History of Indian Newspaper Society (INS)
Formation Of The Society
The early beginnings of the Society can be traced back to October 11, 1927, when a Society bearing the name, The India, Burma & Ceylon Newspapers’ London Committee came into being, the name of which was changed to Indian & Eastern Newspaper Society (IENS) on October 4, 1935. This was an organization based in London representing and acting solely under the authority of newspapers, magazines, reviews and other journals published in India, Burma, Ceylon and other countries of Asia.
The need, however, was felt for the establishment of a co-ordinating body in this country, comprising the proprietors of newspapers, which could deal directly and more expeditiously with the various day-to-day problems arising out of newspaper production. Thus The Indian & Eastern Newspaper Society came into being. It was inaugurated at a meeting of the representatives of the following founding publications on February 27, 1939, at the Statesman House, New Delhi, with Mr. Arthur Moore, Editor of the Statesman in the Chair, with the primary object was of serving as a Central Body for promoting the common interests of newspapers in India, Burma and Ceylon:
- Bombay Chronicle
- The Times of India
- The Rangoon Gazette
- The Amrita Bazar Patrika
- The Hindustan Times
- The Hindustan Standard
- The Pioneer
- The Leader
- The Tribune
- The Civil and Military Gazette.
- The Hindu
- The Madras Mail.
- The Statesman
At the meeting of the Society the following were elected as office bearers for the ensuing year :
- Mr. Arthur Moore of the Statesman - President
- Mr.Dev Das Gandhi of The Hindustan Times -Deputy Presiden
- Mr. Desmond Young of The Pioneer - Vice President
- Mr. B. J. Kirchner of The Statesman - Honorary Secretary
The meeting also elected a Standing Committee consisting of five members. The membership of this Committee was increased to eleven at the Extra Ordinary General Meeting held on 12.2.1947. The number of members in the Committee (later named as Executive Committee) underwent changes with the passage of time and further increase in the number of members. As per the Memorandum & Articles of Association the general management and control of business, powers and policy of the Association today vests with the Executive Committee whose numbers shall not be less than 15 nor more than 50 consisting of :
- Office Bearers(4)
- Past Presidents(not exceeding 10)
- Members elected by the General Body(31)
- Co-opted members(5)
At the 8th AGM held on 8.2.1946, Mr. M.N. Cama was nominated as Convener of the Bombay Regional Committee. On 13.2.47, separate Regional Committees were set up for Maharashtra and Karnataka. The number of Regional Committees was increased, from time to time, and at present there are the following 14 Regional Committees:
- Andhra Pradesh Regional Committee
- Calcutta Regional Committee
- Chandigarh Regional Committee
- National Capital Regional Committee
- Gujarat Regional Committee
- Karnataka Regional Committee
- Kerala Regional Committee
- Madhya Pradesh Regional Committee
- Maharashtra Regional Committee
- Mumbai Regional Committee
- North East Regional Committee
- Rajasthan Regional Committee
- Tamil Nadu Regional Committee
- Uttar Pradesh Regional Committee
In addition, there are the following Sub-Committees to deal with different subjects at the all India level:-
- Advertising Committee
- Newsprint Committee
- Building Finance Staff Committee
- Mumbai Building Project (Permanent) Committee
- Industrial Relations & Legal Affairs Committee
- Press Freedom Committee
- Technology & Modernization Committee
- Periodicals & Magazines Committee
- Events Committee
- Small & Medium Newspapers Committee
- Vision Committee
- INS-AAAI Joint Industry Working Group
The original Articles of Association of the Society, prepared by Orr, Dignam & Company, were adopted on27.2.1939.These underwent changes / modifications, from time to time. The Society was registered under the Companies Act 1913 on 12.10.1951. With the separation of Burma and Ceylon, after independence, the title of the Society necessitated a change and with the acceptance of the Registrar of Companies (accorded on 25.1.1988), the word ‘Eastern’ was deleted and the Society acquired its present name, i.e. The Indian Newspaper Society (INS).
