Major initiatives of the I&B Ministry in 2014

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) has undertaken key initiatives in the different sectors aimed at enhancing the outreach of policies and programmes across platforms. Some of the initiatives undertaken have been innovative, involving people?s participation, enhancing government?s presence on the social media platforms and strengthening communication at the grassroots. Some of the key initiatives are as under:

Initiatives under Swachh Bharat Mission

As part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Ministry initiated a 360 degree multimedia campaign to enhance the outreach and impact of the Mission. All media units were involved in outlining audience specific content, tools and action plan. Intensive discussions were held with key stakeholders of the mission and innovative strategies were incorporated across media platforms for greater visibility and impact. Some of the key initiatives undertaken by the Ministry are as follows:


Three Day Rashtriya Bal Film Mela on the theme ?Swachhta?

Organized by the Children?s Film Society of India (CSFI) on the occasion of National Children?s Day celebrations, the three day festival provided an opportunity for children to appreciate high-quality film content, experience value-based entertainment, and to trigger their imagination about environment conservation and cleanliness. The festival showcased a bunch of internationally acclaimed children?s films on the theme of cleanliness.

The Festival featured interactive workshops on film-making, film appreciation, animation, Charlie Chaplin?s Mimes and storytelling. Live dance performances, magic act, sand act, and puppetry along with various competitions such as painting on the theme, ?Swachhta?, and digital collage on the theme ?Clean India? and the craft of making utility items from waste materials, were being organized on the sidelines of the festival.

  1. Creation of Audio-Visual Spots on Swachh Bharat Mission.
  2. Animation / short video competition (less than three minute duration) organized on the digital volunteer platform of the Ministry with 15 October as deadline.
  3. Launch of Photo-Competition depicting ?before and after pictures of cleanliness? on the digital volunteer platform with 15 October as deadline.
  4. Creation of an animation film by New Media Wing
  5. Crowd sourcing for the design of print advertisements
  6. Developing platform specific content on social media
  7. Creation of banners, logos and e-mailers for spreading of the message through social media
  8. Jingles on All India Radio
  9. Community Radio Mobilization to effectively reach the grass root communities
  10. Advisory to private TV & FM channels to become part of the campaign so as to enhance impact and outreach of the mission
  11. Anchor based and in-house serials on DD & AIR
  12. News bulletins through special success stories on DD & AIR
  13. Interactive programmes on DD & AIR
  14. Public Information Campaigns to focus on the core issues of the mission.
  15. Interpersonal communication strategies through field units of the Ministry.

Launch of the DAVP Calendar, ?Clean India, Green India?: The year 2015 calendar has been developed on the theme of ?Clean India Green India? with focus on ?Swachhta? and environment issues. The January page of the Calendar displayed the launch of the ?Swachh Bharat Mission by Hon?ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. While the February page carried the message of ?Swachh Vidyalaya? and ?Bal Swachhta Abhiyan?, the March page was designed on the theme, ?Rejuvenating Rivers.? The April Page of the Calendar portrayed ?Clean Hospitals: A Healthy India,? May depicted the cleanliness drive of Railways, June focused on Rejuvenation of the River Ganges, ?Namami Gange?, and July on people?s participation in Swachh Bharat Movement. The August page was on the theme of Clean Villages; the month of September highlighted Solar Energy as clean and renewable source of energy; October depicted Wind Power as pollution free source of energy and November emphasized the need to preserve Himalayan Ranges. Wildlife conservation was the theme for December.

For the first time ever, a mobile app of the calendar has been developed. The mobile App would provide access to the latest tweets from the PMO, the YouTube channel of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and the press releases on the PIB website. In addition to being a window for all websites of Government of India, this informative application would serve as a planner to the users bringing news updates from AIR and DD News. The mobile app was developed for Android platforms initially, which would be made available on other mobile platforms also in due course of time.

Organising Press Conferences to highlight achievements and initiatives of the Government:The strategy adopted has been extremely successful in positioning the visibility of Government?s initiatives across media platforms.

