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A.K. Sen Gupta,
Senior Additional Principal Information Officer
Press Information Bureau
"A" - Wing, Shastri Bhawan,
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New Delhi - 110 001
 
Annual Report

 

ONE YEAR OF PIB

The Press Information Bureau (PIB) is the nodal agency of the Government of India to disseminate information to the print and electronic media on government policies, programme initiatives and achievements.  Functioning as an interface between the Government and the media, the PIB also provides feedback to the Government with people’s reaction as reflected in the media.  With its 8 Regional Offices and 34 Branch Offices and Information Centres, the PIB disseminates information through different modes of communication, such as Press Releases, Press Notes, Feature Articles, Backgrounders, Press Briefings, Photographs, Press Conferences, Interviews, Database available on Bureau’s website, Press tours, A.V. Clippings etc. The information material released in English, Hindi, Urdu and other regional languages reaches about 8,400 newspapers and media organisations.

At its headquarters, the Bureau has Departmental Publicity Officers who are attached to various ministries and departments for the purpose of assisting them in disseminating information to the media through press releases and press conferences, etc., and advise on all matters pertaining to publicity activities.  They also provide feedback to their respective ministries and departments. As part of the Special Services, the Feedback Cell in the PIB prepares a daily digest and special digests based on news stories editorials from national as well as regional dailies and periodicals.  The Feature Unit of the Special Services of the Bureau provides backgrounders, updates, features and graphics.  These are circulated in the national network and also sent to the Regional and Branch Offices for translation and circulation to the local Press.

The number of e-clippings prepared by Press clipping unit till Dec. 2006 are 5,15,600. 

               The Feature Unit of the Bureau provides backgrounders, updates, info-nuggets, features and graphics which are circulated on the National Network, Internet and also sent to the regional/Branch offices for translation and circulation to the local press.  The unit releases special features for highlighting policies and programmes of the Government. Special mention may be made of features on Women Empowerment, Child Labour, Drinking Water, Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Education, Health (AIDS), SSI and other topical issues.  This unit has been producing  on an average over 250 features annually including photo features and backgrounders.

PIB arranges photo coverage of various Government functions throughout the year and photographs are supplied to dailies and periodicals.  Between 1st April 2006 and December 2006 the Photo Publicity Unit of the Bureau covered 936 assignments, released 2930 photos. The Photo Unit has undertaken digitisation of Photo Library (Archives) this year. The Library has about 8 Lakh rare photographs in positives with captions. About one lakh photographs have been digitized so far. During the period the Bureau issued 59,393 press releases and 3773 features and organized 1053 press conferences.   The Bureau gave excellent publicity to the recently held IFFI-2006, at Goa.

PIB provides accreditation to Media representatives including foreign media at the Headquarters.  This facilitates them to access information from the Government sources.  About 1194 correspondents and 331 cameramen/ photographers are accredited.  Besides 140 technicians and about 70 Editors and Media critics have also been granted accreditation.  

       The Feedback cell of the Bureau prepares a Daily Digest of News & Views based on news items, as well as editorial comments, as reflected in the print media. This digest is prepared on each working day and is sent regularly to the President & Vice President’s Office Prime Minister’s Office, Cabinet Secretariat, all Cabinet Ministers and all Secretaries and important functionaries in the Government. Besides, the Cell also prepares a weekly ‘Media Report on Economic Issues.’  In addition, Special Digests and Special Reports on emerging issues which draw adequate attention and focus from national as well as regional press, is also prepared from time to time.  During the period January-March, 2007, apart from Daily Digest and Media Report on Economic Issues, the Cell would be producing Special Digests on Conference on Social Sector Issues, Economic Survey, Railway Budget and General Budget.

                The website of PIB (http://pib.nic.in) which an important source of information to small & medium newspapers of India, was reviewed for its ease-of-use and journalist-friendliness. Certain design changes were suggested based on feedback received from media, which were incorporated. These changes provided a new look and dynamism to the home-page of PIB’s website.

