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Existence of Ministry of Information in SAARC members state

In every Member-State of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) including Pakistan, which is a founding Member of SAARC since 1986, there exists a Ministry of Information either known by that name, or by a name similar to it.

[agroup style=”” id=435]
[accordion title=”Afghanistan” id=435] Ministry of Information and Culture. A 2004 media law prohibits censorship, but requires registration of periodicals with the Ministry of Information and Culture; in 2005 some 250 periodicals were registered. The Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture is the Afghan Government Ministry in charge of Culture, Tourism, Publishing Affairs and Youth Affairs. Website address of the Ministry of Information Afghanistan [/accordion]

[accordion title=”Bangladesh” id=435] The Ministry of Information.
An Overview
This Ministry transacts its business through some next step agencies like Press Information Department (PID), Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television (BTV), Department of Mass Communication (DMC), Department of Films & Publications (DFP), Bangladesh Film Archive (BFA), Press Institute of Bangladesh (FIB), National Institute of Mass Communication (NIMC), Bangladesh Sangbad Sanstha (BSS), Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC), Bangladesh Film Censor Board and Bangladesh Press Council. It has also conducted its extra-territorial activities through the press wings stationed in Washington DC, New York, London, New Delhi, slamabad & Calcutta.
Website of Ministry of Information

[accordion title=”Bhutan” id=435] Ministry of Information and Communication. In July 2003, the Ministry of Communications was bifurcated to form two Ministries- the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Ministry of Works and Human Settlements. The creation of a new Ministry of Information and Communications was aimed at tapping the potential of rapid development in the ICT field and to also give greater attention to the development of media, transport and civil aviation sector.
MoIC is responsible for:
• Development of an efficient, reliable information and communication systems to help transform Bhutan to and information society;
• Promotion of ICT in the country as an enabler of national development;
• Development of safe and progressive national transport system; and
• Development of a safe and sustainable civil aviation sector that meets the national needs and international standards.
The Ministry is the lead Government agency in Bhutan for formulation and implementation of policies, drafting of legislation and acting on behalf of the Royal Government on the matters related to ICT and media, surface transport and civil aviation.
Website of the Ministry of Information and Communication Bhutan

[accordion title=”India” id=435]
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

I. Broadcasting Policy and Administration
1. All matters relating to radio and television broadcasting within the Union including regulation of the use of All India Radio and Doordarshan by recognised national and regional political parties during elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies and procedure to be followed by the official electronic media during periods of national mourning on the demise of a high dignitary.
2. The enunciation and implementation of the law relating to radio and television broadcasting in India by private Indian companies or Indian nationals.
3. Broadcast Monitoring and Administration of the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990 (25 of 1990).
4. All matters relating to the Indian Broadcasting (Programme) Service and the Indian Broadcasting (Engineering) Service until they are handed over to Prasar Bharati.

II. Cable Television Policy
5. Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 (7 of 1995).
III. Radio
6. All business connected with All India Radio embracing news services in the home programmes, programmes for the foreign countries and Indians overseas, radio journals, research in the field of broadcasting engineering, monitoring of foreign broadcasts, programme exchange and transcription services, supply of community receiving sets to State Governments under the community listening scheme, etc.
7. Development of radio broadcasting throughout the Union, installation and maintenance of Radio Stations and Transmitters and operation of broadcasting services.

IV. Doordarshan
8. Exchange including cultural exchange of television programmes.
9. Development of television throughout the Union, including installation, maintenance and operation of television Programme Production Canters and Transmitters, and operation of television services.
10. Promotion of production of television programmes outside Doordarshan.

V. Films
11. Legislation under entry 60 of the Union List, viz., ‘Sanctioning of Cinematograph films for exhibition’.
12. Administration of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952).
13. Import of feature and short films for theatrical and non-theatrical viewing.
14. Export of Indian films, both feature and short films.
15. Import of unexposed cinematograph films and various types of equipment required by the film industry.
16. All matters relating to film industry, including developmental and promotional activities thereto.
17. Promotion of good cinema by institution of State awards for films produced in India and assistance through the National Film Development Corporation Limited.
18. Production and distribution of documentaries and newsreels and other films and film strips for internal and external publicity.
19. Preservation of films and filmic materials.
20. Organization of International Film Festivals in India and participation of India in International Film Festivals abroad.
21. Organization of Film Festivals under Cultural Exchange Programmes.
22. Film society movement.

