Kerala govt's new engagement rules bring it bad PR with journalists

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If you are a journalist in Kerala, get ready to negotiate some additional hurdles. A circular issued by Additional Chief Secretary Subrata Biswas said the state chief minister and other ministers must inform the administration's public relations department (PRD) in advance if they were planning to interact with the media at public venues. Don't ask why. The circular said the media created “unnecessary crowd” at airports, railway stations, guest houses and other public places “to get responses from prominent persons”. The state home ministry's circular barred certain departments from interacting with the media and urged the PRD to set up designated media interaction corners at various locations. After a furore, state industry and sports minister EP Jayarajan clarified that while there were no “restrictions” on the media, and that the guidelines were issued because of “safety concerns” and were aimed to disseminate “public information in a proper manner”..”

Future uncertain, past more so

While the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress are slugging it out over new data that revised gross domestic product (GDP) growth numbers during the United Progressive Alliance regime downwards, some investors are seeing the lighter side. A popular hedge fund manager said he wanted the government to compensate him because some of his investments, made on the assumption that GDP growth was high, now appear to have made losses. Another market expert said, “India is probably the only country where investors have to worry not just about an uncertain future but also an uncertain past.”

Time for celebration

The Himachal Pradesh government is planning a huge function on December 27 to celebrate one year in office. Arrangements are underway to organise a “meeting of minds” to mark the milestone in Dharamshala in Kangra district. The achievements of the state government would be highlighted during the function. A booklet and a documentary highlighting the achievements of the government would also be launched. The beneficiaries of various state government schemes such as the Mukhya Mantri Swawlamban Yojna, the Mukhya Mantri Khet Sanrakshan Yojna, besides various pension schemes, would be invited to attend the function. Beneficiaries of central schemes would also attend the event, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said. He also confirmed the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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