Rajasthan's Digital Media Policy Falls Short


Rajasthan's Digital Media Policy Falls Short

Hindering Scheme Promotion

 
Digital Policy Rajasthan
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The government of Rajasthan is facing challenges in effectively promoting its schemes through digital media, despite significant financial investments. In a significant setback for digital promotion in Rajasthan, Bhajan Lal government's efforts to advertise its schemes via digital media have been stymied by a defective policy framework. Whereas many states including Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh are ahead in this matter. The reason is that Rajasthan's digital media policy itself is defective. 

Rajasthan's Information and Public Relations Department, adhering strictly to the Digital Volunteer Program (DVP)'s digital media policy, faces challenges with the low advertisement rates and impractical impression demands set by the policy. This has resulted in an inability to issue government schemes and advertisements to local news portals. 

The policy, crafted during the Congress regime, mandated news portals to register with the state's Information and Public Relations Department for the categories A, B and C. The condition was that the domain of the portal must be at least 3 years old  and required them to dedicate 25% of their content to Rajasthan-related news. However, modifications by previous governments relaxed these requirements, allowing portals with no ties to Rajasthan to receive advertisement allocations, there by sidelining local news outlets. This was aimed at promoting local schemes and supporting Rajasthani journalists. This results in news portals in Rajasthan, which promote government activities and schemes, not receiving any assistance from the government.This results in news portals in Rajasthan, which promote government activities and schemes, not receiving any assistance from the government. 

Rajasthan's digital media policy contains several impractical conditions. For example,  impractical conditions such as the requirement for Category C approved news portals to attract a minimum of 250,000 visitors per month. Their page views can range from 300,000 to 350,000 per month. Citing the media policy, the Department of Information and Public Relations demands over 95 Lakh impressions for advertising worth Rs 50,000, which is impossible. Furthermore, while newspapers and electronic media need to apply for ads only once a year, news portals are burdened with the requirement to apply for each ad individually. The applications usually contain almost the same information. 

Haryana faced issues with non-DAVP (Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity) approved news portals not getting assistance. The government amended policies, creating categories A, B, C, and C, and set rates for advertising on these portals, allowing them to receive monthly government assistance of Rs 1 to 1.50 lakh.

Learning from Haryana's example, which revised its digital media policy to support local news portals better by introducing four categories and setting daily rates for fixed banner ads, there is a clear pathway for Rajasthan to amend its policies. Such changes could enable Rajasthani news portals to thrive and effectively promote government schemes, benefiting the state government and its citizens alike.




 

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