The number of members of the Society increased gradually and in 2012-2013, stood at 1010.
The activities of the Society, development of its Corporate structure, interface with various organizations, governmental and non-governmental, etc. are briefly brought out in the ensuing paragraphs:
The Society decided at its first meeting that its officers will consist of President, Deputy President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer and also a Committee five. It was also decided that the Secretary may also be the Treasurer. The Officers are to be selected at the Annual General Meeting of Members and shall be in office for one year. The President is responsible for running of the Secretariat; Secretary shall maintain all records; and the Treasurer shall be responsible for all the funds of the Society.
The present Office Bearers of the Society are
- Ms. Akila Urankar, President
- Mr. Jayant Mammen Methew, Deputy President
- Mr. Shailesh Gupta, Vice President
- Mr. Sharad Saxena, Honorary Treasurer
Mr. Asutosh De was appointed as Secretary of the Society with effect from1.8.1939. The position of the Secretary was upgraded and the designation changed to Secretary General in September 1997 when Mr. P.K. Lahiri, IAS (Retd.), formerly Secretary to the Government of India and also Executive Director, Asian Development Bank, Manila, assumed charge as the first Secretary General. The Secretariat of the Society presently consists of Secretary General, Assistant Secretary and other supporting staff. Dr. S. P. Gaur is the present Secretary General.
Eligibility of weekly publications to join the Society was discussed at the meeting on 27.6.1939 and it was agreed that the Society’s rules did not bar them. In fact, the definition of “Newspaper” in the Articles of the Society includes periodicals. It was also agreed that weekly reviews and other periodicals admitted to membership should be liable to pay the same subscription as other members. An Agreement Form to be signed by all members of the Society embodying an undertaking by them to abide by the Rules and Rulings was adopted at the General Meeting held on 12.7.1943.
The entrance fee for membership originally pegged at Rs.100/- and the Annual Membership subscription at Rs.1000/- underwent changes from time to time. Subsequently, the entrance fee was increased to Rs.500/- and the annual subscription rates were fixed on slab basis for big, medium and small member publications. The present annual membership subscription, which was revised in 1999-2000, is as follows:
- Small (Circulation below 20,000 copies) Rs. 3,500/-
- Medium (Circulation between 20,001 & 50000 copies) Rs. 7,000/-
- Big (Circulation above 50,001 copies) Rs. 10,000/-
In September 1938, Reuters, London, introduced A News Service to “A” subscribers on payment of Rs.1750/- per month. It was resolved that the agreement with them be terminated and a new agreement entered into from 1.5.1939 providing for a comprehensive “A” service of 1,00,000 words per month on payment of Rs.1600/- per month. It was also decided that newspapers should combine to maintain a representative in the United States, so as to bring the Indian market to the American advertisers.
Consequent on change in the constitution of Reuters, proposals were put forward by the Society for a possible transfer of the ownership of the Associated Press (AP) to newspapers in India.
During 1945, the Society took up the issue of transfer of the proprietorial control of the Associated Press of India to newspapers in India and a sub-committee was formed to frame concrete proposals. The Committee recommended that control of API be taken over by a Trust or similar organization.
At the meeting of the Society held in October 1946, it was decided to form a new company, namely, the Press Trust of India (PTI), and its first Board of Directors was elected by the Society. The principal features of the Agreement between Reuters Limited and PTI included purchase of shares in Reuters, setting up an independent organization by PTI in London for collection and despatch of Reuter news etc., Subsequently, the Press Trust of India was set up as an independent news agency, primarily at the initiative of the INS.
Rules outlining the conditions to be fulfilled by the advertising agents for recognition were originally drawn up by IENS in London. These were adopted by IENS and it was resolved that the Rules would be binding on members in respect of all advertisement contracts henceforth entered into and that recognition of agencies not already recognized should only be accorded by the Society if the applicant complied with the Rules.
