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Overview

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is India’s apex body that formulates rules, regulations and laws related to information, broadcasting, the press and films. Through different media like newspapers, radio, television, films, publications, advertising, traditional drama and dance, the ministry regulates the public’s access to information and media. It is tasked with balancing public interest while creating a viable media landscape. The ministry has several branches and departments: the Press Council of India, Press Information Bureau (PIB), Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Broadcasting Authority of India and The Censor Board of India are among key bodies.


more
History:

The ministry was established after independence. During the First World War (1914-1918), the Indian government established a Central Publicity Board. This was the government’s first organized disseminator of information. Later, it was renamed the Central Bureau of Information. It was rechristened the Bureau of Public Information in 1923. As an authorized body, it was constituted to work as a link between the press and the government. In addition to the ministry, all of India’s state governments and union territories have Departments of Information and Public Relations.

more
What it Does:

India is the world’s second most populous nation and the world’s largest democracy. It also contains the world’s largest free press. The ministry has to maintain a balance between freedom of the press and the rights of citizens. The ministry is also responsible for nurturing the growth of media and entertainment through policies and programs. It’s also responsible for ensuring the accuracy of information and engendering an environment where people holding different opinions are free to express them.

 

The ministry disseminates information on government programs through different media channels to reach people at the grassroots level. It also promotes, facilitates and develops the broadcasting industry nationwide and empowers public service broadcasters.

 

The functions of the ministry can be divided into three parts: information, broadcasting and film. These sectors operate through specialized media units and their affiliated organizations.

                                              

Departments/Units

Press Information Bureau (PIB)

The PIB is the government’s main agency for spreading information to different media houses on the achievements, programs, policies and initiatives of the Government of India. It also provides accreditation to media persons on behalf of the government.

 

Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP)

Another nodal agency of the Indian government is the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP). Various ministries and departments of the government, including autonomous bodies and public sector undertakings, advertise through it. The DAVP was set up at the time of the Second World War. The headquarters of the DAVP is located in Delhi and they have regional offices in Guwahati and Bangalore. It also has two regional distribution centers at Chennai and Kolkata. It has a language division along with the audiovisual publicity, distribution, research, outdoor publicity, mass-mailing wing and exhibition wings.

 

Directorate of Field Publicity

The Directorate of Field Publicity was established in 1953 with the task of publicizing various policies and programs of the government. It is one of the media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Its headquartered in Delhi and it has a network of 207 Field Publicity Units under the control and supervision of 22 regional offices across the country.

It projects government policies and programs to the people and educates them about the plans and schemes formulated for their benefit and mobilize public opinion in favor of the implementation of developmental programs.

 

The directorate also educates people about fundamental national values like democracy, socialism and secularism and attempts to reinforce their faith in them.

 

Directorate of Film Festivals

The Directorate of Film Festivals in India was established in 1973 and works as part of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It initiates film ceremonies like the International Film Festival of India, the National Film Awards and the Indian Panorama. The directorate officials also arrange India’s participation in festivals abroad and facilitates showing of foreign films in India. The directorate appoints members of the jury panels each year for the selection of awards.

 

The Press Council of India

The Press Council of India is a statutory and judicial body of India, and acts as a watchdog of the press. It was established in 1966 following the recommendations of the First Press Commission. Now it works under the Press Council Act 1978. The council is empowered to ensure the freedom of press. It also holds hearing on complaints against media houses and journalists and takes action where appropriate.

 

The council has a chairman who is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. It consists of 28 members from several different media houses as well as others. The council works on three-year terms.

 

The council receives grants from the ministry, but it is also generates revenues as fees from registered newspapers of the country, which are based on the circulation of the newspapers.

 

The Registrar of Newspaper for India

The Registrar of Newspaper for India is also known as RNI. It records and regulates the status of newspapers in India. It was established at 1956 following the recommendations of the First Press Commission in 1953 and amendment of the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867. It has both statutory and non-statutory functions.