Multimedia Exhibition on Former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee:The Ministry of I&B has mounted a multimedia exhibition under the aegis of DAVP on the former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The exhibition would serve as an inspiration and learning to the people in understanding the life and contributions of Shri Vajpayee as a politician, statesman, and poet. The exhibition was inaugurated by Union Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs, and Information & Broadcasting Shri Arun Jaitley on 20 December, 2014.

The exhibition portrays the life of Shri Vajpayee, through a display of around 250 photographs, which reflect his vibrant personality. These rare pictures not only take the visitors through the political journey of this visionary leader, but also provide a glimpse into the diverse phases of his life - as a poet and a great thinker. At this event, different facets of his life will be showcased through photo and electronic exhibition. Scrollers, translites, LED walls, large fascia and title boards are the major attractions of the exhibition. The exhibition was open to public from 20 ? 25 December, 2014.

Establishment of Social Media Presence of Government of India: In order to facilitate Ministries/Departments in registering their presence on social media by utilizing the services of the Communications Hub established by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, the ministry organized a half day training workshop on 11 July, 2014 at the National Media Centre. The response was very encouraging as about 150 officers representing 59 Ministries/Departments attended the workshop. An interactive Q&A session was also held before concluding the workshop and induction material including a handbook on social media was also distributed to all the participants.

Third and fourth phase of digitization: A Task Force has been constituted with the approval of MIB to steer the remaining two phases i.e., Phase III and Phase IV of digitization in India. The Task Force is headed by the Additional Secretary of the Ministry and comprises stakeholders from various ministries, departments and industry representatives. The constitution of the Task Force paves the way for implementation of digitization initiative in India, which will see digitization of about 8 crores cable TV homes in India. This will bring India in the league of developed nations. It is also a step towards the Prime Minister?s dream of a Digital India, as digitization will enable quick penetration of broadband connectivity in India.

Government of India vide Notification dated 11 September, 2014 has revised the timeframe for digitization for Phase-III and IV of the Cable TV. As per revised guidelines, Phase-III and IV of Cable TV would be completed by December 2015 and December 2016 respectively.

Third phase of FM radio auction: The Cabinet Note on third phase of FM has been moved for cabinet approval. This decision of the Ministry of I&B will pave the way for e-auction of FM Phase-III channels.

Goa declared the permanent destination for International Films Festival of India: In order to develop the ?Brand IFFI? on the lines of other international film festivals, Goa has been declared as the permanent destination for International Films Festival of India (IFFI). The IFFI platform propagated the theme ?Green India, Clean India? at all the major events organized under its banner.

North East Film Festival: For the first time, a three-day North East Film Festival was held in Delhi (Siri Fort Complex) on a grand scale. It will henceforth be an annual feature, a prominent event in the film festival calendar of the Directorate of Film Festivals. The Festival concluded on 24 August, 2014.

FTII, SRFTII to be institutes of national importance: In order to provide statutory backing through an act of Parliament to declare both the institutes as Institutes of National Importance the government has proposed a Bill. The proposed Bill would enable both the institutes to award its own degrees and diplomas and start new activities on the lines of IITs and IIMs. Cabinet Note has been moved.

Meeting with stakeholders related to Set-Top-Boxes to promote indigenization of digitization: Efforts were taken to fulfill the long pending demand of domestic manufacturers of Set-Top-Boxes (STBs) to get tax concession (C Form benefit) in order to compete with imported STBs. A letter was written by Hon?ble MIB to Hon?ble Finance Minister to resolve the issue of C-Form concession to domestic manufacturers. This was followed by a meeting by Hon?ble MIB with senior officials from Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Department of Telecom, Bureau of Indian Standards etc., and other industry stakeholders like indigenous STB manufacturers, DTH Association and MSO Associations etc. As a result of continuous follow up, Department of Telecom has confirmed Set Top Box as ?Telecom Network Equipment?. The proposal has also been approved by the Ministry of Finance and a letter has already been issued to all the State Governments, Commissioners of Taxes and other concerned that STB will get the facility of ?Form C?.

e-initiatives: The Office of Registrar of Newspapers for India, M/o I&B has streamlined its Single Window Public dealing mechanism at its office. The RNI has achieved 100% success in online e-filing of Annual statements by publishers for 2013-14. The software module has been finalized for online filing of title verification application. It has also started sending automatic SMS intimation about status of title and registration application to publishers.

