SRINAGAR, JUNE 08 (GNS): Reiterating role of media in propagating the policies and programmes of the Government, Minister for Information and Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA), Choudhary Zulfkar Ali, today said with changing scenario and advancement in technology the real challenge for Information Department is to ensure that people are made aware with the developmental works carried out by the Government.

The Minister said this while chairing a meeting here today to review the functioning of the Information Department. Secretary Information Department (ID) M H Malik, Director Information Muneer-ul-Islam, Joint Directors Information Abdul Majeed Zargar, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Deputy Directors Information Sheikh Zahoor, Farooq Ahmad Baba, and other senior officers were also present in the meeting.

Highlighting the importance of developmental journalism and the need to do the related stories, the Minister said many projects have either recently being completed or are nearing their completion dates. Besides, many people-friendly initiatives are taken daily that after completing will benefit people, adding that it is the role of Information Department to ensure that people are made aware of these initiatives.

The Minister said that the Department of Information & Public Relations is a touch-point between the Government and the Public, therefore the Department needs to gear-up its men and machinery to effectively highlight the developmental and welfare initiatives undertaken by the present Government.

He said that developmental stories could highlight various aspects of the State including the historical places and routes like Mughal Road connecting the two regions of the State, which would also include its historical importance, its inter-regional connections, its heritage, the inns on its way, wild life sanctuary along its way.

Likewise, he added, the stories on ongoing trade along Line of Control (LoC) at Salamabad would also allow people to read a positive stuff. The Minister said DIPR by writing about the situation of people caught in the cross fire at borders could even bring fore the plight of people living in these areas.

Zulfkar said that the Department should duly highlight the feat achieved by valley youth who recently made the State proud by qualifying civil services exams.

Directing for the rationalization of staff, he said the Department needs to utilize all its resources so that work is carried out effectively. He also asked administrative department to prepare a comprehensive proposal for augmenting much needed infrastructure in information centers across the State districts.

Asking for sensitization of Information Officers working with Ministers, Choudhary Zulfkar said that Officers while writing a press release of their respective minister should have understanding to differentiate between the Minister’s personal view and the view he presents on behalf of the government.

Besides, revising all the magazines and publications published by the Department in the past, the Minister also directed to constitute an editorial board that will look into these publications. He also asked for providing the much needed infrastructure for maintaining the departmental libraries at various districts.

The Minister also directed the officers to explore the possibility of setting up an institute of mass communication within the premises of the Directorate so that refresher courses can be offered to the employees as well as to those aspiring to make a career in the field. (GNS)