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IIS officers association protests transfers, says media units heads not consulted

Indian information service officers who carry out the government’s publicity and broadcast duties say the recent round of transfers will make their work more difficult.

india Updated: Dec 05, 2017 10:36 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
IIS,IIS officers association,I&B Ministry
Indian information service officers in the information and broadcasting ministry headed by Smriti Irani have complained that the ministry issued transfer orders last month “without consulting the heads of the media units”.(PTI file photo)

Indian information service (IIS) officers have flagged “discrepancies and shortcomings” in the fresh round of postings after the Union ministry of information and broadcasting issued transfer orders late last month “without consulting the heads of the media units”.

The IIS Group ‘A’ officials’ association has alleged that some senior officials have been transferred to stations where the posts allotted to them do not exist, while some have been transferred to places where multiple officials have been designated the same role without any clarity on the allocation of work. Some have been transferred from Delhi to other states.

“The transfer orders have been issued without consulting the heads of the media units or taking into account their requirement,” the association complained in a letter to I&B secretary NK Sinha on November 29.

The association alleged that the 24 postings announced by the ministry on November 24 will adversely impact the flow of information and hamper the functioning of government’s broadcast divisions such as the press information bureau, the directorate of audio visual publicity and Doordarshan.

“Some of the officers have been posted to places where no such posts exist, for example in Moradabad, Agra and Varanasi. In the first two places, there is no office of the media unit (of PIB) from where they would be drawing their salary,” the letter said.

It also said that reallocation of posts in some cases will affect the focus of key sectors.

“The additional director general PIB, Ranchi has been directed to work from the directorate of field publicity in Moradabad, which takes away the focus from the Left Wing Extremist area.”

While I&B secretary Sinha did not respond to HT’s query, sources in the ministry said the postings have been in the works for a while.

“It was decided during the tenure of the then minister M Venkaiah Naidu to depute some senior officials to regions outside Delhi for better propagation of the union government’s policies and people-centric programmes. However, some of the officials are concerned by the fact that they have been posted to regions where they are unfamiliar with the local language and that in turn could affect their work,” said an official not wishing to be named.

Publicity and broadcast of its schemes has been the focus of the BJP-led NDA government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had asked the government’s information wings to take concerted steps to counter misinformation about schemes such as demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax roll out.

The publicity wing, PIB has been given the direction to undertake campaigns to counter any negative publicity about schemes and programmes through informative ads on social media platforms and traditional media such as television, radio and newspapers advertisements.

“The recent transfers where some officials have been posted to stations without adequate infrastructure will result in wasting manpower,” the official quoted above said.

First Published: Dec 05, 2017 10:35 IST