Matter of discount was discussed at the meeting on June 27, 1939 and it was resolved that discount in excess of 15 per cent may continue to be paid to recognized agencies on existing contracts, but no discount in excess of the said percentage shall be paid on new business after 31.12.1940.
In July 1940 an agreement was reached between the Society and the representatives of the leading advertising agents regarding discount allowed, certificates of net sales and adoption of a standard form of contract for use by advertising agents.
In the Conference held in July 1941 between the Society and the representatives of leading advertising agents, it was agreed to set up a joint standing committee for consultative purpose on matters affecting the agents. In return, the agents agreed to accept 15 per cent as maximum discount from all member publications as from 1.7.1941.
Standing committee for consultative purpose on matters affecting the agents. In return, the agents agreed to accept 15 per cent as maximum commission from all member publications as from1.7.1941.
Standard Contract form acceptable to newspapers and advertising agents was finalized in December 1941 and adopted in December 1942.
The principle of intermediate recognition to deserving advertising agencies which showed promise was adopted by the Society on 15.7.1942 and fixed the maximum discount at 10 per cent to such agencies. These agencies are deemed to be “provisionally” accredited to the Society, till they qualify to become “fully” accredited.
A set of revised Rules governing the relation between member newspapers and advertising agencies were adopted on15.2.1943.These underwent modifications/changes, from time to time, and the Accreditation Rules, currently in force, are available in INS Press Handbook.
One of the major activities of the Society is the interface between member publications and accredited advertising agencies relate to monitoring payments to publications by the agencies. This is done through a system of Monthly Review Verification (MRV). Member Publications are expected to file MRV returns monthly showing the outstandings, beyond the credit period, from agencies. This information is collated through a computerised system; and agencies whose arrears are high are taken up for intensive review and monitoring. Depending upon the arrears position of the agencies under monitoring, action is taken to enforce payment of dues to publications through instrumentalities such as issuance of warning / final warning letters or notice of disaccreditation.
The system of monitoring through MRV has been largely instrumental in keeping the arrears of agencies under check. The system is being further refined with the change over to a newly developed software for the purpose.
Both publications and agencies are encouraged to resolve their disputes mutually and the Society does not intervene in such matters.
Newsprint Supply / Newsprint Control Order
Newsprint is the life line of the newspaper industry and its supply, prices etc., have been under continuous review by the Society since inception. The outbreak of World War II in September 1939, led to interruption in supply of newsprint and it was decided to deal directly with the foreign exporters with the assistance of the Society in London. Representations to the Government of India led to the recognition of newspapers as an essential industry for priority for supply/shipment of newsprint to India.
Between May 1941 and April 1962, Government of India issued several Newsprint Control Orders. While the 1962 Order is still in force (of course with many modifications) the earlier orders were withdrawn. The Control Orders dealt with various issues including price, import restrictions on number of pages that a newspaper can print etc. As a matter of fact, the newsprint industry comes under the jurisdiction of different ministries of the Central Government, including Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. Newsprint was one of the typical products which faced all the rigours of a regime of controls and the newspaper industry had to deal with several agencies, apart from the Ministries mentioned above like the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI), State Trading Corporation (STC), Controller of Imports & Exports etc.,
As a first step towards de-regulation, in 1992, import of newsprint was de-canalized in view of difficulties in procurement of the item through STC (canalizing agency). The Import-Export Policy announced on 30.3.1994 , permitted import of newsprint by actual users holding certificates of entitlement from the Office of the RNI. Newsprint was placed under Open General Licence with effect from 1.5.1995.
