The Publications Division in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was set up in 1941 as the branch of the Bureau of Public Information. It acquired its present name and separate identity in 1944.
It produces books, pamphlets, pictorial albums and journals in Hindi, English and major regional languages with the main objective of educating and informing the public through the print media. Till April 1975, it had brought out 4,784 such publications. They represent a wide spectrum of national life and endeavour.
Alongside publications on art and culture, history and tradition, political evolution and democratic processes, economic development and social resurgence, the Division also brings out books on science and technology. Under its ‘Builders of Modern India’ series the Division has released 40 biographies of eminent Indians.
Under the ‘States of our Union’ series, which seeks to introduce the people of each State to the others, 16 titles have been published. The Division’s books on art and culture include the “Heritage of Indian Art” and “An Introduction to Indian Music”.
The Division’s books on science and sociology include a booklet on atomic energy and a study of the social background of India’s administrators. Selected speeches and writings of Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Prime Ministers have also been published.
The Division brings out 16 journals of varying periodicity ‘Yojana’, a journal devoted to planning, is brought out in Assamese, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Malayalm, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. ‘Bal Bharati’ (Hindi) is produced for children, while ‘Ajkal’ (Hindi and Urdu) serves the cultural needs of adult readers. Other journals include the ‘Indian and Foreign Review’ and ‘Kurukshetra’. The books and journals are sold through booksellers and the Division’s own sales emporia, while publicity literature is distributed free to selected targets.
Press Information Bureau:
The Press Information Bureau is the centralised agency handling the press and public relations of the Government of India and its principal functions are: to disseminate information to the press and other publicity media in the country; act as a clearing house for official data and information for use by all the publicity media and to provide a reliable feedback service to the Government on press and public reactions to official policies and programmes.
Registrar of Newspapers:
The office of the Registrar of Newspapers of India was set up on July 1, 1956. The Press Registrar is the statutory authority for the collection of statistics regarding the press in the country. Under the Press Registrar, a central agency has been created to maintain a register of newspapers containing prescribed particulars about every newspaper in India.
Advertising and Visual Publicity :
Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity:
The Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity is the central agency of the Government of India for undertaking mass publicity campaigns on behalf of the various ministries, departments and autonomous bodies under the government. Radio advertising for nationalised banks is also undertaken by the DAVP.
Publicity campaigns are conducted through press advertisements, printed publicity material like folders, leaflets, brochures and booklets, outdoor publicity items like hoardings, panels, and metallic tablets and radio/TV ‘spots’. Policies and programmes of the government are also publicised through exhibitions. The Directorate has 34 field exhibition units, most of them at state capitals, including five mobile vans and two exhibition coaches for organising these exhibitions.
The multi-media national campaigns of the Directorate are launched to inform and educate the people on matters of immediate and long-term interest. While some of the recent campaigns aimed at-seeking public support for checking the hoarding and adulteration of food grains, other campaigns sought to motivate the people for family planning, small savings, community development, industrial projects in rural and backward areas and the promotion of exports.
Advertisements of all the ministries and departments of the Government of India, excluding railways, are released to the press by the DAVP While seeking newspapers for these advertisements, special consideration is given to medium and small newspapers. To qualify for government advertisements, a newspaper must have regular periodicity, uninterrupted publication for six months and a paid circulation of jot less than 1,000 copies. Newspapers are also required Jo maintain accepted standards of production and journalistic ethics.
Awards for Printing and Designing:
The Directorate organises every year the ‘National Awards for Excellence in Printing and Designing’ which generate healthy competitive endeavours for higher standards in printing and layout.
The Directorate of Field Publicity, set up in 1953, reaches the people through its 212 field units and 17 regional offices and seeks public support for national campaigns on planned development, small savings, defense preparedness, national integration and secularism. The mobile units organise film shows, publicity meetings, seminars, song and drama programmes including ‘harikathas’ and ‘qawalis’ and distribute publicity literature. People in remote villages and hilly border areas, who have relatively less opportunity to see films or have access to information through other media, also attend these programmes for their information and entertainment. The Directorate gathers public reaction to government policies and programmes and these feed-back reports are supplied to various departments of the government. Success stories about people’s participation in development programmes are reported to the press.
The External Publicity Division of the Ministry of External Affairs explains and interprets the policies of the Government of India to foreign audiences. It supplies publicity material to Indian Missions abroad for distribution. For quick transmission of developments at home, it maintains teleprinter link with 64 Missions, while material received from them is issued to the Indian press. Under the cultural exchange programmes, Indian journalists are sent abroad, while foreign journalists are provided with facilities in India.
Research and Reference:
The Research and Reference Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting studies in depth problems of national significance and provides reference service to the media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and others.
The Division’s regular services include “Background to to the News” and the “Bulletin on Film”, which records every month the main trends in Indian and foreign film industry. The Division also complies ‘India-A Reference Annual’, which is a standard work of reference and provides objective and authentic information on diverse aspects of national life and activities in India.
Indian Institute of Mass Communication:
The Indian Institute of Mass Communication was set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in August 1965 as a centre for study and research in mass communication, it has been an autonomous body since January 1966 and is equipped to provide practical instruction in various media of muss communication. The Institute has seven faculties; developmental communication; print medium; radio, television and speech communication; visual communication; advertising and campaign planning; traditional media; and communication research.
It conducts a three-month in-service basic course in multimedia operations for the intermediate level personnel of the central and state information departments of public sector undertakings. The probationers of the Central Information Service are trained through a 16-month basic professional course.
The Institute also conducts every year an eight-month Post-Graduate Diploma Course in Journalism for Developing Countries. Its research studies include a report on the impact of field publicity activities in four districts of Rajasthan and a report on the Public Service Commission advertisements.