Information Department to have Creative Wing for designing, disseminating ad campaigns

SRINAGAR: The Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) will be establishing a Creative Wing to ensure artistic designing of advertisement and promotional campaigns for various Government Departments and Public Sector Undertakings in the State, a government spokesman said.

This was announced at a meeting of the administrative secretaries of various departments convened here this afternoon under the chairmanship of Minister for Information, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali.

Commissioner Secretary, Power Development Department, Dheeraj Gupta, Commissioner Secretary, PWD, Sanjeev Verma, Commissioner Secretary Rural Development Department, Nirmal Sharma, Secretary FCS&CA Department, Shafiq Raina, Secretary Information, M H Malik and representatives of Health and Medical Education and Housing & Urban Development Departments were present at the meeting.

The meeting was convened to discuss the modalities for effectively highlighting the achievements including developmental and welfare initiatives of the Government in different sectors.

It was decided in the meeting that the DIPR would act as the nodal department for designing and dissemination of special advertisements highlighting the achievements of the government through the print and the electronic media. He said the Government Departments and PSUs should desist from issuing advertisement spots through the electronic media on their own and the same should be instead routed through DIPR as is the case with the print advertisements.

The Minister asked the concerned administrative secretaries to provide requisite content to DIPR so that the same could be used in the special advertisement campaign. He said if the need arises the Department could hire the services of a professional creative agency for designing the advertisement campaign.

He said the DIPR has been asked to also revive the publications wing so that the government activities are documented in a proper shape, as was being done in the past.

The Minister said the DIPR, which is paying around Rs 35 crore per year to the newspapers as advertisement charges, is being reinvigorated and its functioning is being further stepped up by grooming it on professional lines.

Earlier, reiterating role of media in propagating the policies and programmes of the Government, Minister for Information, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali, today said with changing scenario and advancement in technology the real challenge for Information Department is to ensure that people are made aware with the developmental works carried out by the Government.

Chairing a meeting here today to review the functioning of the Information Department. Secretary Information Department (ID) M H Malik, Director Information Muneer-ul-Islam, Joint Directors Information Abdul Majeed Zargar, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Deputy Directors Information Sheikh Zahoor, Farooq Ahmad Baba, and other senior officers were also present in the meeting.

Highlighting the importance of developmental journalism and the need to do the related stories, the Minister said many projects have either recently being completed or are nearing their completion dates. Besides, many people-friendly initiatives are taken daily that after completing will benefit people, adding that it is the role of Information Department to ensure that people are made aware of these initiatives.

The Minister said that the Department of Information & Public Relations is a touch-point between the Government and the Public, therefore the Department needs to gear-up its men and machinery to effectively highlight the developmental and welfare initiatives undertaken by the present Government.

He said that developmental stories could highlight various aspects of the State including the historical places and routes like Mughal Road connecting the two regions of the State, which would also include its historical importance, its inter-regional connections, its heritage, the inns on its way, wild life sanctuary along its way.

Likewise, he added, the stories on ongoing trade along Line of Control (LoC) at Salamabad would also allow people to read a positive stuff. The Minister said DIPR by writing about the situation of people caught in the cross fire at borders could even bring fore the plight of people living in these areas.

Zulfkar said that the Department should duly highlight the feat achieved by valley youth who recently made the State proud by qualifying civil services exams.

Directing for the rationalization of staff, he said the Department needs to utilize all its resources so that work is carried out effectively. He also asked administrative department to prepare a comprehensive proposal for augmenting much needed infrastructure in information centers across the State districts.

Asking for sensitization of Information Officers working with Ministers, Choudhary Zulfkar said that Officers while writing a press release of their respective minister should have understanding to differentiate between the Minister’s personal view and the view he presents on behalf of the government.

Besides, revising all the magazines and publications published by the Department in the past, the Minister also directed to constitute an editorial board that will look into these publications. He also asked for providing the much needed infrastructure for maintaining the departmental libraries at various districts.

The Minister also directed the officers to explore the possibility of setting up an institute of mass communication within the premises of the Directorate so that refresher courses can be offered to the employees as well as to those aspiring to make a career in the field.

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