The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has entrusted the Press Information Bureau (PIB) with the task of verifying the circulation of newspapers, a responsibility which earlier with the Registrar of Newspapers of India (RNI), according to sources.
Recently, the ministry issued an order in this regard which also mentioned the names of the designated PIB officers alongside the publications whose circulation they will have to verify, one of the sources said.Newspapers need to furnish circulation verification certificate to get empanelled with the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), a nodal agency for allocation of central government advertisements.

This is the first time that PIB has been tasked with verifying circulation of newspapers, the source said, adding that there was a long list of pending applications from newspapers which had applied for verification of their circulation.

The source said the decision may have been taken considering shortage of manpower in RNI to timely process the applications.

The RNI, however, would continue to issue registration certificate, the source said, adding RNI personnel would also hand-hold the PIB officers in conducting the verification.

Another source confirmed the development, saying the ministry’s decision is an “administrative arrangement” after taking into “consideration all the pros and cons”.