New Delhi: Four months after launching its magazine ‘New India Samachar’ to highlight the Government of India’s flagship schemes, initiatives and achievements, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) is now planning to expand it at the national and regional levels with more recruitment in the editorial and content teams.
The fortnightly magazine, launched on 15 August this year, is published by the Bureau of Outreach and Communication (BOC), a media unit functioning under the I&B ministry.
The Press Information Bureau (PIB), headed by Principal Director General K.S. Dhatwalia, looks after the editorial content, designing and translation of the magazine. It is published in 13 languages and currently being distributed free-of-cost to the media, schools and panchayats, among others, by leveraging their available database.
Ministry officials told ThePrint there are plans to increase the strength of the editorial and content teams to 38 from the current 19. The professionals will be hired by the BOC. They include consulting editors, assistant consulting editors, consulting language editors and designers.
“The hiring process has started in the states. Over 20 language editors will be hired as per plans as the magazine is being expanded at the regional levels,” a ministry official said.
A second ministry official told ThePrint: “Many professionals to be hired will be from among experienced journalists, who have spent several years in the profession and also from those who may not be employed with other publications at present.”
ThePrint reached Satyendra Prakash, director general, BOC, through calls and messages for a comment on the matter, but there was no response till the publication of this report.
Rs 52 lakh per issue
Ministry sources told ThePrint the cost for publishing the 32-page magazine was estimated to be around Rs 52 lakh per issue, and it might go up for issues having more pages than that. The latest November issue had 36 pages, along with the four cover pages.
The expenditure on the magazine is met from the budget allocated to the I&B ministry.
Ministry sources said while the BOC is currently responsible for printing the magazine, eventually the Publication Division, under the I&B ministry, will be publishing it.
The BOC earlier this month brought out a 106-page booklet, titled ‘Putting Farmers First’, in the backdrop of the ongoing farmers protest, putting across the government’s word on the various pro-farmer moves initiated by the Modi administration.
The ministry’s Publication Division brings out several magazines such as the monthly Yojana in 13 languages, Kurukshetra in English and Hindi, Aajkal in Hindi and Urdu, Bal Bharati, a children’s magazine in Hindi, and Employment News, a weekly, in English, Hindi and Urdu.