The participation of women and the third gender in the Right to Information (RTI) applications on the RTI Online portal was less than 17 per cent of the total 23,17,540 filed in the last 33 months.
Commodore Lokesh Batra's RTI
An RTI report compiled by former senior naval officer Commodore Lokesh Batra shows significant gender disparity in the RTI applications filed in the period January 2021 to September 2023 on the RTI online portal. The data was provided by the Central Public Information Officer, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Government of India.
The data reveals a total of 23,17,540 RTI applications were filed, of which 19,05,543 were filed by males, 4,09,233 by females, 2,225 by the third gender, and 485 were not specified. "The data shows an abysmal female share of only 17.658 per cent of the total RTIs filed. There is a need for creating larger awareness among females and the third gender about their rights. It will ensure much larger participation of females and the third gender in governance," explained Commodore Batra.
He further added that on the Online Portal, Personal Details of an Applicant are made mandatory, including 'Gender,' with three options provided - Male, Female, and Third Gender, but the third gender is not clearly defined.
The queries raised in the RTI filed by retired Indian Navy Commodore Lokesh Batra asking for gender-wise, number-wise, and percentage-wise total RTI applications online in the last 33 months after a similar RTI filed in August 2023 did not get a satisfactory response.