Direct link to scholarships offered by  Govt. of India

List of Private NGOs offering scholarships

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr: ‘Avenzoar’

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr, known in the west as Avenzoar, was

Ummid Assistant

IDB Scholarship Program: Application form can be downloaded from here

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » National

Government on image-building drive

Thursday May 12, 2011 08:22:48 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The 24-month-old Manmohan Singh government, hit by several corruption scandals, Thursday began an image-building drive by launching press briefings by a select group of ministers, sidelining the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

Home Minister P. Chidambaram chaired the first press conference by the Group of Ministers (GoM), which was constituted by the prime minister Tuesday.

However, media analysts and officials were divided on the impact.

Government sources said the government wants to avoid a repeat of the aggressive adverse publicity it got on the recent scams - 2G spectrum scandal, Commonwealth Games scandal, Adarsh Housing Society scam and S-Band spectrum scandal. The government also feels that it had lost the publicity war during the five-day fast by social reformer Anna Hazare.

The sources added that the GoM will explain its stand on topical issues that have political ramifications. "The GoM will work in close coordination with the Congress party", though it has not been officially stated, they added.

While senior officials in the PIB - the department for the government publicity comprising professionals - declined to comment, several former officials of the department and media analysts felt the effort may not cut much ice.

"As a former head of the government's publicity set-up, I was surprised at the announcement. In India, we have an effective organization in the form of the PIB to disseminate information about policies and programmes of the government, and one has only to make effective use of it," I. Ramamohan Rao, former principal information officer (PIO), told IANS.

"Driven to a corner, the government has resorted to the familiar solution. Entrust the task to a Group of Ministers," Rao added.

Some media analysts felt the government has resorted to the daily briefing by the GOM, as the professionals in the PIB are bound by their 'Charter of Conduct' and cannot put forth political arguments in support of the government.

"It is like blaming the messenger for the bad message. Ultimately, the government image has been lowered by the recent scams," said media analyst K. Sreekumar.

"In the final analysis, good publicity cannot be a remedy to bad decisions.

"For example, no amount of publicity was able to justify the decisions taken during the Emergency, the Blue Star Operation, the Indian Peace-keeping Operations in Sri Lanka and the decision to implement the Mandal Commission recommendations," Rao said.

The prime minister had constituted the GoM to have a "structured mechanism to disseminate information and to fill the news vacuum".

Congress sources told IANS the GoM was constituted after consultations between the prime minister and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Two other members of the GoM - Information Minister Ambika Soni and Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed - also addressed Thursday's media conference.

Other members in the seven-member GoM , are Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal and Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy.

In the inaugural press conference, Chidambaram and other ministers spoke on several topical issues, including the arrest of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh Wednesday night, the Supreme Court verdict in the Bhopal gas tragedy trial and terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, believed to be hiding in Pakistan.

"... The GoM will meet every day at a fixed hour, analyse the events of the day and issue suitable directions to a nodal officer to prepare appropriate material for briefing the media," the PMO circular said. However, it is not clear there will be press conferences daily.

The PMO order has mentioned that a serving officer, or a retired person on contract, will be appointed the nodal officer of the GoM , with a secretariat of upto three staff.

The circular said the press conferences would strive to "expand individual briefings by individual ministers into a collective effort and fill the news vacuum" especially on contentious issues on which "rumour-mongering" occurs.

"Whenever needed, the party and the government should talk in the same voice. That is the purpose behind the exercise," a Congress leader told IANS.

Though no minister from the UPA constituent parties are represented in the GoM, individual ministers from the allies will also address the press conferences, sources said.

"With the GoM dealing with contentious political issues - like the arrest of Rahul Gandhi in today's briefing - it is likely to draw flak from opposition parties and defeat the same purpose it has been created," said Sreekumar.





  Bookmark and Share                                          Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS




Top Stories

Jairam Ramesh: Politics of compromise or middle path?

Until a few months ago, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh was hogging the headlines by halting some of the biggest projects for violation of green norms. He's back in the limelight  »

  TISS students protest against minister, boycott convocation

Ramesh says guilty of condoning many environmental violations


  Most Read

Gaddafi appears on state television

Footage of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi meeting tribal leaders was broadcast on state television Thursday. Officials claimed the   »

NATO doesn't know if Gaddafi is dead or alive

India signs Nagoya Protocol on genetic resources

India has signed the landmark Nagoya Protocol linking conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity with development. The Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation was signed here Wednesday by India's  »


  News Pick

19 killed, hundreds injured in clashes across Yemen

At least 19 people were killed and hundreds of others injured when Yemeni security forces opened fire to disperse the protesters in Yemen's capital city and provinces Wednesday, Xinhua reported. In Sana'a, security  »

Bangladesh apex court bans fatwa as punishment

Bangladesh's Supreme Court Thursday ruled against 'fatwa' (Islamic religious edict) being issued as punishment against hapless women. The Supreme Court modified a High Court verdict of 2001, saying that no person can pronounce  »

Minority ministry has a new face - virtually

The minority affairs ministry opened its window to the world afresh Wednesday with a new website listing its projects and plans. Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid launched the new website - http://www.minority    »

First woman from India's northeast conquers Everest

As new records begin to be written on Mt Everest, a 25-year-old woman from India's Arunachal Pradesh state has become the first Indian to peak the world highest mountain this spring. She has also achieved the feat of becoming   »

Bhopal Gas Tragedy survivors protest, call May 11 as ‘Black Day’ for Justice

For the survivors and victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy, the world’s worst industrial disaster, along with for the NGOs working  »

Supreme Court rejects CBI plea to reopen Bhopal case


Picture of the Day

Vice President Mohd. Hamid Ansari addresses after releasing the special issue of “Think India” quarterly on Faiz Ahmad Faiz, in New Delhi on May 10, 2011. Also seen in the picture is Member Planning Commission Dr Syeda Hameed among others.

(Photo: Hansraj)



RSS  |  Contact us

| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes











Contact us





      Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.