India has been totally dependent on imported newsprint till 1955-56, when indigenous production was commenced by Nepa Mills in the public sector. At present, there are 56 newsprint mills in India with a capacity of about 9.5 lac tonnes per annum (as per information furnished by the Indian Newsprint Mills Association) . Four of these newsprint mills are in the public sector, namely, Nepa, Mysore Paper Mills, Hindustan Newsprint Ltd., and Tamil Nadu Newsprint & Papers Ltd.,. Figures of indigenous production and import of newsprint are given below:-
Year Indigenous Production Imports
- ( in lakh tonnes)
- 1997 -1998 3.33 5.40
- 1998 -1999 4.93 4.27
- 1999 -2000 4.63 2.94 (upto December 2000)
International prices of newsprint have been volatile and are at present around US$700 per tonne. Indigenous producers have also been revising their prices in tandem with the international prices. Prices of newsprint of the major indigenous producers in December 2000 were in the range of Rs.26,000 to Rs.28,000 per tonne. The Society has been pressing the indigenous producers to improve the quality of their newsprint to match imported newsprint and maintain prices in relation to their cost and not in tandem with the international prices.
At present customs duty on imported newsprint is levied at the rate of 5.5% (reduced to 5% in the 2001-2002 budget proposals). The Society has been consistently of the view that newsprint should be exempt from customs duty since it amounts to a “tax on knowledge” and has been pursuing the question of withdrawal of customs duty on newsprint with the Government particularly in the context of the recent phenomenal increase in the prices of the product in the international market as also the fall in the value of the rupee.
Status Of The Society Under The Income-Tax Act
The Indian Newspaper Society is registered under Section 25 of the Income Tax-Act 1961 as a charitable institution and has been getting the benefit of Tax exemption u/s 11 and 12 of the said Act . The Tax exemption benefit was however denied to the Society by the Assessing Officer in 1971-72 and the case finally was decided in favour of the Society by the Delhi High Court. (Case reported in 136 ITR 81 in CIT vs IENS). For the assessment by the year 1996-97 the Assessing Officer rejected the claim of INS for Tax exemption. The Society appealed against the order of the Assessing Officer before the Appellate Tribunal and won the case. The Society, therefore, continues to enjoy this exemption.
Other Ministries / Departments
The Society has been interceding, from time to time, with other Ministries/Departments like Department of Posts, Mininstry of Railways, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Finance (Departments of Economic Affairs and Revenue) etc for redressal of the grievances/difficulties faced by member publications.
The Society has been vigilant in the matter of safeguarding the freedom of the Press and taking up specific cases with the concerned authorities urging immediate investigation as also taking remedial action. The Society has remained vigilant in taking up issues, from time to time, pertaining to attacks on newspaper personnel and establishments by anti social elements and attempts, sometimes by people in power to stifle the independence of the Press and pressmen.
Of late the matter of safety and security both on newspaper establishments and journalists and employees of newspaper establishments, while performing their duties has been a matter of extreme concern. The Society has been making continuous efforts to ensure that the newspapers could be published without fear and damage to the assets of newspaper establishments
In 1942 a publicity section was created in the Society and it was decided to issue fortnightly Newsletters to all members covering the matters of general interest. Issue of newsletter continued till 1946. The question of restarting the newsletter is under consideration of the Society.
The question of pirating of newspaper titles continued to engage the attention of the Society. The matter was taken up with the then Department of Commerce, who gave the ruling that newspapers were entitled to apply for registration of their titles as trade marks under the Trade Marks Act.
Press Hand Book
On 18.12.1939, a dummy of the Hand Book 1940, the first of its kind, was prepared and presented to the Executive Committee. With the approval of the Committee, the first Press Hand Book - 1940 of the Society was released. Additions, deletions and changes effected during the years 1941 and 1942 were brought out as Supplements. Since 1943, the Society has been regularly bringing out the INS Press Hand Book. The latest Hand Book, INS Press Hand Book 2016-2017 contains detailed particulars of member publications, accredited advertising agencies, important newspapers and media organizations, major printing machinery manufacturers and dealers in India, press correspondents accredited to the Government of India, representatives of foreign newspapers and news agencies in India, leading advertising agencies associations abroad, institutions offering journalism and mass communication training in India and abroad etc.
The Hand Book has been acclaimed as an excellent reference book and publicity medium for advertisers, public relations executives, advertising agency executives and all who are connected with communication, public relations and media.
