Against the backdrop of the negative publicity it received during anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare's fasts to demand a lokpal bill last year, the government has sent senior officials of the information and broadcasting ministry to the UK for lessons in media management.
A team of 11 officials left for England on Sunday for a two-week course at Thomson Foundation, one of the world’s leading media training agencies. The team will spend a week each in London and Cardiff.
"The core syllabus is on media management across print, electronic, internet and all other formats," said a government official who did not want to be named.
The government is also setting up a social media cell under the supervision of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) to publicise the government's policies, programmes and initiatives.
"About 25 senior PIB officers have already been trained on social media and how to extract the maximum from such media tools," said an official.
The measure also follows a January 23 letter by cabinet secretary Ajit Seth to all ministries and departments, asking them to utilise the vast resources available with Prasar Bharati in the form of Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR).
"Time may be provided on a regular basis to correspondents of DD/AIR, to share information about the progress of major initiatives, flagship programmes and policy measures that have been initiated by your ministry/department," the letter said.