Supreme Court Committee suggests ways to stop government's wasteful newspaper ads

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A committee was created in April 2014 after non-profit groups urged the apex court to stop governments from misusing public money.
New Delhi, Oct 06: To put a restraint over multitude of ads and glorification of politicians in power, a committee appointed by the Supreme Court has recommended strict guidelines to hem the governments from spending excessively on ads.

As per a report published in NDTV, a committee was created in April 2014 after non-profit groups urged the apex court to stop governments from misusing public money. The case alleged that governments at the Centre and in states use these ads to "promote private interests."

The three members of the committee have recommended that a list of personalities whose birth or death anniversaries will be marked with ads must be prepared in advance by the governments. The government must then specify which ministry should release the ad to avoid different departments and state-run companies from paying tribute to the same leader with a multitude of ads.

"There should be a single advertisement only," the committee says. The report also said that government advertisements should not comprise photos of politicians and if that is not possible the ads should feature only one of these leaders: the President, Prime Minister, Governor or Chief Minister.

The committee has said that its recommendations are to prevent "the arbitrary use of public funds for advertising... to project particular personalities, parties or governments without any attendant public interest."

The committee has further said, ads must steer clear of the glorification of political personalities.

It has also urged that its recommendations, once cleared by the Supreme Court, be implemented till the government passes a law to prevent the misuse of public funds for advertising.

Now, the Supreme Court will review the committee's report.

The Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity (DAVP) is the nodal agency of the Government of India for advertising by various Ministries and organisations of Government of India including public sector undertakings and autonomous bodies.

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