Newdelhi:16/7/22:Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur inaugurated the Third Annual Conference of Indian Information Service Officers at Vigyan Bhavan. The Secretary, Information and Broadcasting, Shri Apurva Chandra and Principal Director General, Shri Jaideep Bhatnagar, Shri Satyendra Prakash, Shri Venudhar Reddy and Shri Mayank Kumar Aggarwal were present on this occasion. Senior Officers of the Indian Information Service from all over the country are participating in the two-day Conference.
In his keynote address, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur outlined the five key features that need to define Government Communication. These include – Citizen-Centric and Compassionate, Co-creating with Target Audience, Collaboration, Contemplation, and Continuous Capacity Enhancement. Elaborating on this, he said that all communication needs to be relevant and easy to understand, keeping the citizens in mind. Further, he underlined the importance of collaborating with all stakeholders including Government bodies, institutions and the private sector. He added that as communication is a fast-changing field with upcoming challenges like fake news, it is important for communicators to be agile and adaptable, as seen during the recent COVID pandemic.
Shri Anurag Singh Thakur lauded the role of IIS Officers in undertaking transformational initiatives such as expansion of Fact Check Unit to counter fake news and accessibility initiatives for Divyangjan, among others. He also put forth ideas and initiatives to further improve the efficacy of Government communication to benefit the last mile, highlighting the importance of new media technologies, institution building, and coordinating with State governments. He exhorted all Officers to recognize the importance of their role as communicators to 130 crore people. The Union Minister underlined the importance of synchronized communication and the art of storytelling to enhance the public outreach. He told that institution building, mentoring and motivation of the officials are equally important.
Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Shri Apurva Chandra said that communication during the COVID-19 pandemic reassured the public, and was successful in removing fear from their minds. It also ensured wide awareness amongst the people about welfare initiatives like Vaccination and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. He noted that compared to many other countries, Vaccine Hesitancy was almost non-existent in India, enabling it to come close to achieving the 200 crore vaccine dose milestone.
Principal Director General Shri Jaideep Bhatnagar in his remarks said that the prime focus of the Service is to work towards empowerment and accessibility, citizen-centric 24×7 engagement, behavioural change communication and combating fake and mischievous news. He observed that the role has evolved and expanded significantly in light of the information explosion in recent years, leading to a re-imagination and inclusion of new processes and tools.
Recognizing that the field of communication is inherently dynamic, the two-day Conference will deliberate on emerging challenges and a roadmap for cutting-edge communication in the future. Sessions over the two days will focus on ‘Communication for India@2047’, ‘Skill & Capacity Building’, ‘Projecting India Abroad with Focus on G20’, ‘Evolving Role of Government Communication’ delivered by prominent speakers viz. Shri Abhishek Singh, CEO MyGov; Dr. R. Balasubramaniam and Shri Hemang Jani, Capacity Building Commission, Shri Arindam Bagchi, JS (XP) MEA and Shri Amitabh Kant, India’s Sherpa to G-20 respectively.
The Keynote Address on the second day of the Conference will be delivered by Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, while the Valedictory Session will be addressed by Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Dr. L. Murugan.