Friday, July 27, 2012

Asha Swarup panel wants govt to look beyond print, tap new media

Ex-I&B secretary Asha Swarup
AN advisory panel headed by Asha Swarup, a 1973 batch retired IAS and former information and broadcasting secretary, has recommended that the government should use new media while undertaking its media campaigns. Despite India’s net saavy Gen-X becoming increasingly hyperactive in new platforms such as blog, Facebook and Twitter, the vast Indian sarkari machinery is pouring its resources only in print and to some extent in TV.
Yet, the Prime Minister’s Office’s decision…
to go the Twitter way has emboldened other departments to use these platforms as well. The various state governments have been owning up new media for their official propaganda. Even the Press Information Bureau under Union information and broadcasting ministry has recently created a Twitter feed.
The Swarup committee while submitting its Sectoral Innovation Council report to information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni on Thursday, recommended that the government should bring out a “National Media Policy that addresses new media landscape”. The panel has altogether submitted 64 recommendations.
The Sectoral Innovation Council, which was set up on July 28, 2011, was mandated to design a policy ecosystem in which new ideas would be integrated into the mainstream and get converted into policy initiatives by the government.
Swarup, who headed the panel is a Himachal Pradesh cadre retired IAS. She was also the chief secretary in the hill state.
Some of the major recommendations of the Asha Swarup panel included:
a) Film institutes in the country may be upgraded to Centre of Excellence.
b) The government must have a National Policy for Animation, Gaming and VFX.
c) The government should regulate media education to ensure orderly growth of the discipline as part of higher education.
d) The government should interact with key stakeholders and expedite a consensus on developing an alternative to TAM so that an appropriate mechanism is developed with industry participation to study audience viewing and listening behaviour and bring out reports on weekly basis.

Action and Appointments
a) Arvind Mayaram, a 1978 batch Rajasthan cadre IAS, presently special secretary in department of rural development, has been appointed as secretary, department of economic affairs (DEA) under the ministry of finance. He will move to North Block on July 31.
b) KN Srivastava, a 1978 batch IAS, presently special secretary and financial adviser in the ministry of external affairs, has been appointed as secretary in the ministry of civil aviation in place of Dr SNA Zaidi, a 1976 batch UP cadre IAS.

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