DFP Satyamev Jayate
DIRECTORATE OF FIELD PUBLICITY
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CHAPTER-I  

DIRECTORATE OF FIELD PUBLICITY

     The Directorate of Field Publicity is one of the Media Units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and is engaged in the task of publicising various programmes and policies of the Government with its network of 207 Field Publicity Units and 22 Regional Offices

     Initially DFP started in 1953 with 32 Field Units and four Regional Offices as mobile units to execute their work. The set-up was then created under the integrated publicity programme and named "Five Year Plan Publicity Organisation". The Ministry directly exercised administrative control over the Units and Regional Offices. Later a full-fledged Directorate was constituted in 1959 to supervise and control the activities of the Field Units and it came to be called as "Directorate of Field Publicity".

     After the Sino-India war in 1962 and the Indo-Pak War in 1965 some radical changes in the approach and working of DFP became necessary in view of the urgent need for boosting the nation’s morale and for mentally preparing the people to meet any external threat. Accordingly 34 more units were added to the Directorate in 1963 and another 33 in 1965 for publicity exclusively in the border areas. Presently, out of the present strength of 207 Field Units, 61 are Border Units.

    ROLE OF THE DFP AND ITS AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

     The Directorate of Field Publicity, by virtue of being a field-oriented organisation, has been playing a pivotal role since its inception in 1953 to build up a strong and prosperous India with the active involvement of people belonging to all strata of society. This is sought to be done by seeking the people's participation in various developmental schemes and activities formulated by the Government for the benefit of different sections of society, particularly the weak and the down-trodden, and by bringing about a change in their attitudes.

     Equipped with men and material suitable for the job, which are taken virtually to the doorsteps of the people, DFP's units endeavour to expose them to the diverse socio-economic and cultural milieu of our country and inspire them to unitedly move ahead as citizens of the largest democracy in the world for bettering the lot of the Indian people.

     The challenges before the organisation have of late acquired a new dimension in the face of tremendous technological advancements which necessitate reinterpretation of the role of DFP as a publicity set-up. With the expansion of the electronic media during the last two decades or so it is generally, though erroneously, believed that the role of DFP has diminished. This is, however, not so. In a country like ours the importance of inter-personal communication will always remain paramount because there are still many parts of the country where the T.V. is yet to reach. With millions of people below the poverty line, it is not known how many of them could afford the luxury of purchasing TV sets. Even if it is assumed that all of them have TV sets there is still no guarantee that they would watch informative/educative programmes telecast by Doordarshan. Normally people prefer to watch entertaining programmes. Many of the informative/educative films telecast are as such likely to be missed. The television is a one-way communication channel and there is no way by which the reactions to the programmes telecast can be instantly assessed as is being done in DFP. The units of the Directorate meet the people face to face with their equipments and material and expose the public to various themes through films specially chosen to suit the requirements of publicity in relation to regional conditions. They have a captive audience and are in a position to watch how the films are being received and responded to. They also play a very important role in backward/ tribal interior areas where no other media except Field Publicity has been able to reach so far.

     AIMS & OBJECTIVES

     Broadly, the aims and objectives of the Directorate are:-

  •   To project the policies and programmes of the Government by bringing its men and material face to face with the people and to inform them about the plans and schemes formulated for their benefit.
  •   To educate people about the fundamental national values like democracy, socialism and secularism and to reinforce their faith in them through constant personal contacts.
  •   To establish rapport with the people at the grass root level for their active participation in the developmental activities as also to mobilise public opinion in favour of implementation of welfare and developmental programmes.
  •   To gather people's reactions to the programmes and policies of the Government and their implementation down to the village level and to report them back for appropriate action and corrective by the Government. The Directorate thus works as two-way channel of communication between the Government and the people.

    ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE:

     The Directorate of Field Publicity has a broad pyramidal structure beginning with the Director General of Field Publicity supervising the functioning from the Headquarters in New Delhi of the Regional and Field Offices operating throughout the length and breadth of the country with 22 Regions and 207 Units.

     The Directorate functions at three levels -- Headquarters in New Delhi, Regional Offices in State capitals and important cities/towns and Field Publicity Units at State capitals, District headquarters and important centrally-located towns.

