The Press Information Bureau was established in 1919 as a small cell, which has now increased into a nationwide network of 8 regional offices and 34 branch offices. The PIB is a gateway for the Union Government communication. It has also introduced the mobile version of its website for mobile users. The PIB is the central agency of the Government of India to disseminate information on its policies, programmes, decision, and activities.
The Bureau, from its headquarters and by its network of 40 regional offices, disseminates information to the media — print, audio, visual and electronic–both Indian and foreign. It gives feedback on people’s reactions to government policies and programmes as reflected in the media. The major functions of the bureau are to put out information on government policies, programmes, and activities, obtain feedback on how these are received and to apprise the government of public reaction as published in the news and editorial columns of English and Indian language newspapers. The PIB also advised the government on its information and media policy.
The bureau employs a variety of means to disseminate information. Written material issued by the Bureau includes press releases, press communique, press notes and hand-outs, backgrounders, features, and newsletters. The material is put out in Hindi, English, Urdu, and 13 other Indian languages. The Press Information Bureau also organizes press conferences and briefings to enable media representatives to get the news and clarifications at first hand. The Bureau organize media events and launch special publicity campaigns, identifying thrust areas, formats, channels, and timings. The PIB is tie up with 20 of its regional offices over the computer.
The PIB releases are now being faxed through computers to local newspapers as well as to resident correspondents of less important outstation newspapers. Press Information Bureau arranges photo coverage of government activities and the photographs are supplied to dailies and periodicals published in English and other Indian languages all over the country. Currently, there are 1,322 journalists accredited to the government at the headquarters. They cover correspondents of news agencies, newspapers, editor-cum correspondents, correspondent-cum cameramen, cameramen, cartoonists, and cartographers, both Indian and foreign. A National Press Centre has been organized in the Press Information Bureau, New Delhi. It performs as a nerve centre for both national and international press.