Audit Bureau Of Circulations
The setting up of an Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) was approved, in principle, by the Society at its 1st Annual General Meeting, but it was decided to postpone for later consideration owing to the then existing conditions including the possibilities of artificial restriction of circulation during the War.
In 1947, the question of establishing an Audit Bureau of Circulation was re-affirmed and a sub-committee constituted to draw up concrete proposals. Following this, ABC was formally set up. This is an independent body authenticating circulation figures of newspapers and periodicals in India.
In 1956, the Society associated itself with the project of conducting a Readership Survey in collaboration with Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) and in fact, sanctioned financial contribution to meet the preliminary expenses for exploring the feasibility of conducting Readership Survey.
In 1970, however, INS, withdrew from the proposed Survey as the other Associate Agencies namely, ABC, and Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) wanted to cover other media as well. Later the proposal was revived and the National Readership Survey 1995 was commenced by the National Readership Studies Council, an autonomous division of ABC, with the support of INS, ABC and AAAI to carry out National Readership Surveys at regular intervals on non-commercial basis, covering only print media. The First Survey was released on 27.10.1995. The Council has been carrying out similar Surveys from time to time. Its term is 2 years, renewable for similar periods. At present, INS has 8 Representatives on the Council which consists of 20 members.
Directorate Of Advertising & Visual Publicity
Advertising Revenue is the major source of income for newspapers. Government and its agencies constitute a major segment of advertisers. Advertisements emanating from Central Government Ministries, Departments and other organisations are routed through the Director General, DAVP and the Society has been in continuous touch with the Ministry of I & B and DAVP. In fact, this has been another area of constant concern of the Society.
The Society arrived at an understanding in respect of Central Government Advertisement Policy as early as September 1956, whereby the Society agreed to give 15% concession on all display advertisements emanating from DAVP other than corporations and agencies working on commercial lines, who should pay at the lowest commercial rates of newspapers.
In the 1970s it was found that DAVP started handling accounts of public sector undertakings, nationalised banks, arbitrarily fixed and determined the rates of newspapers other than the lowest commercial rates, used its discretion over the selection of the media. The Society made a number of representations to the DAVP and the Government stating that the understanding reached as far back as September 1956 should be fully honoured. In June 1976, I & B Ministry issued a memorandum to all ministries whereby DAVP was given the final authority in respect of selection of newspapers/periodicals for advertising and fixation of advertising rates.
The above memorandum was withdrawn in August 1978 pursuant to the efforts of the Society. The Budget proposals of 1978-79 also envisaged introduction of tax on expenditure on advertisements despite protest and representations from the industry. The Estimates Committee went into the working of the DAVP in 1978. The Society gave a comprehensive reply to the questionnaire of the Committee and submitted inter alia that Central Government advertising through DAVP should be limited to government’s own publicity budget and should not handle ad-campaigns of PSUs, nationalised banks and other autonomous bodies of commercial and competitive nature; all commercial advertisements emanating from the Government should left to the respective department for selection of media and that the only criteria before DAVP for release of Government advertisements should be circulation, status, pull and importance of the media.
In 1978, Statesman & Ananda Bazar Patrika filed a writ petition in the Calcutta High Court challenging the authority of the DAVP and of the Government to advertising rates and to influence public sector corporations and autonomous / statutory bodies to pay DAVP rates. The High Court held that the Central Government cannot determine the commercial advertisement rate of newspapers and such a control is an infringement of the freedom of the press or discriminatory, offending Article 14 of the Constitution.
The rates for Government advertisements, released through DAVP and the release of payment for the advertisement published have been a matter of concern to the industry. DAVP rates are much lower than the card rates of the newspaper establishments. Since the rates are uneconomical some newspaper establishments are not publishing DAVP advertisements and others are doing so in the expectation that higher rates would be offered by the DAVP. In fact, non-publication of Government advertisements by some publication deprives the public access to the contents of these advertisements which are of general public interest. Publications have also been hit by non-payment/delayed payment of their dues. These matters are being followed up by INS with the DAVP and Ministry of I & B on continuous basis.