 

Apart from newspapers and other publications, RNI also regulates several professional media organizations like Indian Language Newspapers’ Association, Editors Guild of India, and All India Newspapers Editors' Conference. RNI has a register of newspapers containing details about all the newspapers and periodicals publish throughout the country.

more
Where Does the Money Go
more
Controversies:

Doordarshan as a Propaganda Tool

Doordarshan is a 51-year-old public TV channel. Unlike the BBC, the channel lacks an independent body to ensure neutrality. Since Congress has ruled for most of India’s history, they have often used the channel as a mouthpiece. During relatively stable times, Doordarshan’s programming has largely focused on public awareness and social responsibility schemes.  

In times of crises, however, the channel often seems like the Congress Party’s propaganda wing. During the 1975 emergency, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi suspended democracy, broadcasts were filled with government misinformation, attacks on the opposition and independent media. At that time, newspapers and magazines were subjected to government censorship and Doordarshan was the only source of information for public.

 

After the insurgency began in Kashmir in 1989, information became another front in the war. To combat a government station in Pakistani-controlled Azad Kashmir, Doordarshan launched the Kashir satellite channel, which offered Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control a pro-Indian perspective. To ensure adequate penetration, the channel offers programming in several other regional languages.

 

 At least one high-profile attempt to reform Doordarshan has failed. In late 1980s, Rajiv Gandhi, the former Indian Prime Minister, asked Bhaskar Ghose, then director general of Doordarshan, to protect it from political intervention. “The government has got its fingers stuck too far inside Doordarshan,” Gandhi reportedly told Ghose at the time of his appointment, “you'll have to pull them out," while appointing him as the head of the Doordarshan. When Ghose tried to confront the political class, the politicians complained that Doordarshan has become ‘anti-Congress.’ Gandhi sacked Ghose immediately.  

 

Poor Management at Doordarshan

Doordarshan’s nationwide network has the exclusive license to broadcast several events – cricket being the most notable example – that attracts many viewers.   Despite this massive advantage, the station continues to operate at a loss.  

 

Allegations of Censorship

As in the censorship of some television channels, which allegedly showed explicit scenes and was widely criticized and characterized as arbitrary, films have been similarly censored.

 

Censorship in cinema has a long history in India. The Indian Cinematograph Act was constituted in 1920 in India. At that time, the Censor Board, now the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was under the control of police chiefs in various cities. After Independence, the act was amended and called Indian Cinematograph Act 1952 and all regional branches of boards were brought under the Censor Board of Bombay. The law was again revised in 1983 and the board renamed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

 

Over the last few years, several films have faced censorship. They include:

 

“Inshallah Football”

The documentary Inshallah Football portrays day-to-day harassment faced by Kashmiri people over the more than 20-year long conflict in the Kashmir Valley.

 

The main character of the film is an 18-year-old boy named Basharat Baba alias Basha, a football player selected for a league match in Brazil. Basha, however, is unable to go. The Government of India denied his passport request because his father was involved in militancy in the early 90s. His father finally surrendered to the Indian Army and spent some time in jail. Later, Basha was finally given passport with the intervention of Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

 

Basha represents the new generation of Kashmiris, who have been grown up under the shadow of the conflict. Soon after the first screening of the film in New Delhi, it was banned because the board alleged that it portrayed a too one-sided account of the Kashmir conflict. The film was reviewed three times by the Censor Board and finally got permission with an “Adult” (A) certificate.

 

A certificate means that only people above 18 years old are allowed to see the film. The censor board said that the film has characters talking in graphic detail about physical and mental torture and some of the film’s dialogue can be psychologically damaging to non-adult viewers. Ashvin Kumar, the film’s director, has said the film has only been censored to avoid causing embarrassment about the conduct of the Indian Armed Forces in Kashmir.

 

“Love Sex aur Dokha”

Love Sex aur Dokha is an Indian film produced in 2010. It was shot by digital camera. It looks like amateur footage and features three sub plots; honor killings, MMS scandals and sting operations. In this film, a poor boy falls in love with an upper caste girl and tries to blackmail her through using secretly recorded footage. The board argued the film should be censored on account of its lurid language and portrayals of invasion of privacy and blackmailing. The Film Censor Board eventually cut some lovemaking scenes, dialogue and even some of the music.

 

“Fire”

The film Fire is based on a fiction book titled The Lihaf (The Quilt) written by Ismat Chugtai. It was one of the first films in India to portray homosexuality. It drew massive protests and sparked widespread public debate about homosexuality and freedom of speech.

