The main functions of the bureau are to put out information on government policies, programmes and activities, obtain feedback on how these are received and to apprise the government of public reaction as published in the news and editorial columns of English and Indian language newspapers. The Bureau also advices the government on its information and media policy.
The bureau employs a variety of means to disseminate information. Written material issued by the Bureau includes press releases, press communiques, press notes and hand-outs, backgrounders, features and news letters. The material is put out in Hindi, English, Urdu, and 13 other Indian languages. The Bureau also arranges press conferences and briefings to enable media representatives to get the news and clarifications at first hand. The Bureau creates media events and launch special publicity campaigns, identifying thrust areas, formats, channels and timings.
The PIB is linked with 20 of its regional offices over computer. The PIB releases are now being faxed through computers to local newspapers as well as to resident correspondents of a few important outstation newspapers.
PIB arranges photo coverage of government activities and the photographs are supplied to dailies and periodicals published in English and other Indian languages all over the country.
At present, there are 1,322 journalists accredited to the government at the headquarters. They include correspondents of news agencies, newspapers, editor-cum correspondents, correspondent-cum cameramen, cameramen, cartoonists and cartographers, both Indian and foreign.
A National Press Centre has been set up in the Press Information Bureau, New Delhi. It serves as a nerve centre for both national and international press.
The council which is a quasi-judicial body, does not have any punitive power, but it has moral authority. It acts as a `friendly watchdog' over the print media.
The PII has collaborated with numerous bodies like government agencies, professional associations and industrial houses for common programmes. For crash courses, the Institute has until recently collaborated with the Thomson Foundation Editorial Studies Centre of Cardiff (UK). The Institute laid great stress on development journalism and programs held with the help of UNEP and UNDP in the country. In collaboration with sister organisations like the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi, the PII conducted a study of the journalism departments of various universities and also participated in seminars for journalism educators. The PII has been entrusted by several organisations abroad with the nominating of persons for fellowships and scholarships.
'Vidhura', a bimonthly, now a quarterly media journal published in English, serves as a vehicle for discussion on professional issues as well as a mouthpiece of the Institute. `Depth News India', started with the assistance of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities in 1974, was a feature service with emphasis on development.
The PII also has publication of books, pamphlets and monographs to its credit. The institute brings out a 'Media Digest' every alternate months with articles on media developments taken from foreign magazines. It has a library with over 4000 volumes now in the process of reorganisation.
The division was set up as part of the Home department in January 1941 and was then known as Foreign Branch of Bureau of Public Information. In 1943, the office was transferred to the then Department of Information and Broadcasting and was re-designated as Publications Division in December 1944.
The books and journals brought out by the division cover subjects on art and culture, flora and fauna, travel and tourism, biographies of eminent persons, speeches of presidents and prime ministers and literature for women and children. The publications also include books on popular science, education, history, fine arts, ecology, projecting various shades of India's unity in diversity besides works of reference.
The division publishes 21 journals in English, Hindi and regional languages. 'Employment News' is brought out in English and 'Rozgar Samachar' in Hindi and Urdu. It has a circulation of over five lakh copies every week. 'Kurukshetra', a monthly journal in English and Hindi, is devoted to project the all-round development, achievements and experience under the plans in the field of rural reconstruction and cooperation. The monthly journals, `Ajkal' (Hindi) and `Ajkal' (Urdu) are mainly devoted to literature and culture. 'Bal Bharati' is a popular journal for children. `Yojana' is brought out in 13 languages. It seeks to carry the message of the Five Year plans and national economic policies to all sections of people. The division is also the publisher of 'India--A Reference Manual' and 'Mass Media in India' both compiled by the Research, Reference and Training Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The directorate, with its headquarters in New Delhi, has a total of 260 field publicity units and 22 regional offices.
The directorate by virtue of its being a grass root level organisation, has been playing a pivotal role in the task of national integration and development with active involvement of people. It has been using communication modes including group discussions, public meetings, seminars, symposia and competitions of various kinds for purveying its myriad messages to the people at large. Films and live entertainment media are also utilised to communicate the intended messages. The Organisation also gathers people's reactions to various programmes and policies of the government, their implementation down the village level and report back the same for appropriate action and corrective measures. The Directorate thus works as a two-way channel of communication between the government and the people.