The advertising agencies themselves often have problems of recovery of their dues from the advertisers. While the Society insists that the agencies are obliged to pay their dues to members notwithstanding non-recoveries from their advertisers. It does assist the agencies, in deserving cases, by suspending the advertisements of the defaulting advertisers, under the Rules when the claim of the agency concerned has been established and it has cleared the dues of the publications.
At the 24th General Meeting of the Society held on 14.7.1944, it was decided to set up a Sub-Committee to enquire into and report on formulation of standards in the emoluments and privileges of working journalists of the newspaper establishments. The report of the Committee was considered at the 25th General Meeting held on 23.10.1944 when certain general guidelines were formulated regarding conditions of working journalists for the consideration of member establishments. These included salaries and allowances, minimum allowances during apprenticeship, working hours for editorial staff, leave facilities, provident fund, termination of service etc.,
Prior to the mid fifties there was, in fact, no regulation of wage structure in the newspaper industry. However, where the employees were well organized and had great bargaining power, some attempts were made either through agreements or awards, in fixing wage scales for them. The Press Commission felt that matters could be improved if at least the minimum wage was fixed, specially in the case of working journalists, who did not enjoy any legal protection, like other workmen coming under the Labour Welfare Laws. In 1956 the Working Journalists (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act was passed which provided, inter alia, for fixation of rates of wages by a Wage Board.
The 1st Wage Board, was constituted by the Government of India on 2.5.1956, under the Chairmanship of Mr. H.V. Divatia, a Retd. Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay. The recommendations of the Divatia Wage Board were accepted by the Government by a notification dated 10.5.1957.
The validity of the decisions of the Wage Board was challenged in the Supreme Court by the newspaper establishments. The Supreme Court held the decisions of the Wage Board to be ultra vires mainly on the ground that the Board in arriving at its decisions had not considered the capacity of the industry to pay.
As a result of the judgement of the Supreme Court, the President of India promulgated on 14.6.1958 the Working Journalists (Fixation of Rates of Wages) Ordinance 1958 for the fixation of rates of wages in respect of Working Journalists. The Ordinance was replaced by an Act of the same name which came into force on 16.9.1958.
Under the Ordinance of 1958, the Central Government constituted a Wage Committee under the Chairmanship of Mr. K.Y. Bhandarkar, Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Law on 14.6.1958. The recommendations of this Committee regarding wage scales and allowances were notified by the Government in May 1959. This led to a demand for rationalization of wage structure of the non-journalist employees of newspaper.
The 2nd Wage Board for Working Journalist was appointed on 12.11.1963 under the Chairmanship of Mr. G.K. Shinde, Ex-Chief Justice of the former Madhya Bharat High Court. In February 1964, Government also constituted a Wage Board for Non-Journalist Employees of Newspapers under the same Chairmanship. While the Wage Board for Journalists was statutory, the Non-Journalists Board was non-statutory.
The main Award for Working Journalists was notified on 27.10.1966 and the Non-statutory Award for Non-Journalist Employees on 18.11.1967. The award for working journalists was challenged in the Supreme Court/High Courts by several newspaper establishments and one News Agency. The Non-Journalist Employees Award also remained unimplemented. The employees (Journalists and Non-Journalists) began an agitation and called a token strike on 24.1.1968. The strike was successful throughout the country.
The Union Labour Ministry made efforts to bring the parties together for negotiations. Lack of progress in these efforts led to a call for indefinite strike but ultimately the dispute over Non-Journalists was referred to the National Tribunal on the basis of certain agreements.
The Government also referred the dispute for adjudication to the National Tribunal constituted on 17.9.1968 under the Chairmanship of Mr. B.N. Banerjee. The Award of the Tribunal was published by the Government on 3.8.1970.
