Three days after the government of India had started enforcing the revised guideline for boosting the Covid-19 vaccination drive, the State Health Mission, under the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare, the Government of Manipur finally buys half of the front page of some newspapers calling upon people to get the vaccination and published in the form of display advertisement today.
The efforts need appreciation from all sections of people, as boosting up the vaccination drive is the only means to protect the people from the Covid-19 pandemic. Fighting a war needs various strategies. In a democratic country like India, there are several rules and regulations framed by the government which is mandatory for all government or non-government, or even semi-government institutions while preparing for war. And each government or semi-government or non-government institution have their role in fighting the war. And if any of the heads of each institute subsides government rules and regulations, the person responsible for the violation of the government guideline is liable for punishment. Failure to take action against any government employees for violation of the government rules and regulations indicates total failure in the running of the governance.
Well, there is a regulation called ‘The Manipur State Advertisement Policy,2013’. The policy was published in the Manipur Gazette.
As per clause 9 of the government policy, it is stated that All Government advertisements, both classified and display, shall be released only through the Directorate of Information and Public Relation (DIPR). Interestingly in clause 24 of the Manipur State Advertisement Policy, 2013, it is written crystal clear that ‘if any government advertisement is issued in violation of the provisions of clause 9, that is if the government advertisement is published by skipping the DIPR, the head of the department/office concerned will be personally responsible for payment of the advertisement bill from his or her account.
A half-page advertisement published today at some newspaper here in the state of Manipur in connection for boosting the Covid-19 vaccination drive perhaps is the need of the hour. But the advertisement was reportedly published by the head of the State Health Director without getting in touch with the authority of the DIPR and by violating the Manipur State Advertisement Policy, 2013.
There are rules and regulations framed by the authority to run the state. And if some department like the State health department which is taking the lead role in fighting the Covid-19’pandemic, gives a damn of the state government framed policy showing his ignorance the need to coordinate with all department particularly the DIPR which has always been rendering service reaching out to the people on what the government has been doing, there is nothing wrong in saying that ‘government rules and regulations are just a joke to the head of the department of government institutions.
In a deeper look, is the health department trying to play something else by advertising half-page to some newspaper skipping the DIPR.
Skipping DIPR means, the head of the department, whoever is responsible for the publication of the advertisement can build a good relationship. All know the way the department is dealing on either vaccination programme or Covid testing programme is almost close to flop. Is the motive to violate the government advertisement policy an attempt to appease some of the newspaper for not reporting the wrong committed by them. After all, it has also been reported that the Health Department of Manipur is being headed by a person whose age is over to serve the post after he has been extended.
Imphal Times still remember N. Biren Singh’s government assurance to the public where he stated that his government will not allow engagement or extension of a retired person. The announcement was relaxed however was relaxed for technical posts where there is no efficient person to replace. Is the head of the State Health Department only the best person for the post at State Health Department?