPO can be purchased from anywhere in the world.


6.Where eIPO can be used?
eIPO can be used only for RTI applications in Central Public Authorities in India and
Indian Missions/Posts.


7.Whether eIPO can be sent through email/post?
eIPO can be sent through email/post with the required RTI application.


8. Is the payment made online?
Yes, the payment is to be made online.


9. What can be presented as a proof of identity by the Indian Citizen Living abroad?
Indian Citizens living abroad have to submit their passport number and expiry date, while registering on the site.


10. What makes eIPO special?
It is fast service –It can be sent through e-mail to the Govt. of India-Ministry for obtaining requisite information.
It is safe – It cannot be used for multiple transactions.

It is reliable – Since it uses e-mail to send it to the relevant Government of India Ministry, it can get the response easily too.


11. Is it required for the user to register everytime in order to purchase eIPO?
No, the user has to register only once on the portal in order to purchase eIPO.


12.How can user register for eIPO?
User can register for paying through eIPO, on this portal- https://www.epostoffice.gov.in


13. What are the initial requirements for creating new user in eIPO?
Creation of account for eIPO service with the DOP website mentioned above
For Indian citizen living in Abroad, the user needs to have a valid email id
For Indian Citizen living in India, the user needs to have a valid email id and mobile number


14. Where does the user get the eCode and mCode?
The Indian Citizen living abroad will get the eCode and mCode on the email ID mentioned during the registration and an Indian Citizen living in India will get the eCode on the email ID and mCode on the submitted mobile number.


15. Is there any time limit for user verification?
No, there is no time limit for user verification. User can perform verification by going to the link ‘New User Verification’.


16. While registering, if captcha image is not clear or not shown?
If captcha image is not clear or not shown, it is advisable to use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browser.


17. Is email id mandatory?
Yes it is mandatory for all.


18. Is mobile number mandatory?
It is mandatory for Indian Citizens living in India and it is optional for Indian Citizens living abroad.


19. What is the format of mobile number?
Simple 10 digit Indian mobile number in the format 98XXXXXXXX.


20. If the user does not get codes, what should be done?
If after a little time he/she is unable to receive the codes. The user can go to part 2 of the registration and resend the codes. 


21.Can successful registration be done if security code image is not visible?
No, successful registration cannot be done without entering security code.


22. If user is unable to perform successful transaction?
The user should check that whether he is able to reach the bank site. If so, then should
check the internet connection because failed transactions may occur due to poor connectivity.


23. Can the user cancel a purchased eIPO?
eIPO once purchased cannot be cancelled.


24. Can single eIPO be used multiple times?
One eIPO cannot be used for multiple transactions.


25. If user forgets his password, how to get a new password?
User has to select Forgot Password link on home page and provide his username,
registered email id and captcha code.The link is mailed on the email id. On clicking the
link a form opens where user can reset the password.




email id : [email protected]



(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)


MLF seminar on Painless Passports: From Endless Waits to Painless Passports
Passport services have improved dramatically and are set to get better
Moneylife Foundation organised a seminar on getting one of the most important documents for Indian citizens, the passport. We invited Tanmoy Chakrabarty, VP and head of government industry solutions, at Tata Consultancy Services, Dr Swati Kulkarni, Regional Passport Officer (Mumbai) and TD Sharma, Regional Passport Officer (Thane) to discuss passport-related issues.
Anyone who has dealt with the passport office over the past few decades knows of the long struggle to get a passport. Earlier, it would take months and, sometimes, years to get a passport. Today, it is time-bound and a lot more organised, thanks to automation and successful public-private partnership between the Tata Consultancy Services and MEA (ministry of external affairs). 
Moneylife stumbled on the topic of passports two years ago, after our columnist Vinita Deshmukh voiced the complaints of a large number of passport applicants in Pune. At that time, Mr Chakrabarty responded quickly, heard the problems and systematically sorted them out. We soon noticed that an increasing number of citizens started expressing their surprise at the efficiency at passport offices and passport seva kendras (PSKs). This led us to invite Mr Chakrabarty and senior passport officials to share their experience and interact with the Foundation members.
Mr Chakrabarty stated that “Instead of long lines from 3am, we have been able to give appointments to people to come at a specific time, reducing the queues.” On the issue of the new e-migrate system, “For example, in Libya two years ago, we had a large Indian workforce. Employers often impound labourers’ passports to keep them in check. So when the coup happened, MEA could not identify Indians in Libya. This system will help in such a situation,” he said.
Dr Swati Kulkarni, a physician who joined IFS (Indian Foreign Service) spoke about the steps government has taken ranging from better training of staff and adding infrastructure, to including new thinking from the ITeS sector, to making MEA more citizen-centric. She said that “From painless passports, we hope to make it ‘passports with pleasure’ and as stressed by the minister, we want to take the PSKs to each district.”
Mr Sharma spoke about the relatively new passport office in Thane which was set up in 2001 and its fast evolution into a hub for nine districts. He said that the number of applications has risen by 63% since 2008. He also said that “We are trying to bring Maharashtra’s police departments to the centralised district police headquarters (DPHQ) model, which will help bring down the time taken for police verification considerably.” He generously shared with the audience simple checklists for different types of passport-seekers; these have been put up on the Moneylife website. The panel then responded to a variety of questions from an eager audience. 