On 11.6.1975 , the Government appointed two Wage Boards - one for Working Journalist and other for Non-Journalists - for fixing and revising their rates of wages. Later, the Government made a reference to the Wage Boards for making recommendations on the question of interim rates of wages to both Working Journalists and Non-Journalists.
The Society held the view that there was no case for award of interim rates of wages and filed writ petition on 28.8.78 in the Bombay High Court challenging the constitution of the two Wage Boards on the ground that two of the independent members of the Board were not really independent; and, therefore, the Wage Boards were not properly constituted. The Bombay High Court, by its order dated 19.9.78 restrained the Wage Boards from proceeding further.
On 31.1.1979 the President of India promulgated the Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Services and Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Ordinance, 1979 empowering the Central Government to constitute a Tribunal for fixing and revising rates of wages for Working Journalists and Non-Journalist Newspaper Employees. Pursuant to the Ordinance, the Central Government appointed an one man Tribunal consisting of Mr. D.G. Palekar, Retired Judge of the Supreme Court on 9.2.1979 on the ground that the Wage Boards constituted in 1975 had not been able to function. The Tribunal gave its recommendations on 12.8.1980.
In July/August 1985, the Central Government constituted separate Wage Boards for Working Journalist and Non-Journalist Newspaper Employees under the Chairmanship of Mr. U.N. Bhachawat, Retd. Judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The Bhachawat Wage Boards submitted Tentative Proposals on 31.8.1988 and Final Recommendations on 30.5.1989. The Recommendations were accepted by the Central Government on 31.8.1989. Some publications filed Writ Petitions in the respective High Court. Subsequently all the writ petitions were transferred to the Supreme Court, which passed interim orders on 30.1.1990. The Recommendations of the Bhachawat Boards became operative from August 1989.
Subsequently on 2.9.1994, the Central Government appointed separate Wage Boards for Working Journalist and Non-Journalist Newspaper Employees and News Agencies, under the Chairmanship of Justice Rajkumar Manisana Singh, Retired Judge of the High Court, Assam. Based on the recommendations of the Boards, interim relief of 20% plus Rs.100/- per month was announced by the Central Government on 20.4.1995.
The Manisana Wage Boards notified the Tentative Proposals of rates of wages for Working Journalist and Non-Journalist Newspaper Employees and News Agencies on 30.12.1999 and submitted the Final Recommendations to the Central Government on 25.7.2000. Pursuant to the recommendations and after considering the same, the Central Government issued a Notification dated 5.12.2000 fixing the wages, allowances and benefits of Journalists and Non-Journalists in newspapers establishments.
INS has been consistently appreciative of the need to pay fair wages to the employees and sympathetic to their aspirations for achieving better standards of living. However, the level of salaries and allowances has to bear a nexus with the capacity of the industry to pay. The difficulties of the industry particularly the severe competition from the electronic media, all round escalation in costs particularly of newsprint, need for modernization etc., were stressed before the Boards by the Society in its presentation. The position was also explained by the representatives of the Society on the Board in the internal meetings. However, no consensus could be reached on various important issues and the representatives of the Society had to record Notes of Dissent.
It is also relevant to mention that no other industry in the country is subject to statutory wage fixation and there is no rationale in singling out the newspaper industry for determination of wages and allowances of newspaper employees. In the context of the liberalization of economy, the Society is of the firm opinion that such matter are best left to be settled bilaterally by the employers and employees/their representatives.
Press Council Of India (PCI)
According to the statement of Objects and Reasons of the Press Council Bill 1956, one of the major recommendations of the Press Council concerned the establishment of a Press Council in India, consisting of people principally connected with the Press which would safeguard the liberty of the press, evolve and maintain standards of journalists ethics and keep under review developments tending towards monopoly.
Subsequently, the Press Council Act 1965, was passed and the Press Council of India was established with effect from 4.7.1966, for the purpose of preserving the freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers in India.
