To spruce up govt’s image, PMO tells all ministries to counter ‘negative’ image

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NITIN MAHAJAN
Published Feb 11, 2016, 9:28 am IST
Updated Feb 11, 2016, 9:29 am IST
PIB to send daily ‘action taken’ info
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Concluding Session of Governors Conference at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Concluding Session of Governors Conference at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: In a bid to spruce up the government’s image, the PMO has sought daily feedback from all ministries on action being taken on “negative” reports appearing in the media.

The PMO wants the ministries to reveal if the “negative” media stories are factually correct or not, and if true what remedial measures have been taken by them. This is the first time such a step has been initiated by the government and it has made the information and broadcasting ministry the nodal point to interact with all ministries on this issue.

The Press Information Bureau has been given this task, and it is learnt I&B secretary Sunil Arora is personally monitoring the assignment.

Soon after being sworn in, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had started keeping close tabs on the "negative" media stories about his government. However, sources said, this is the first time that ministries have been asked to submit compliance reports on the action taken about the negative news stories in the media. The PIB is now sending a daily bulletin to the PMO on the stories in the national media. The response of each affected ministry is also included in this bulletin.

It is understood that this step was initiated after the Prime Minister sought to know the outcome of a few of these negative reports and information was sought by the PMO on some reports appearing in the section of the media that portrayed government policies in bad light. However, sources said as there was no established mechanism to deal with the situation, it was decided that the PIB would compile an action taken report and submit it to the PMO every day. The comments of the respective ministry or department mentioned in the "negative" news report have been made mandatory, sources said.

The step of compiling such a "negative" reports list is in stark contrast to compilation of news reports that was delivered by the PIB to the Prime Minister’s Office under the Manmohan Singh government, that generally consisted of only positive feedback.

With a very tech-savvy Prime Minister at the helm, the government is also understood to be studying the impact of tweets and social media trends.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi

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