The Indian Information Service (IIS) is a group A categorized service. It is an administered civil service cadre. This service comes under the Ministry of Information and broadcasting. Officers for IIS are selected through the Civil services exams conducted by UPSC.
India is a country that stretches far into the north, south, eastern, and western regions. The initiatives are taken up by the government, important information dissemination, etc. are very significant for the Indian population. IT is important to ensure that the necessary information reaches the doorstep of every Indian without fail. So the media that is chosen to disseminate this information becomes a very crucial factor.
Building a robust network of information systems to inform the masses about what the government schemes are, what kind of new plans are introduced, new initiatives on the ambit etc. is essential. In this regard, IIS officers ensure the right channelization, dispersion, and dissemination of information in all the leading media frontiers to make information readily available to the Indian population.
Data and information are to reach every hand without the restrictions of distance, geographical borders, or time. Special initiatives are especially sought to see that the backward and minority sections, economically weaker sections, and rural populations get awareness about various government programs that could benefit their lives in a lot of ways.
Many IIS officers serve as spokespersons for various ministries. They form the main link between the government and the media in dispensing information. So, they can be called as the broadcasting officers of the government.
Candidates who are aspiring for the post of IIS cadre should take up the IAS Exam conducted by UPSC and clear all three rounds of examination – the prelims, mains, and the interview round to get selected and inducted into the services. It requires very high ranking and personal preferences of the candidate, plus vacancy, number of candidates applied, etc.
Training offered to selected candidates
Training to prospective IIS officers begins with the common training module that all the officers recruited for civil services undergo. This is the three month duration foundation course at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussourie. The specialized training structure is as explained below:
- After the foundation course, candidates are sent to the next higher level of training at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. This is a specialized and hands-on professional training series conducted for nine months’ duration.
- This training structure also assigns IIS probationers to the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, for three weeks for more practical exposure and elaborate training modules.
- After this training tenure, they begin with the one year on-job probationary period. Here they enter various media units that belong to the Ministry of information and broadcasting and learn the practical ways of handling their jobs and roles. This probationary period of one year could be assigned at DD News, All India Radio, Press Information bureaus, and many more related units.
Posting offered after training
The ministry of information and broadcasting has its own media houses that help in the dissemination of information from the government to the public. IIS officers are stationed in these media units to serve the government’s interests.
- Many IIS officers work in DD News, All India Radio networks, Prasar Bharathi, etc.
- They also serve as officers in Press information bureaus. In these bureaus, they get higher postings leading them to represent respective ministries in the form of spokespersons.
- IIS officers are also deputed as spokespersons to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the election commission of India, and also the Central Bureau of investigation.
- They are also deputed internationally on foreign assignments.
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Roles and Responsibilities of IIS Officer
The main task of IIS officers is making available information to the larger public at the correct time interval in the easiest and far-reaching way possible. Some of their important tasks are:
- Representing the government ministries in the form of media managers. This means, working for the government to tell the people, to act as a speaker to the public. They represent the government’s actions and let the people know of every information that they are entitled to know.
- In return, they also act as information collectors wherein they collect information/ useful feedback/reviews from people and take this information to the government as a feature of response gathering. The government would consider people’s views to implement changes in its policies and formulations.
- Create, envision and implement media strategies.
- Publicly announce all programs carried out by the government for the welfare of the public.
- Arrange, organize and manage press conferences for ministries, hold public meetings and campaigns to bring awareness, and spread the word among the larger public in case the government wants to broadcast any specific information to the common public.
- News monitoring, controlling content, and checking what quality of information and to what extent is being publicized and published in media. The controlling and monitoring aspects of information rendering are very crucial, as there could be confidential information that has to remain solely in government hands. Letting out only that part of the data that is set for the public announcement is key to the role.
- Ensure publicity and advertising through ad campaigns and media advertisements for all government schemes and policies.
- Managing media units, guiding them, supporting them, and organizing information for public announcements and display.
- Whenever there is information in hand, it comes with a lot of legal ties and is bound by a definite legal framework. Cases of legal infringement, copyright violation, etc. could crop up at any point in time. To handle and resolve such conflicts and to work well within the framework of law is a challenging role for IIS officers.
Indian Information Service Grade and Salaries
The pay scale depends on a lot of factors. They are decided based on role play, grade, rank, appraisal, etc. The pay scale, in particular, the basic pay could be between INR 8000 to INR 26,000 amongst different roles and cadres.
|Grade||Pay Scale (INR)|
|Junior time scale||8000 – 13500|
|Senior time scale||10650 – 15850|
|Junior administrative grade||12000 – 16500|
|JAG (NFSG)||14300 – 18300|
|Senior administrative grade||18400 – 22400|
|Higher administrative grade||22400 – 24500|
Soon after the probationary period of an IIS officer, he gets posted to a media unit attached to the government of India. Again, the tenure at the media unit is dependent on the number of vacancies and requirements they have at the point of time of induction. So broadly speaking, an IIS officer travels through these roles to achieve seniority and related benefits in his career progression. The path traversed by the IIS officer is listed below for quick reference:
- In the initial posting as the junior grade officer, he serves as the Assistant Director.
- In the first promotion to a senior role, he is posted as the Deputy Director.
- In the junior administrative cadre, he is appointed as the Joint Director or as the Deputy Secretary to the Government of India.
- He is also posted as the Director in the junior administrative cadre.
- In the senior administration cadre, he holds the post of Additional Director General, which is equivalently termed the joint secretary posting to the Government of India
- As a selection grade officer, he is posted as Director General.
- In higher administrative grades, he can be posted as Principal Director General.
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