Boost to Community Radio movement in the Country:Hon?ble MIB has been given a lot of emphasis on reaching out to the people especially in rural and marginalized areas with effective development communication. Community Radios are one of the best tools to touch the lives of millions of people as it is the platform, which provides an opportunity to community to not only receive messages from Government but also provide its feedback, which ensures two-way communication. An announcement has been made by Hon?ble Finance Minister in his budget speech allocating an amount of Rs 100 crores for ?Supporting Community Radio Movement in India.? This would enable setting up of 600 community radio stations across the country in the 12th Five Year Plan. The resources would also be utilized for enhancing awareness, building capacities of community radio operators and promoting innovations in the sector. Funds would also be provided to various CR operators as a matching grant for setting up /upgrading community radio stations. At present 170 community radios are operating in various parts of India and about 200 are in the pipeline. This major initiative of the new government will strengthen the connect with the population living in rural and marginalized areas.

A monitoring mechanism is also being set up to monitor community radio stations live at Electronic Media Monitoring Centre.

Simplification of Procedures for granting Television licenses for starting additional television channels: Ministry of I&B grants permission to private television channels in India. At present about 800 TV channels have already been permitted by the Ministry of I&B. India has a huge broadcasting industry, thanks to the large number of television channels providing news and entertainment in various languages both at the national and regional level. Many companies desirous of starting new television channels have been approaching the Ministry to simplify procedures for launch of additional television channels. The issue of grant of additional television channels had become complicated as previously it was decided that for starting every additional TV channel security clearance would be required even for the same company and same set of Directors, who had been security cleared earlier, within the period of validity of such security clearance.

Proposal cleared for Rs 600 crore National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM) to preserve India?s film legacy: The revised EFC proposal for a Rs 600 crore National Film Heritage Mission project to preserve India?s filmic legacy was cleared by the Expenditure Finance Committee in the Ministry of Finance on 3 July, 2014. The modalities are being worked out to launch it at the earliest.

Peoples? participation in Government Advertising through Crowd-Sourcing of Advertisements: The advertisement for the important events being designed on the crowd-sourcing model. Independence Day advertisement designed on these lines and DAVP has invited suggestions for the proposed advertisement to be brought out on 5 September to observe ?Teachers Day?.

Adopting 360 degree approach to information dissemination: Designing integrated campaigns based on the 360 degree approach, the core theme touching all tools including the contemporary as well as new media. For Independence Day, the advertisements were crowd-sourced for the first time and coverage was extended to all media platforms.

Transparency Steps have also been taken by the Ministry to enhance transparency and expedite approvals for which Open House Meetings have been started for Community Radio applicants on the first of every month. For Multi System Operators (MSOs), Open House meetings are held every week on Tuesday. For television applicants, Open House meetings are held every fortnight i.e., on 5th and 20th of every month. This provides an opportunity to applicants to have a direct interaction with the Ministry officials and clarify their doubts as well as to get the status of their pending applications. This has enhanced transparency and accountability in the grant of various permissions to applicants of Community Radios, television channels, MSO permissions etc.

Screening of rare archival footage: A half an hour film, ?Road To Freedom,? was produced by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, based solely on rare archival footage. It was screened on DD (National) on 15 August, 2014. More such films will be produced and screened on days like 2nd October, 26th January and such like.

Organisation of One Day Workshop on ?Crisis Communication?:  In pursuance of the decision taken in Committee of Secretaries (CoS) meeting held on 1 July 2014 to consider measures to upgrade the efficacy of control and response system of Government in crisis situation, Ministry of Information organized a one day training session for senior officers of various Ministries/ Departments on ?Communicating with Media? through Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) on 22 September, 2014 at National Media Centre.

(These are purely personal views of I&B Ministry secretary Bimal Julka and does not necessarily subscribe to these views.)

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