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Applications to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment under the Right to Information Act

Posted by Nirmita Narasimhan at Mar 06, 2009 10:05 AM |
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The Centre for Internet and Society filed two applications to the MSJE under the Right to Information Act seeking certain information relating to the implementation of the National Policy for Electronic Accessibility and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

In January 2009, The Centre for Internet and Society filed two separate Right to Information (RTI) applications with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE), New Delhi. The first application was addressed to Shri K. S. Sawhney, Director, MSJE, seeking information on 

  • The utilization of 3% funds of each department of the Central Government towards welfare of disabled persons, as specified under the eleventh five year plan from January 2008
  • The detailed rules and guidelines and the monitoring mechanisms set up under each ministry as per this plan
  • Other RTI applications which had been previously filed in this regard 

The second application was also to the MSJE enquiring about measures taken to ensure that government web sites were made accessible to persons with disabilities. Information was requested regarding

  • The nature and outcome of surveys on government web sites for checking accessibility
  • The criteria used for measuring accessibility
  • Details of the circulars issued to different departments and ministries in this regard.   

With regard to the first application, MSJE responded broadly that information pertaining to the allocation of funds should be obtained from the concerned ministries/departments, the Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance directly and not from them. The Ministry mentioned that the process of formulating guidelines was still underway and that the Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities (CCPD), the Central and State Governments were empowered to monitor the progress of the same. The Ministry was silent on the enquiry about previous RTI applications filed in relation to the above matter by other persons.

In response to the second application the Ministry wrote that communication regarding the provisions of the UNCRPD had been circulated to all Ministries for implementation. The Ministry also admitted that no efforts had been made in this direction and since the CCPD was the body which was responsible for checking the accessibility of some government web sites, the application from CIS had been forwarded to CCPD for relevant action.

To read the application on allotment of funds, click here; to read the department's response, click here.

To read the application on steps taken to ensure accessibility of government websites, click here; to read the department's response, click here.

 

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