Know Your Services | The Indian Information Service

This blog is a part of the series – Know Your Services @Intro to Civil Services

Overview:

  • The Indian Information Services (IIS), a Central Service, earlier known as Central Information Service (CIS), was established as an organized service w.e.f. 1st March, 1960 and consisted of both Group ‘B’ and Group ‘A’
  • Prior to 1960, these posts were manned by officers recruited separately for each media Unit through the UPSC from open market
  • In 1987, CIS was bifurcated into IIS Group ‘A’ and IIS Group ‘B’
  • The Indian Information Service consists of posts all over India including a few abroad in various media organization
  • As on 01.01.2014, the total sanctioned strength of IIS Group ‘A’ is 571
  • The IIS Officers’ cadre controlling authority is the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
  • Service conditions of IIS Group ‘A’ officers are regulated by IIS (Group A’) Rules, 2013

Recruitment:

At present there are two modes of recruitment to IIS Group ‘A’ service-

  1. Through Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC every year (50%)
  2. Through promotion from Senior Grade of IIS Group ‘B’ (50%)

Training:

  • After allocation by DoP&T, the officers undergo three months Foundation training in any of the institute recognized by DoP&T
  • This is followed by nine months Professional Training in Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC)
  • Thereafter one year Media Attachment in different Media Units i.e. PIB, AIR, DDN of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting

Designations held by. IIS Group ‘A’ officers:

  • Principal Director General
  • Director General
  • Additional Director General
  • Director/ Joint Director
  • Deputy Director
  • Assistant Director

Appointments to other Ministries/ Departments:

  • IIS officers can be appointed to other Ministry/ Departments on deputation basis, including deputation under Central Staffing Scheme
  • They also serve as Personal Secretaries to Ministers in Central Government on co-terminus basis

Functions of IIS Group ‘A’ officers:

  • To look after the administration and coordination work of the Press Information Bureau Headquarters and day to day publicity work of the Government
  • To guide, supervise and control Field Publicity Units of the Central Government spread across the country
  • To issue directions from time to time effective monitoring and evaluation the work of field units
  • Control, Supervision and Guidance to the News Services Units of the All India Radio and Doordarshan including the Regional News Units
  • Organization of press advertising and visual publicity campaigns for disseminating information to the people on the activities and policies of the Central Government through various media of mass communication such as Press Advertisements, folders, posters, booklets, calendars, diaries, exhibitions, cinema slides
  • To monitor the complex legal issues involved in the verification of titles, registration and circulation for Newspapers in India
  • To plan and execute the media strategy’ to provide publicity to various programmes/ schemes of Government for the welfare of the people across the country

This was all about very formal aspects. Let’s see what it actually is on ground.

The insider’s view:

It’s a good job full of challenges and growth. The income might not be the best when compared to what similar skillsets will make in corporate world. But you get to serve the nation with your skills at hand and if you fair really well at it, then your chances of making it big is fair enough as you will be indulging in dialogue and action with other top level bureaucrats and diplomats of India. The best part- you will make your thoughts count in the programmes and policies of Government of India as you will be doing lots of advising for the government on its information policy right from the start.

You get to work with Doordarshan and All India Radio, State’s wide community radios and many other Government owned and run print and media channels. IIS is more like a Corporation in whole via which its officers serve in myriad of organizations during the course of their career, wherein they  try to spotlight the issues affecting the weaker and marginalized sections of the society, particularly in rural areas.

IIS officers will also be harnessing the technological innovations in communication and media and always keep themselves updated. Since discovery of internet, use of mobile phones for various activities, social and digital media has completely transformed the old tools of communication, Your day to day work with the government will be very fast paced and will have a very good learning curve as an Grade-A Officer and also a top notch citizen who gives a damn about people of India.

The work is interesting as it uses the flare for journalism, public relations and administration all together. So it all a well mixed career path with various inlets and sources to govern, organize and activities to do and finish within the single large framework of Information and Broadcasting in India. The promotional channel is more or less the same as that of other Services in Civils. Attached with it will come many government perks and allowances which will pay off in longer run to support your financial status and growth as an employee. You get a reasonably good pension too after you retire, Wink Wink!


 

Published with inputs from Swapnil

By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

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