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.

 

eIPO HELP DESK

 

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”.)

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