New Delhi: The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry Saturday launched a magazine titled New India Samachar to highlight the Government of India’s flagship schemes, initiatives and achievements.
ThePrint was the first to report that the Narendra Modi government was planning to bring out the fortnightly magazine in 13 languages, including English and Hindi, and would be launching it on 15 August.
In an email to some eminent personalities, schools and panchayats members Saturday, Satyendra Prakash, Director General of the Bureau of Outreach Communication — a media unit under the I&B Ministry and also the publisher of the magazine — said while New India Samachar is not the government’s mouthpiece, “it would enlighten the readers with cabinet decisions, Mann Ki Baat and give insight into topical issues in its unique way”.
He added that the endeavour is to provide the readers with correct information about various initiatives taken by the Government of India for the benefit of the common people.
The government’s official communication arm Press Information Bureau is in charge of the editorial content of the magazine and PIB Principal Director General K.S. Dhatwalia is its editor.
The plan was to bring out the magazine on 1 June, but the launch got delayed because of the pandemic and also because there were some objections within sections of the government over the need of the launch of a new periodical and its utility.
The 40-page magazine will be distributed free of cost across the country, including at panchayats and educational institutions.
NEP — Cover story in first edition
Sources said there have been at least three dummy editions of the periodical that were tested before the launch of the magazine.
As reported by ThePrint earlier this week, the cover story for the first edition of the magazine is the recently released National Education Policy, which was hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address from the ramparts of the Red Fort earlier in the day.
The edition also published articles on the changing face of Jammu and Kashmir after the scrapping of Article 370, under the headline ‘J&K, Ladakh usher in new glory’.
The article spoke about how the move has empowered “women, valmikis and gurkhas”, and put the region on a high growth trajectory.
The Modi government’s announcement of Rs 1.70 lakh crore relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana on 26 March, a special report on self-reliant India with respect to economic revival and Digital India, and India’s Covid-19 fight with an interview of Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu also featured in the fortnightly magazine.
PM Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s visits to Ladakh last month were also highlighted under the headline ‘Era of Expansionism is over, Era of development begins,’ — which Modi had said during the visit.
A separate article on the PM’s global outreach, focussing on his speech where he said the path to achieving sustainable peace and prosperity is through multi-lateralism, was also part of the first edition.
The bhoomi pujan (foundation stone laying ceremony) programme of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on 5 August with quotes from Modi’s speech also featured prominently in the magazine under the headline ‘A Dream Billion’. The article spoke about how the event resonated with “celebrations across the globe”.
The Government of India also publishes other magazines such as the monthly Yojna on socio-economic issues, Kurukshetra, in English and Hindi, covering rural development and issues related to agriculture, and Aajkal, in Hindi and Urdu, and Bal Bharati for children.
Another government magazine Employment News, published in English, Hindi and Urdu, is a weekly, which provides information on jobs in central government, including the public sector, but the future of the magazine appears to be bleak because of its “dipping circulation”.