Print and Digital Media Association gets nod as a self-regulatory body

Ministry of information and broadcasting allows registration

GST Council rationalizes taxation on print at 5 August 2017 meeting

The Ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has approved the registration of the Print and Digital Media Association (Padma) as a self-regulatory body (SRB) for publishers of news and current affairs content.

The ministry has given its authority to register the association as a level-II self-regulatory body as per rule 12 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

According to a press statement issued by the ministry, Padma’s panel includes Justice Mool Chand Garg, a former high court Judge as chairperson; and senior bureaucrat and journalist Ashok Kumar Tandon and Manoj Kumar Mishra, a senior writer and journalist, as members.

The statement said the ministry will have to be informed in case there is any change in the composition of the body and/or the membership of the publishers.

According to the ministry, Padma will perform functions laid down in sub-rules (4) and (5) of rule 12 for redressing grievances related to the Code of Ethics under the rules. Additionally, the body will ensure that the member publishers agree to adhere to the provisions of the rules, including the furnishing of requisite information under rule 18.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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