 

The Film Censor Board eventually passed the film with minor changes and gave it an adult rating. But the right-wing Hindu groups the Shiv Sena and Bajarang Dal organized massive protests in metro cities, forcing the Censor Board to revise it twice more before it finally returned to theatres.

more
Debate:
more
Suggested Reforms:
more
Former Directors:

Ambika Soni

Ambika Soni served as Minister of Information and Broadcasting from May 2009 to October 2012. She was born in 1942 in Lahore before the partition of British India. Her political career started in 1975, when she was elected as president of the Indian Youth Congress. Soni has served as president of All India Mahila Congress, the women’s wing of the Indian National Congress. She was elected to the Rajya Sabha in March 1976 and served until 1988. She previously ran the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture during 2006–2009. She is a Member of Parliament representing the state of Punjab in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament.

 

Official Biography

 

 

Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi

Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi ran the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting between 2005-2009 in the Congress-led UPA government. He was born in Chirirbander of Bengal’s Dinajpur East district (now in Bangladesh) in 1945 and earned his LL.B from Kolkata University. He started his political career in 1970 as president of Youth Congress of West Bengal and was first elected as Member of Parliament in 1971. He served as Minister of Water Resource and Parliamentary Affairs during UPA-1.

 

 

Sushma Swaraj

Sushma Swaraj was in charge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting from September 2000 to January 2003. A lawyer by profession, Swaraj was an elected Member of Parliament from the Vidisha constituency in Madhya Pradesh. She was born in 1952 in Palwal, Haryana and started her political career as member of Haryana Legislative Assembly in 1977 and served as Cabinet Minister of Labour and Employment in 1977 and Minister of Education, Food and Civil Supplies in 1987. In December 1989, she became the first female Chief Minister of Delhi. In 1990, she was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian Parliament.

 

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Leave a comment

Founded: 1947 (After independence)
Annual Budget:
Employees:
Official Website: http://www.mib.nic.in/

Ministry of Information and Broadcast

  • Latest News
Bookmark and Share
Overview

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is India’s apex body that formulates rules, regulations and laws related to information, broadcasting, the press and films. Through different media like newspapers, radio, television, films, publications, advertising, traditional drama and dance, the ministry regulates the public’s access to information and media. It is tasked with balancing public interest while creating a viable media landscape. The ministry has several branches and departments: the Press Council of India, Press Information Bureau (PIB), Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Broadcasting Authority of India and The Censor Board of India are among key bodies.


more
History:

The ministry was established after independence. During the First World War (1914-1918), the Indian government established a Central Publicity Board. This was the government’s first organized disseminator of information. Later, it was renamed the Central Bureau of Information. It was rechristened the Bureau of Public Information in 1923. As an authorized body, it was constituted to work as a link between the press and the government. In addition to the ministry, all of India’s state governments and union territories have Departments of Information and Public Relations.

more
What it Does:

India is the world’s second most populous nation and the world’s largest democracy. It also contains the world’s largest free press. The ministry has to maintain a balance between freedom of the press and the rights of citizens. The ministry is also responsible for nurturing the growth of media and entertainment through policies and programs. It’s also responsible for ensuring the accuracy of information and engendering an environment where people holding different opinions are free to express them.

 

The ministry disseminates information on government programs through different media channels to reach people at the grassroots level. It also promotes, facilitates and develops the broadcasting industry nationwide and empowers public service broadcasters.

 

The functions of the ministry can be divided into three parts: information, broadcasting and film. These sectors operate through specialized media units and their affiliated organizations.

                                              

Departments/Units

Press Information Bureau (PIB)

The PIB is the government’s main agency for spreading information to different media houses on the achievements, programs, policies and initiatives of the Government of India. It also provides accreditation to media persons on behalf of the government.

 

Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP)

Another nodal agency of the Indian government is the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP). Various ministries and departments of the government, including autonomous bodies and public sector undertakings, advertise through it. The DAVP was set up at the time of the Second World War. The headquarters of the DAVP is located in Delhi and they have regional offices in Guwahati and Bangalore. It also has two regional distribution centers at Chennai and Kolkata. It has a language division along with the audiovisual publicity, distribution, research, outdoor publicity, mass-mailing wing and exhibition wings.