In a new initiative, PIB have setup an in-house audio-visual unit for creation and dissemination of audio-visual content via the website of PIB. The service was inaugurated by Minister for I&B, Sh. P.R. Dasmunshi on 25-9-2006. The audio-visual unit consists of two high-end video cameras and two sets of non-linear editing suites for editing the video grabs collected by camera persons. Between September to December 2006,  80 audio-visual clips were released upto December 31st2006.

     A new section was created in the PIB website to display audio visual content in a manner in which it can be viewed online and then a high resolution copy can be downloaded online.  This new service is conceived to provide for exclusive A/V content which is not available to the news channels by routine coverages. It can also be utilized to put across the government view point on an issue without delay in situations of urgency.

     Major decisions & achievements of the UPA Government were compiled into 69 booklets and were printed by the Bureau under the title – ‘Major programmes of UPA Government: Two Years of Achievements in States and Union Territories’ in English, Hindi, Urdu and other Indian languages.  The Prime Minister released a ‘Report to the People’ and UPA Chairperson released 69 State-wise booklets at a function held at Prime Minister’s residence on May 22, 2006.  All these publications were widely disseminated all over the country through the network of PIB’s Regional/Branch offices.  They were also placed on the Bureau’s website.

     Wide publicity was given to Important addresses made by the Prime Minister such as Independence Day, Second Round Table Conference at Srinagar, 39th Annual General Meeting of Asian Development Bank at Hyderabad, address to the Chief Secretaries, Chief Ministers’ Conference on Internal Security, address to the Nation after Mumbai blasts, National Conference on completion of one year of RTI, the speech at the Full meeting of Planning Commission and NDC meeting. 

Media support was given to measures taken by the Government during various crises such as Mumbai blasts, doctors’ strike, floods in Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai and Gujarat. 

The Bureau made special arrangements for the coverage of Prime Minister’s visits to Germany, Uzbekistan, visit to G-8 Summit in St. Petersburg, SAARC Summit at Havana, visit to South Africa to participate in the Centenary celebrations of ‘Satyagraha’, visit to UK, EU Summit at Helsinki and Japan. 

    An unprecedented pace of decision-making at the highest level was reflected in the record number of decisions taken by Cabinet and various Cabinet Committees.  The decisions of Cabinet and Cabinet Committees were disseminated to media by organizing record number of briefings there on by the Ministers concerned and then placing the decisions on the Bureau’s website.

  An institutionalized mechanism has also been put in place to brief media-persons on daily basis in the media room Press tours with Home Minister/Home Secretary were conducted which included the ones to Wagah Border with Home Secretary in connection with Amritsar-Lahore bus service, Indo-Bangladesh border with Home Minister, Jammu and Kashmir to review security arrangements for Amarnath Yatra with Home Secretary, Srinagar with Home Secretary who participated in Editors’ Conference at Srinagar, Latur for the foundation laying ceremony of CRPF’s Disaster Management Training Institute in Tekanpur on the occasion of passing out parade at BSF academy.

      Media support was provided to various Commissions and Committees such as Trade and Economic Relations Committee, Economic Advisory Council, Energy Coordination Committee, Agriculture Coordination Committee.  Similarly, Prime Minister’s initiatives in Committees like Knowledge Commission, Infrastructure Committee, Committee on Rural Infrastructure were disseminated to the media.

      PM’s Reply in Rajya Sabha on Indo-US nuclear deal was disseminated to the media.  PIB translated it into Hindi and Urdu and the copies were made available to the PMO and DAVP for printing in a booklet form.  One hundred CDs of PM’s speech were prepared for wider dissemination across the country.  PM’s speeches in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on the issue have been placed on PIB website in an audio-visual format.  Wide publicity was organized for PM’s discussions with nuclear scientists.

     Major issues highlighted during the period include (1) Government’s efforts to deal with the situation arising out of Mumbai and Malegoan bomb blasts and also violence in Vadodara, (2) support extended by the Government to Chhattisgarh in the wake of major naxal attack at Dantewara,  (3) situation in J&K, North East and Naxal-affected states, (4) support extended to flood-affected states,  (5) meeting of Chief Secretaries and DGs of Police on internal security and law & order, (6) meeting of the Standing Committee of the  Chief Ministers on Naxalism, (7)  Talks between Govt. of India and Peoples’ Consultative Group (PCG) for ensuring lasting peace in Assam, (8) Release of Pakistani civil prisoners and fishermen by India, (9) South Asia Policy Dialogue on Disaster Risk Management (10) Home Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan, India and Bangladesh and India and Myanmar, (11) Chief Ministers meetings on naxalism and internal security, (12) mercy petition in the case of Mohd. Afzal,  (13) Police Reforms including the exercise to replace the Police Act of 1861, (14) Mukherjee Commission’s report on Netaji.