     For administrative convenience the areas of some Union territories and small states have been grouped together to form one region in some cases while the areas of larger and highly-populated states have been bifurcated for the functioning of two regions.

     The Director General is the head of the Department who exercises overall control and supervision of the Regional Offices and Field Publicity Units.

     The Director General is assisted by two Directors, two Deputy Directors and other supporting officers and staff on programme, administrative and technical side.

     In addition to Administration, Budget and Accounts, the Directorate deals with all matters concerning personnel, annual and prospective plan of the Directorate to creation, demarcation and splitting of units/zones, Parliament Questions, follow-up action on meetings taken by Secretary; Public complaints; Campaigns, Inter Media Co-ordination Committee; liaison with other sister media units of the Ministry of I&B; liaison with Indian Institute of Mass Communication; experimental publicity project and feed back in social change; follow up action on Regional Officers' Conferences; previews, purchase and distribution of films and other software; talking points; data collection and compilation of reports for the Ministry of I&B.

     The Directorate has also an in-built system of inspection and evaluation of the performance of the Field Units. The Director General, Regional Director and Joint Directors undertake tours of Regional offices and attend programmes of Field Publicity Units on a sample basis to assess the quality of publicity programmes in the field and issue guidelines from time to time.

     Teams of officers drawn from programme, evaluation, administration and technical sections also undertake tours to inspect Regional Offices and Field Publicity Units on programme, administrative and technical matters. Instructions and guidelines to Regional Offices and Field units are issued by the Directorate on the basis of reports submitted by these inspecting officers.

    REGIONAL OFFICES:

     The Directors (Regions) are the controlling officers of the field units within the region. They exercise administrative and financial control over all the units under them. As leader of his team of FPOs the Director guides them by arranging model programmes and participates in the important programmes arranged in his region. He also undertakes tours every month and visits all the units under his jurisdiction on a rotation basis and sends to headquarters tour and inspection reports containing all relevant details about the programme performance, maintenance of equipment and administrative matters.

     Directors are assisted by Administrative Officers and supporting staff. One Technical Assistant has been allotted to every two regions for servicing and assisting in the maintenance of technical equipment. After the decentralisation of budgeting and accounts the responsibilities of the Directors in exercising financial and administrative control have increased and these are shared by Administrative Officers.

    FIELD PUBLICITY UNITS :

     At the third level are the Field Publicity Officers who plan and hold publicity programmes according to the directives from the Directorate/Regional Offices in coordination with the local official and non-official agencies. The Field Publicity Officer is assisted by a Field Publicity Assistant and other supporting staff.

     The Field Publicity Officer exercises administrative control over the staff in his unit as the representative of Directorate and Regional Office.

    FIELD PUBLICITY UNITS - THEIR TASKS AND OBJECTIVES:

     The 207 Field Units form the wide base on which stands the pyramidal structure of the Directorate. Operating at the grassroots level, the burden of putting across the messages through deployment of appropriate media, of course with the exclusive advantage of using it as two-way channel, rests on their shoulders. The challenges inherent in handling of the job are faced by them with vigour, tact and perseverance. In fact, they are an important link between the people and the Government.

     While broadly they take up almost all the national themes, their role assumes tremendous significance in border areas where they do their best to counter the propaganda inimical to India and endeavour to create the spirit of patriotism and defence preparedness coupled with a sense of oneness with the people of the entire country.

     Field Offices stationed in the tribal belts have a special responsibility to endear themselves to the tribal population. They strive to build up an atmosphere of trust and respect for their culture and values.

     The success of Field Officers lies in their having a clear conception of objectives, programme planning and effective implementation with constant assessment and rectification.

     KNOW THE AREA & PEOPLE - PREPARATION OF DISTRICT DIARIES :

     The first requisite for the successful performance in their respective areas is to know the area and the people thoroughly - their complexions and contours, languages and dialects, socio-economic conditions, geographical and cultural get-up and traditional influences. In fact, preparation of a complete dossier of the area which is called 'District Diary' should be undertaken at the first instance. This helps not only in planning the programme activities but also in identifying the field staff with the people and in establishing meaningful rapport with them.




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