VI. Advertising and Visual Publicity
23. Production and release of advertisements on behalf of the Government of India.

VII. Press
24. Presentation and interpretation of the policies and activities of the Government of India through the medium of the press.
25. Advising Government on information problems relating to the Press keeping Government informed of the main trends of public opinion as reflected in the Press and liaison between Government and the Press.
26. Publicity to and for the Armed Forces.
27. General conduct of Government relations with the Press excluding the administration of sections 95 and 96 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).
28. Administration of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 (25of1867) relating to Newspapers.
29. Administration of the Press Council Act, 1978 (37 of 1978).
30. Allocation of Newsprint to Newspapers.

VIII. Publications
31. Production, sale and distribution of popular pamphlets, books and
journals on matters of national importance for internal as well as external publicity, with a view to imparting to the general public at home and abroad up-to-date and correct information about India.

IX. Research and Reference
32. To assist the Media Units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in collection, compilation and preparation of material involving research into published works, etc.
33. Building up of a compendium of knowledge on important subjects and to prepare guidance and background notes on current and other topics for the use of the Media Units of the Ministry.

X. Miscellaneous
34. Publicity for the policies and programmes of Government of India.
35. Administration of Journalists Welfare Fund.
36. Financial assistance to distinguished musicians, both vocal and instrumental, dancers and dramatists who have contributed substantially to the success of All India Radio and other units of the Ministry or their survivors in indigent circumstances.
37. All matters relating to the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the Non-Aligned News Agency Pool.
38. Cadre management of the Indian Information Service (Groups ‘a’ &

XI. Attached and Subordinate Organizations and Prasar Bharati
39. (a) All India Radio;
(b) Doordarshan;
(c) Press Information Bureau;
(d) Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity;
(e) Publications Division;
(f) Office of the Registrar of Newspapers for India;
(g) Central Board of Film Certification;
(h) Films Division;
(i) Directorate of Film Festivals;
(j) National Film Archives of India;
(k) Directorate of Field Publicity; (1) Song and Drama Division;
(m) Research, Reference and Training Division;
(n) Photo Division;
(o) Principal Accounts Office;
(p) Central Monitoring Service.

XII. Autonomous Organizations
40. (a) Film and Television Institute of India, Pune
(b) Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata;
(c) Children Film Society of India;
(d) Indian Institute of Mass Communication;
(e) Press Council of India;
(f) Federation of Film Society of India

XIII. Public Sector Undertakings
41. National Film Development Corporation Limited.
42. Broadcast Engineers Consultants (India) Limited.
Website of Ministry of Information, India


[accordion title=”Maldives” id=435] Department of Information.
Maldives has a Department of Information which works under the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture.
The Department of Information was first formed as Ministry of Information and Culture on 11thNovember 1993 to take charge of the functions of the Department of Information and Broadcasting after its abolition on the same day.
On 14th July 2005, the name of the Ministry was changed to Ministry of Information and Arts and Mr. Mohamed Nasheed was appointed as the Minister. Two years later, on 31st October 2007 the Ministry’s name was once more changed, this time to Ministry of Legal Reform, Information and Arts. With this change a National Law Reform Commission was established, which would function under the Ministry of Legal Reform, Information and Arts.
On 11th November 2008 President Mohamed Nasheed was sworn-in. Under his administration, the Ministry’s functions were brought under the Department of Information which functions under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

[accordion title=”Nepal” id=435]
The Ministry of Information & Communications. Government of Nepal
The Ministry of Information & Communications (MOIC) in its present name was formed in the year 2009.
The Ministry widely covers postal services, telecommunications, broadcasting, Press & Information and Film Development.
To develop and expand the information & communication sector up to the rural level in the form of infrastructure for social and economic development through wide spread participation of the private sector as well with emphasis on the dissemination of information and communication technology.