Mr. Justice J.R. Mudholkar, a Retd. Judge of the Supreme Court assumed charge as first Chairman of the Council on 4.4.1966 and the names of 25 members of the Council (including 4 representatives of INS) were notified on 16.11.1966. The Council was abolished with effect from 1.1.1976. A fresh legislation namely, Press Council Act, 1978 was passed in 1978. The term of the Council is for a period of three years, where after the Council will be reconstituted. The present Council, constituted in 1988 is due for reconstitution with effect from 28.3.2001.
Newspapers have some times felt stifled by the diktats issued by the Press Council and a view has emerged in the industry that it would perhaps the preferable to set up a self regulatory mechanism such as the Ombudsman instead of the Press Council.
The revision of the Act is now being considered by an Expert Committee set up by the Ministry of I & B. Meanwhile, Chairman, PCI has proposed a fresh legislation, namely, the Media Council to replace the 1978 Act.
- LONDON SOCIETY
- COMMONWEALTH PRESS UNION
As stated in the beginning of this profile, INS was part of the India, Burma and Ceylon newspapers London Committee. After its formation in February 1939, the Society had been making annual subventions at the rate of 50 pounds per annum which was raised pounds 150 and continued the payment till 1962.
INS joined the Federation of International Editors & Journalists (FIEJ), Paris, as a member in March 1962-63. The name of the organization was changed to World Association of Newspapers at the Annual General Meeting of FIEJ in May 1996. WAN has been compiling information of interest to newspaper industry all over the world, holding conferences every year. They are also bringing out various publications of interest to the newspaper industry.
INS joined the Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) in March 1992. This is an organization promoting the interests of the newspaper industry through dissemination of information, arranging programmes and media training
Since inception in February 1939, the Society had been functioning from the premises of “The Statesman”, New Delhi. The Executive Committee at its meeting held on 9.9.1953, accepted, in principle, the proposal of the then President, Mr. C.R. Srinivasan (Swadesamitran), to put up the Society’s own building in Delhi and authorised him to move the Government of India for a suitable site.
On 2.10.1953, President of the Society wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru to allot a suitable site for the building of the Society. The matter was pursued further with the then Minister for Works (Sardar Swaran Singh) and also the Minister for Information & Broadcasting (Dr. B.V. Keskar) and in February, 1954, a plot of land admeasuring 0.833 acres on the then Old Mill Road (since renamed as Rafi Marg) was allotted to the Society.
The foundation stone for the building was laid by the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 21.3.1955 and was inaugurated on 6-10-1956 by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the then President of India. The building comprised five floors with a built up area of about 8000 square feet. The Society’s office moved into the INS building on 6.10.1956.
To meet the demand for office space, construction of a new building in the same premises was taken up in March, 1985. The new building was inaugurated by Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, on 7.3.1988, coinciding with the Golden Jubilee of INS.
The buildings have all necessary supporting facilities like lifts (one for each building), standby DG set, parking slots, PABX exchange with 120 extensions.
The two buildings house the following as on date:
- The INS Secretariat
- 6 guest rooms with supporting facilities including pantry, lounge and store rooms.
- Conference Room which can accommodate about 40 persons
- Committee Room with sitting facility for 8 personas
- Offices of 84 member publications spread over 92 flats on leave and licence basis
Though some of the flats in the old building were initially allotted to non-members, including some foreign agencies, in 1967 it was decided to get the non-members to vacate. In the beginning the licence fee for the flats was fixed on ad-hoc basis. In 1966, the licence fee was Rs.1/- per sq. ft. This was raised in 1975 on the basis of Rs.2/-, Rs.2.50 and Rs.1.50 per sq. ft. for the first, seocnd/third and the fourth floors respectively. Later in January, 1979, service charge of Rs.1/- per sq. ft. was added to the licence fee. The licence fee was raised subsequently in 1985, 1988 (on uniform basis for all floors), 1992, 1996 and 1999. The latest rates are licence fee of Rs.10 /- + service charge of Rs.17/- per sq. ft. for all floors. The amount received from the licensees is utilised for maintenance of the buildings and provision of necessary services like lifts, fire fighting etc.