 

Directorate of Field Publicity

The Directorate of Field Publicity was established in 1953 with the task of publicizing various policies and programs of the government. It is one of the media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Its headquartered in Delhi and it has a network of 207 Field Publicity Units under the control and supervision of 22 regional offices across the country.

It projects government policies and programs to the people and educates them about the plans and schemes formulated for their benefit and mobilize public opinion in favor of the implementation of developmental programs.

 

The directorate also educates people about fundamental national values like democracy, socialism and secularism and attempts to reinforce their faith in them.

 

Directorate of Film Festivals

The Directorate of Film Festivals in India was established in 1973 and works as part of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It initiates film ceremonies like the International Film Festival of India, the National Film Awards and the Indian Panorama. The directorate officials also arrange India’s participation in festivals abroad and facilitates showing of foreign films in India. The directorate appoints members of the jury panels each year for the selection of awards.

 

The Press Council of India

The Press Council of India is a statutory and judicial body of India, and acts as a watchdog of the press. It was established in 1966 following the recommendations of the First Press Commission. Now it works under the Press Council Act 1978. The council is empowered to ensure the freedom of press. It also holds hearing on complaints against media houses and journalists and takes action where appropriate.

 

The council has a chairman who is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. It consists of 28 members from several different media houses as well as others. The council works on three-year terms.

 

The council receives grants from the ministry, but it is also generates revenues as fees from registered newspapers of the country, which are based on the circulation of the newspapers.

 

The Registrar of Newspaper for India

The Registrar of Newspaper for India is also known as RNI. It records and regulates the status of newspapers in India. It was established at 1956 following the recommendations of the First Press Commission in 1953 and amendment of the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867. It has both statutory and non-statutory functions.

 

Apart from newspapers and other publications, RNI also regulates several professional media organizations like Indian Language Newspapers’ Association, Editors Guild of India, and All India Newspapers Editors' Conference. RNI has a register of newspapers containing details about all the newspapers and periodicals publish throughout the country.

more
Where Does the Money Go
more
Controversies:

Doordarshan as a Propaganda Tool

Doordarshan is a 51-year-old public TV channel. Unlike the BBC, the channel lacks an independent body to ensure neutrality. Since Congress has ruled for most of India’s history, they have often used the channel as a mouthpiece. During relatively stable times, Doordarshan’s programming has largely focused on public awareness and social responsibility schemes.  

In times of crises, however, the channel often seems like the Congress Party’s propaganda wing. During the 1975 emergency, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi suspended democracy, broadcasts were filled with government misinformation, attacks on the opposition and independent media. At that time, newspapers and magazines were subjected to government censorship and Doordarshan was the only source of information for public.

 

After the insurgency began in Kashmir in 1989, information became another front in the war. To combat a government station in Pakistani-controlled Azad Kashmir, Doordarshan launched the Kashir satellite channel, which offered Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control a pro-Indian perspective. To ensure adequate penetration, the channel offers programming in several other regional languages.

 

 At least one high-profile attempt to reform Doordarshan has failed. In late 1980s, Rajiv Gandhi, the former Indian Prime Minister, asked Bhaskar Ghose, then director general of Doordarshan, to protect it from political intervention. “The government has got its fingers stuck too far inside Doordarshan,” Gandhi reportedly told Ghose at the time of his appointment, “you'll have to pull them out," while appointing him as the head of the Doordarshan. When Ghose tried to confront the political class, the politicians complained that Doordarshan has become ‘anti-Congress.’ Gandhi sacked Ghose immediately.  

 

Poor Management at Doordarshan

Doordarshan’s nationwide network has the exclusive license to broadcast several events – cricket being the most notable example – that attracts many viewers.   Despite this massive advantage, the station continues to operate at a loss.  

 

Allegations of Censorship

As in the censorship of some television channels, which allegedly showed explicit scenes and was widely criticized and characterized as arbitrary, films have been similarly censored.