1. To inform the public about the economic and social activities of the country and promote the democratic culture so as to safeguard and promote the freedom of expression and the right to information of the people and to ensure the institutional development of democracy while upholding the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national independence as well as the dignity of Nepal.
2. To make the communications media efficient so as to make citizens conscious by creating an environment of equality, mutual goodwill and harmony among the various tribes, languages, classes and religious communities in such manner as the people in general may, on the basis of the rule of law, enjoy the benefits of democracy peaceably.
3. To make the communications media active so as to facilitate the protection and consolidation of the basic norms and values of the sovereignty of the people and the National Unity while according top priority to the national interest.
4. To make the information and communications sector active so as to preserve the various aspects of national identity and significance, as well as to secure peoples participation, international cooperation and good will in the process of all round development of the nation by creating public awareness.
Ministry of Information and Culture
Department of Information Nepal
Government of Nepal


[accordion title=”Sri Lanka” id=435] Ministry of Mass Media and Information.
Ministry of Mass Media and Information
Website of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information
Institutions coming under the purview of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information
Sri Lanka Press Council
Sri Lanka Press Council is a statutory institution established under the Sri Lankan Press Council Act No. 05 of 1973 which comes under the purview of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information. A code of Ethics for journalists has been introduced as rules by the Gazette Extraordinary No 162/5 A of 14th October 1981.

[accordion title=”Pakistan” id=435]
The Federal Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of Pakistan comprises the following departments and supervision/control, etc. of State media organizations:

1. Internal Publicity Wing
2. External Publicity Wing
3. Press Information Department
4. Audit Bureau of Circulation
5. Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation
6. Pakistan Television Corporation
7. Associated Press of Pakistan
8. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority
9. Information Services Academy

(xxi) The viewpoint of the Federal Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in Pakistan justifies its own existence and recognizes the need for improvement and reforms to meet new conditions. This is expressed in the following four paragraphs submitted to the Commission (and amended only marginally by the Commission to ensure correct syntax) etc.

Redefining the Role of MA) I&B (from the Ministry’s own viewpoint):
One of the most important tasks of Government is to provide clear, truthful and factual information to citizens. Government communication has a widely-held and long-established reputation for delivering high impact and innovative communication. Government communication embraces two separate but complementary areas of activity: communication with the media; and communication directly with the public. Whatever their specialty, all Government communicators work towards the same goals of informing the public about their rights and responsibilities, and helping people access Government services, understand government policy and keep them updated. The Federal Government in Pakistan thus has to have a Central Information Machinery to communicate with media, public and world community. Below explained are the two models that offer a range of workable solutions:
a. One is the British & the other US model. The British model known as the Government Communication Network is closer to our requirements. The mandate of the Information Ministry as defined under the Rules of Business 1973 is in no way different from the tasks being performed by British Government Communication Network.
b. The Government communication role cannot be restricted to issuing press releases or disseminating information to Press / Media alone. Rather they are required to work across the whole range of communication profession: from Public Relations to advertising and marketing; from stakeholders’ management to social media management. Media in Pakistan has expanded with an unimaginable speed. The induction of most modern technologies, intrusive behavior of anchors and journalists and the requirement to feed the channels 24 hours a day have pushed the Government into a defensive mode. The Government machinery has failed to cope with those developments both in terms of financial and human resources as well as training. It is therefore imperative to revamp the Government media outfits through induction of more financial resources in HR training and up gradation of existing technological facilities.
c. The US model of Public Diplomacy is more relevant for our functioning abroad in the Pakistan Missions. The External Publicity Wing’s name smacks of propaganda and sounds like propagating “officially certified Truths” only. It is therefore important to rename and remodel this Wing on the pattern of US Department of Public Diplomacy, by redesigning its functions and retraining its human resource.