New Delhi : In a move to enforce discipline in the ranks, the Centre has directed officials in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) and other departments to refrains from interacting with the media without authorization from ‘Competent authorities’.
The circular, issued by the I&B ministry , said the decision was taken as officials in the ministry, or its media units, were interacting with the press without authorization. The ministry said that when officials are approached by media representative, they should “direct him/her to the Press information Bureau or seek permission of the minister or the secretary of the ministry/ department” before meeting them.
The circular was circulated among senior officials of the I&B ministry and other departments and it refered to departmental procedures and guidelines. It sought to emphasize that only government designated official spokesperson—the PIB—must interact with the media on the government’s behalf. In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also advised the bureaucracy and his ministerial colleagues to refrain from speaking to journalists.
Speaking at the 75th anniversary celebrations of Daily Thanthi newspaper at the Madras university, Modi had on Monday asked media not to focus only on politicians but on 125 crore Indians and highlight their achievements.” A lot of media discourse today revolves around politics. However, India is more than just us politicians. It’s the 125 crore Indians , which make India what it is. I would be happy to see media focus a lot more, on their stories and achievements, he had said.