Best Mobiles for 2015

Both hardware and software for mobile handsets is going through a sea change. In 2015, expect more powerful processors, extra dose of RAM, HD screens and finally, the 4G network for masses


Although mobile handset makers are trying to make a last ditch attempt to end 2014 on a high note, for those who are willing to wait a little more, the future looks better. Sometimes we prefer to wait and wait for mobile upgrades or just go and buy a device that looks best as per our choice and budget. In both cases, remorse starts to creep in. Therefore, it is better to be well prepared or to know what is available in the market and what is around the corner. That is the reason I will discuss hardware, software and other features, which will be in the spotlight in 2015, rather than using brand or handset names. 
There are several interesting devices lined up for 2015 by mobile companies. Next year we will witness Nokia returning to the handset business using the Android platform, while market leader Samsung is all set to introduce handsets with 4GB RAM. This also means, mobile handsets with 2GB RAM may become the basic standard by the end of next year.
However, before looking into the future, let us see how the mobile market fared in 2014. Especially for India, 2014 can be named as the year with value for money handsets, like Xiaomi Mi3, Red 1S, and Note and Asus Zenfone series. This assault by value for money devices was so powerful that several top of the line, as well as low cost domestic mobile producers were forced to join the race. After looking at and using the Mi3, I can say that it was definitely the best value for money mobile device in 2014. Unfortunately, Xiaomi has stopped selling Mi3 in India. Maybe the company would introduce the Mi4 in India in the next few months, but it depends on its ongoing court case filed by Ericsson over certain patent issues.  
In the highest paid mobile devices, both Apple and Samsung continued their war by launching their flagships, Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy Note 4, respectively. However, due to the cost factor, it remained out of reach for most mobile users. Nevertheless, those who bought these would vouch for their own devices.
During 2014, Google tried its hands on the value for money market with the Android One based devices. However, except some initial enthusiasm, these devices could not evoke enough response. In addition, other handset makers, who were not part of Google’s Android One platform, launched their own devices in the same range, but with original Android software and better hardware.
Microsoft, which rescued Nokia, finally decided to drop the name of the Finnish device makers from its offerings. Microsoft launched two variants, 535 and 535 dual SIM of its own Lumia brand that will not use Nokia name. On the other hand, Motorola seems to have learned its lesson and launched the second generation of its popular Moto G and Moto X devices with a facility for additional memory card. While Moto G (2nd Gen) seems to be doing well, its elder sibling, the Moto X (2nd Gen) is still beyond reach for most users with its price tag of over Rs30,000.
Sony’s latest flagship Xperia Z3 was well appreciated by critics and fans. However, due to its heavy price tag (in the range of Samsung Note4 and iPhone 6), it could not reach the hands of many users.
HD screens all round: With quad core and octa core processors and additional GPUs, boosting performances of several mobile devices, screen resolutions are also becoming clearer and crisper. Off course, low cost and value for money (ok, except a few) devices cannot offer full HD (1920x1080 pixel) resolution but they may give you a HD screen (1280x720 pixel). In fact, HD screen may become the standard resolution for majority of mobile handsets by the end of 2015. So be ready to enjoy your HD video and sharper and crystal clear photos.  
More power to you: According to reports, Samsung has started mass production of its 4GB LPDDR4 mobile DRAM memory chips. These chips use 20nm manufacturing process and are reportedly 50% faster than the current record holder LPDDR3 memory in the market. Off course, do not expect this RAM in your low cost or value for money mobile handsets soon. However, by the end of 2015, we may see 2GB RAM becoming a basic standard for all smartphones. Similarly, 2014 may be the last year for dual-core processors for mobile while quad core may see this happening by December 2015.  
Is 13MP camera becoming the new standard? The year 2014 saw a spurt in the use of phones for imaging and related purposes, yes, including selfies clicked with mobile phone cameras. No wonder that handset makers are trying to provide extra dose of megapixels (MP) to front cameras used to click selfies. Also during the year, we saw some real up-gradation in MP-wise capacity of mobile main cameras, which had remained stagnant at 8MP for quite some time. This year, for most of the value for money and pricey mobile handsets, 13MP feature is fast becoming a standard. Personally, I do not see any major difference in photos clicked with 8MP and 13MP cameras. In fact, very few, would find any difference in those images. For a normal or regular usage, both cameras are capable of clicking good quality pictures. So unless, you want to click professional quality photos or plan to use it for high quality prints, do not fall for the 13MP gimmick. 
4G or 3G? In 2015, we may see the launch of Reliance Jio’s most ambitious 4G mobile network. At present, Airtel and Aircel are offering 4G services at some places. However, unless a big player like Reliance Jio enters the market, the tariffs and availability of 4G may remain beyond the reach of masses. One thing is for sure, 4G will be here soon and if you are planning to upgrade or buy a new handset, make sure it supports 4G as well.
My mobile, my OS? In January 2010, I wrote about how consolidation of technologies can be the game-changer in the future. “The coming decade, however, will be dominated by issues of accessibility and compatibility of technologies and devices.” Flexibility to install an OS of your choice will radically change the dynamics of the mobile-phone market.
Well, this may just be coming true. Micromax, the largest handset maker in India, is launching its YU brand devices that are based on CyanogenMod OS. Although, this OS is based on Android KitKat, it offers more choices to users, including privacy control, access to the root, kernel and great scope for personalisation and customisation. I use, CyanogenMod 11 on my now-out-of-warranty Samsung S plus and can vouch for the ease and user controls of this modified OS. Micromax has priced its YU Yureka device at Rs8,999 on Amazon.in and assured that playing with the root or OS will not deprive buyers the warranty. Yu will go for sale on 13th January. Here's hoping some among the biggies too will will offer only hardware and give the buyer the choice to install an OS of her choice.  



Maharsh Kapadia

2 years ago

Dual slim & Battery capacity also becomes important feature now a days.


2 years ago

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