 

Censorship in cinema has a long history in India. The Indian Cinematograph Act was constituted in 1920 in India. At that time, the Censor Board, now the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was under the control of police chiefs in various cities. After Independence, the act was amended and called Indian Cinematograph Act 1952 and all regional branches of boards were brought under the Censor Board of Bombay. The law was again revised in 1983 and the board renamed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

 

Over the last few years, several films have faced censorship. They include:

 

“Inshallah Football”

The documentary Inshallah Football portrays day-to-day harassment faced by Kashmiri people over the more than 20-year long conflict in the Kashmir Valley.

 

The main character of the film is an 18-year-old boy named Basharat Baba alias Basha, a football player selected for a league match in Brazil. Basha, however, is unable to go. The Government of India denied his passport request because his father was involved in militancy in the early 90s. His father finally surrendered to the Indian Army and spent some time in jail. Later, Basha was finally given passport with the intervention of Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

 

Basha represents the new generation of Kashmiris, who have been grown up under the shadow of the conflict. Soon after the first screening of the film in New Delhi, it was banned because the board alleged that it portrayed a too one-sided account of the Kashmir conflict. The film was reviewed three times by the Censor Board and finally got permission with an “Adult” (A) certificate.

 

A certificate means that only people above 18 years old are allowed to see the film. The censor board said that the film has characters talking in graphic detail about physical and mental torture and some of the film’s dialogue can be psychologically damaging to non-adult viewers. Ashvin Kumar, the film’s director, has said the film has only been censored to avoid causing embarrassment about the conduct of the Indian Armed Forces in Kashmir.

 

“Love Sex aur Dokha”

Love Sex aur Dokha is an Indian film produced in 2010. It was shot by digital camera. It looks like amateur footage and features three sub plots; honor killings, MMS scandals and sting operations. In this film, a poor boy falls in love with an upper caste girl and tries to blackmail her through using secretly recorded footage. The board argued the film should be censored on account of its lurid language and portrayals of invasion of privacy and blackmailing. The Film Censor Board eventually cut some lovemaking scenes, dialogue and even some of the music.

 

“Fire”

The film Fire is based on a fiction book titled The Lihaf (The Quilt) written by Ismat Chugtai. It was one of the first films in India to portray homosexuality. It drew massive protests and sparked widespread public debate about homosexuality and freedom of speech.

 

The Film Censor Board eventually passed the film with minor changes and gave it an adult rating. But the right-wing Hindu groups the Shiv Sena and Bajarang Dal organized massive protests in metro cities, forcing the Censor Board to revise it twice more before it finally returned to theatres.

more
Debate:
more
Suggested Reforms:
more
Former Directors:

Ambika Soni

Ambika Soni served as Minister of Information and Broadcasting from May 2009 to October 2012. She was born in 1942 in Lahore before the partition of British India. Her political career started in 1975, when she was elected as president of the Indian Youth Congress. Soni has served as president of All India Mahila Congress, the women’s wing of the Indian National Congress. She was elected to the Rajya Sabha in March 1976 and served until 1988. She previously ran the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture during 2006–2009. She is a Member of Parliament representing the state of Punjab in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament.

 

Official Biography

 

 

Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi

Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi ran the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting between 2005-2009 in the Congress-led UPA government. He was born in Chirirbander of Bengal’s Dinajpur East district (now in Bangladesh) in 1945 and earned his LL.B from Kolkata University. He started his political career in 1970 as president of Youth Congress of West Bengal and was first elected as Member of Parliament in 1971. He served as Minister of Water Resource and Parliamentary Affairs during UPA-1.

 

 

Sushma Swaraj

Sushma Swaraj was in charge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting from September 2000 to January 2003. A lawyer by profession, Swaraj was an elected Member of Parliament from the Vidisha constituency in Madhya Pradesh. She was born in 1952 in Palwal, Haryana and started her political career as member of Haryana Legislative Assembly in 1977 and served as Cabinet Minister of Labour and Employment in 1977 and Minister of Education, Food and Civil Supplies in 1987. In December 1989, she became the first female Chief Minister of Delhi. In 1990, she was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian Parliament.

 

more

Comments

Leave a comment

Founded: 1947 (After independence)
Annual Budget:
Employees:
Official Website: http://www.mib.nic.in/

Ministry of Information and Broadcast

  • Latest News