Politics

Government introduces automated system to manage negative press items

14 Sep 2016 | By Akriti Asthana

Modi government has decided to follow an 'automated system' which will focus on perception-management and will keep top-ministry officials on their toes.

According to the senior officials, the new system has been introduced so that a clarification is issued to an unfavourable news item the same day.

A 9 AM call to secretaries will be the norm, if their ministry attracts any "negative" notice.

In context: Modi Government's design to counter 'unfavourable' news

All publicity is not good publicity

Unlike the UPA days, when the 'unfavourable' news items were countered in an ad-hoc manner, the Modi government is taking it up a notch, and will be following an 'automated system' to tackle the most pressing issues concerned with any of its ministries or departments.

14 Sep 2016Government introduces automated system to manage negative press items

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The 'automated system'

InformationThe 'automated system'

The secretaries of ministries will be on a tight leash to deliver outcomes by 2 PM as a clarification, or in the form of an action taken report (ATR).

Daily ATRs, specifying negative news and outcomes in the form of a response supplied by ministries will be sent for the review of I&B ministry's secretary.

A monthly ATR will go to Cabinet Secretary.

Strict ProtocolIgnoring a negative news item no longer optional

Under the automated system, not issuing a clarification or ignoring an unfavourable news is no longer a possibility and have to be attended immediately.

A list of negative news are compiled every day by 8 AM, following which concerned secretaries would get a call to get the task done.

A dashboard at PIB will keep track of pending items sent for response to secretaries.

What PM had to say about the program

During induction, PM Modi said, "If we are fault, let us improve. If the news is wrong, let's rebut." Whereas I&B minister M Venkaiah Naidu's first direction was, "Anything that is incorrect should be corrected. It should not be left to exist as it is."