Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Tuesday emphasized the need to connect with the people in the UT through provision of useful Information about the welfare programmes of the government.
He made this observation while reviewing the functioning of the Information Department in the meeting in which Principal Secretary, Information Department, Director, Information, Joint Director, Information, Jammu and other senior officers of the department were present.
Dr. Mehta asked the department to focus on improving both the quality of the content and its delivery for effective dissemination of the various public welfare programmes.
“There is a need to create content in such language and form as facilitates quick and easy communication of the public welfare programmes to the people,” he observed.
Terming fake or misleading news as a big challenge, the Chief Secretary asked the department to institute a mechanism to rebut fake news on real time basis.
Principal Secretary, Rohit Kansal informed that the grievances redressal system has been put in place in the department to ensure that the departmental response to the grievances in the media is carried out within the reasonable time
He further informed that the recently launched Film Policy has been widely appreciated and has been a big hit with the film makers.
Earlier Director, Information while making a short presentation on the functioning of the department said that the department is strengthening the human and capacity issues to deal with the challenges of the new age/ non-traditional media like FM channels, social media etc.
He further informed that the department has run various features stories on several personalities from J&K, who excelled in different fields such as Guinness World Record Holder Cyclist, Aadil Teeli, Tokyo Olympic Silver Medalist, Mira Bhai Chanu’s Coach Vijay Sharma, etc.
He also highlighted the role of the department in successfully covering the programmes like ‘Back to Village’ & ‘My Town, My Pride Programmes’.
The Chief Secretary asked the department to urgently realign its focus and re-orient its organizational structure to better deal with the rapidly evolving media otherwise it may soon find itself behind the curve.
He advised the department to ensure that at least ten content creators/resource personnel are available in the Secretariat and an appropriate number of them is placed in all the districts offices in the UT.
“The department needs to focus on the people, and the tools required to enable the people to benefit from the developmental agenda of the government.” he said.
Dr. Mehta lamented that despite several important initiatives, there has not been commensurate coverage in the media.
He pointed out to the specific instances where even improvement in J&K’s standing in the country on various developmental parameters has not received any coverage in the media.
The Chief Secretary said that schemes like ‘Apki Zameen Apki Nigrani’, ‘Janta ki Bagidhari’ etc. have really empowered the people in the UT,but more and more people should use these schemes for their well being and that can happen only if they are sensitized about them.
“J&K has made an improvement of 3.7% in good governance during the year 2020-21 and in NITI Aayog’s assessment, J&K’s GDP never dipped in the negative territory even at the height of Covid crisis, but this resilience in the economy has not received due attention”, he observed.
Dr. Mehta asked the department to create and run impact features/ real life news stories on daily basis in the media, highlighting the positive side of the welfare schemes/campaign rolled out by the government.
The Chief Secretary asked the department to strengthen the grievances redressal system in consultation with all the departments so that the response of the departments to the grievances is carried in the media on real time basis.
Dr. Mehta also advised the department to institute a system of obtaining feedback from its field functionaries about the various ongoing welfare programmes of the government so that efficacy and implementation of these programmes can be improved.