Amid a row over proposed changes in the RTI Act, the government has invited applications from eligible candidates to fill vacant posts of Information Commissioners in transparency watchdog CIC.
"It is proposed to appoint Information Commissioners in the Central Information Commission. Persons fulfilling the criteria and interested for appointment to the post of Information Commissioner may send their particulars in the enclosed proforma," the advertisement says.
There are six Information Commissioners (ICs) working in the CIC against a sanctioned strength of 10. The Central Information Commission is headed by Chief Information Commissioner. Radha Krishna Mathur is the incumbent Chief Information Commissioner.
Many RTI activists and the government are at loggerheads over the proposed changes in the transparency law. The activists have claimed that the proposed changes will dilute the law.
According to the proposed amendment, the salaries, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the Chief Information Commissioner and ICs "shall be such as may be prescribed by the central government.
The tenure of information commissioners at the Centre and the states is proposed to be amended from "a term of five years" to "terms as may be prescribed by the central government.
The salary, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the Information Commissioners shall be as may be specified at the time of appointment of the selected candidate/s, the advert reads.
"The latest advertisement seeking applications for the post of ICs make the government intent clear that the proposed changes in the Act may get the nod of the Parliament," RTI activist Ajay Dubey said.
"We shall fight any attempt by the authorities concerned to dilute the RTI Act," Dubey said.
An Information Commissioner shall be a person of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass-media or administration and governance, according to the advertisement.
Persons who have attained the age of 65 years shall not be eligible for appointment, it said.