Wide coverage was secured for the announcement of the rehabilitation package announced as debt relief to farmers of 31 districts in the four states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. The launching of schemes like National Agricultural Insurance Scheme, National Horticulture Mission, National Seeds Policy and National Bamboo Mission etc. was also highlighted in the media.

The thrust given to agriculture marketing by amending APMC Act and the preparedness to create terminal markets was given adequate media attention.

The other major items highlighted in the media included advance estimates of crop production, rabi campaign and the announcement of minimum support prices for agricultural products.

Handling of the situation created by the outbreak of Avian Influenza early this year was highlighted in the media by daily press conferences by senior officials of the Department of Animal Husbandry.

The Mines Ministry’s endeavour to issue more reconnaissance permits and to invite more foreign investment were given wide coverage. The achievements of CoaI India Limited (CIL), Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL), National Aluminium Company Ltd. (NALCO), Geological Survey of India (GSI), Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL) were regularly given publicity.  

Wide publicity was given to the ban on employing children as domestic servants or in dhabas, restaurants, spas etc. , framing of draft legislation for providing Social Security to Unorganised Sector workers, Scheme of Skill Development Initiative through public-private partnership for providing vocational training to one million in 5 years and subsequently to one million workers each year, increase in various medical benefit expenditures for beneficiary workers by the Employees State Insurance Corporation.  Launch of ‘re-inventing EPF India’ Project in six pilot sites on trial basis by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation for computerization of EPF operations and issue of unique National Social Security Number to EPF subscribers was also given adequate coverage.

Wide publicity was accorded through issue of press releases, backgrounders, features etc. to Minority Education, Education in Tenth Plan, Indian Opening of New Institute of Science Education & Research at Mohali, International Literacy Day celebration, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya for Girls, UGC-CEC Edusat Network, National Monitoring Committee on Minority Education, Promoting Girls Education, Open Schooling as an Aid for spreading literacy in India.          

          

Publicity was provided to the launching of Sakshat-a free educational portal by President, Dr. A.P.J.  Abdul Kalam and inauguration of 58th Frankfurt Book Fair at Frankfurt, Germany by HRD Minister, Shri Arjun Singh. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest congregation of publishing professionals from all over the world and provided an opportunity for the publishing industry to showcase the latest development, share new concepts, exchange ideas and transact business and India was the Guest of Honour for 2006 Frankfurt Book Fair. A special feature on “Frankfurt Book Fair” was released by PIB.

Press releases were issued highlighting the developmental activities of the Department of Food and Public Distribution and Department of Consumer Affairs The policy decisions on the Public Distribution System and Consumer Affairs were projected through handouts, press conferences by the Minister and Senior Officials in Delhi and other cities on several occasions.

Handouts were regularly issued to the press highlighting the efforts of the ministry in containing price rise in essential commodities. Progress of imports of wheat and pulses was also issued to the press periodically. Media campaign was organized for creating consumer awareness and the involvement of school children and youth in consumer movement. Functioning of futures trading and national level spot exchanges in commodities was given adequate coverage through a number of handouts.

Wide publicity was given to cover the National Colloquium on ‘Poverty Alleviation, Food Security and Right of Development’ organized by the National Legal Authority, and the Silver Jubilee celebration of Delhi Legal Authority functions organized in Delhi where PM and President of India were the Chief Guests. The Ministry of Steel, Fertilizers and Chemicals participated in the Economic Editors Conference and the Minister Shri Ram Vilas Paswan addressed the editors. PIB gave wide publicity to a Seminar “Fertilizer and Revival of Agriculture in India” organized by the Fertilizer Association of India, where the Minister Shri Ram Vilas Paswan was the Chief Guest.

37th International Film Festival of India , 2006 at Goa :

Media Centre at IFFI:  PIB set up a Media Centre at Panaji, Goa for IFFI, Four hundred eight (408) accreditation cards were issued to the media persons from various parts of the country to cover IFFI-2006 at Goa. Of these, 296 belonged to the print media and rest 112 from electronic media. 51 Press Conferences was organised during the Festival starting from the Curtain-raiser Press Conference on 22nd November, 2006 which were addressed by DFF Director and Chief Secretary, Goa. Press Releases: In all 407 press releases in English, Hindi, Urdu and Marathi were released.  The releases include synopses of 42 films.  PIB assisted in media presence and facilitation for presentations at INOX and Kala Academy. Photo Publicity: Photo Unit at Media Centre has released 157 photographs of IFFI-06. These includes of important events like Opening Ceremony, Indian Panorama, Open Forum, presentations at INOX and Kala Academy, Press conferences, cultural functions and Closing Ceremony. These were made available on PIB website as well as IFFI-2006 website. The Information Desk set up at the Media Centre, provided all information related to 37th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to media-persons. The Desk functioned from 20th November to 3rd December, 2006 and distributed screening schedules, press conference schedules, brochures, pamphlets, festival newsletter etc.

Economic Editors Conference, 2006

Finance Minister inaugurated the two day Annual Economic Editors’ Conference-2006 which was attended by about 300 editors and financial writers from all over India. A total of about 11 key economic and infrastructure ministries participated in the conference, which provided an opportunity to the Government to get feedback from the economic editors. The conference was widely covered in the electronic and print media.

The Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

The Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was held from 6th to 24th November 2006 in Antalya, Turkey. Publicity regarding the same was made right from curtain raiser level. Wide publicity was also given during this event when India was re-elected to the Council and Indian representative was elected to the Radio Regulations Board (RRB) through elections. Publicity was also made when the delegations led by Mr. Pehin Abu Baker Apong, Minister of Communication, Brunei Darussalam and Minister of Communications & IT of Egypt Dr. Tarek Kemel had a meeting with Dr. Shakeel Ahmad, Minister of State of Communications and Information Technology. Wide publicity was made through Press Release when the “in” domain registrants crossed over two lakhs.

Meeting of Harvard and Wharton Business School Students with Union Minister for Railways, Sh. Lalu Parsad Yadav in New Delhi

137 students from Harvard and Wharton Business School called on the Union Minister for Railways, Shri Lalu Parsad in New Delhi.  As an innovative measure, PIB released the audio visual clip of Railway Minister, Sh. Laloo Parsad Yadav’s meeting with Wharton and Harvard Business school students on the 27th Dec 2006 This was the only available record of the proceeding which was the utilised by both print and electronic media to write their story on the subject. A.V.Cell of PIB was the only electronic media present in the event for coverage.  In a very interesting interaction with students, the Minister briefed the students about the turn around in the Indian Railways presenting them with fact and figures about different aspects of Railways. His advices to the students to be always in touch with ground realities while managing organization, was given good publicity by the PIB. A press conference was also organized immediately after the interactive session.

India Telecom 2006-, a three-day International Exhibition Conference

For the first time, telecom majors from across the world came together on a single platform at India Telecom 2006, a three-day International Exhibition-cum-Conference organised under the aegis of the Department of Telecommunications (DOT), in association with FICCI and Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association (TEMA).The Conference and Exhibition was inaugurated by the President of  India. Shri Dayanidhi Maran, Minister of Communications & Information Technology announced a 10-Point Charter at the CEO’s Round Table at India Telecom 2006 for which wide publicity was made. All the three day deliberations   were given wide publicity.

Independence Day Celebration:

                High profile publicity secured for Independence Day related addresses of PM & President Elaborate arrangements were made to disseminate PM’s address to the nation on the occasion of the Independence Day. PM’s address was webcast on the Bureau’s website. The full text of the PM’s address & highlights of the address were issued to facilitate mediapersons. Similar arrangements were made for disseminations of President’s address on the eve of Independence Day, which was also webcast.