DG,RNI,S.M.KHAN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH EDITOR TARUN SHARMA
CBI SHOULDN’T BE ENTRUSTED WITH EVERY KIND OF CASE AND SHOULD REMAIN A PREMIUM AGENCY SAYS SH. S.M KHAN ,DG RNI,FORMER DG DD NEWS,PRESS SECRETARY TO FORMER LATE PRESIDENT DR.APJ ABDUL KALAM AND CBI SPOKESPERSON AND MUCH MORE IN AN INTERVIEW WITH OUR EDITOR TARUN SHARMA
Editor: please tell us about your current role and the hurdles in your current work profile if any.
Sh. SM KHAN: I am at present Director General and Registrar of Newspapers for India. The profile of this office is that it’s an office which registers Newspapers, news magazines and periodicals all over the country and also verify their circulation. Whenever there is any change of Ownership,or Publisher,or Editor,printer they have to get a revised certificate issued also others are already having registration.Then we also issue eligibility certificate for import of newsprint,so these are some of the basic roles of RNI.
RNI also prepares a report called Press In India which is an annual authenticated data of all the publications in the country which is presented to the Minister for Information and Broadcasting every year before 31st December.
Editor: Being the DG of RNI at present what has been the journey of RNI according to you till now.
Sh. SM KHAN: Till now because RNI deals with all the newspaper, we have about 1 lac registered newspaper so we cater to 1 lac newspaper across the journey. The RNI journey have been quite fruitful and useful for the print media throughout RNI has been able to give service to print media since its inception in 1956.Before that also there were some other departments who were doing the reports because the act which governs the RNI is a very old act, even old act of 1867 but RNI in the present form came into existence in 1926 after the report of First Press Commission and since then RNI has been doing the work of registration.
There have been no major amendments in the act so far but we have proposed some very important amendments and they will be put before the parliament most probably in the next winter session.
Pic Caption: Our Editor Mr. Tarun SHarma interviewing Sh. S.M Khan
Editor: Please share your experience when you served as a Press Secretary to the late Honble President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
Sh. SM KHAN:Actually my experiences with Late Dr. APJ Abdul kalam I am not able to share in a small interview because there are so many experiences and so many learning I got during those 5 years which I always remember as the most productive and fruitful 5 years of my career so far and most important treasure the kind of experience with him. So Some basic things about him which you might be already knowing is he was a person who was totally detached to materialistic things ,for college, workaholic ,his mission was to develop India a developed country by 2030 as president of India, before becoming President of India as a Scientist ,throughout his life he worked for that mission, till the last moment also when he was addressing students in Shillong on this subject .So it’s a beautiful five year I have worked with him.
Editor: How you want to shape RNI under your tenure.
Sh. SM KHAN:Actually our motto is now to provide online services, right now we have done Title applications which are online , Annual statements filing is online but the registration process is still manual as the people have to send documents through district magistrates of their districts , that take time ,we are planning on this too and it may take six months to bring this online too.
Editor:There are so many newspapers title existing still in your records which might not be printing the same but still hold RNI registration,What steps RNI has taken to curb this.
Sh. SM KHAN: We have prepared a list of newspapers who have not filed annual statements for the last five years,as they have to file it every year. So suppose if somebody has not filed it for consecutive five years it means they haven’t published it .So we have send such lists to district magistrates all-over the country so that they can verify these papers whether they are under print or not and if they are not in print ,the district magistrates should issue notice to them and cancel their declaration and when magistrates cancel their declaration ,we can cancel too.
Editor:There is an air in general that RNI figures given to publications are somewhat not so authentic vis a vis real print,meaning superficial whats your say.
Sh. SM KHAN:The figures which we give in Press in India is claimed circulation, what a newspaper claims , we don’t say that it is Authentic or it is certified by RNI.
Editor: Sir you from being a family of lawyers how did IIS happened and what was it that drove you to that.
Sh. SM KHAN:I myself was a practicing lawyer as well as lecturer of law when I appeared for civil services got examination and got this IIS. What I thought at that time that I wanted to join a government service rather than doing legal practice. There was one option was to continue to do legal practice, the decision which I took was that I thought if I join central government service then I would be in a better position to serve the Community, Nation and to gain good experience for myself. As I was a lawyer at a district level court so rather than to continue practice district level court to come at the central government headquarter, in whatever way that can serve the government that will be a better prospect.
Editor: How had been your experience at CBI where you served almost for 13 years and handled famous cases like that of Harshad Mehta scam,Rajiv Gandhi assassination etc and What according to you are the improvements if any required by the premier investigating agency.
Sh. SM KHAN: CBI is a premier investigation agency of the country ,the only thing which CBI is ,it is short of professional investigators, the kind of workload on CBI is that large number of cases are entrusted to CBI which should not been entrusted.
CBI should remain a premium investigation agency for very complex,complicated investigations ,inter- country or inter-state ramifications. Right now the trend is that everywhere there is a demand of CBI inquiry,so the workload is too much.
Every kind of case shouldn’t be entrusted to CBI otherwise CBI will not be able to do justice in important cases also because they don’t have any time and the number of professional investigators are also less in comparison to workload.
Editor:It was believed that there was a controversy that the interview of Sh.Narendra Modi now Honb’le Prime Minister of India was edited in 2014 during the run-up to LokSabha elections,Can you Please throw some light on this ,what were the actual facts.
Sh. SM KHAN:There was no controversy ,Sh. Narendra Modi ji was the leader of NDA at that time and was leading the NDA campaign and was the head of campaign during 2014 election ,so I had requested his office for time for interview and we had sent a team for interview to GANDHINAGAR to interview him and post interview it was telecast next day. There was no controversy because as the time slot during election campaign is fixed according to the representation of the political parties and the election commission is also involved, for the time you can give to the political party. So actually the time slot was exceeding, the time slot was 35 minute so some questions were dropped and there was no edit in the Sh. Narendra Modi interview and only few questions were dropped to bring it to 35 min format.
Editor:You have recently penned a book “The people President” on Dr APJ Abdul Kalam ,what inspired you to writing on him.
Sh. SM KHAN:“THE PEOPLE PRESIDENT” BOOK ON Late Dr. APJ ABDUL KALAM I have finished writing and wrote it because I wanted to pay a tribute to late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and the book will be out on 15th October on the day of Dr.APJ Kalam birthday and will be published by Blueberry with a cover price of Rs.299/-
Editor:Your valuable message to visitors of our portal.
Sh. SM KHAN:As far as news is concerned I hope the portal will give most authentic news after verifying facts and figures that is the most important contribution you can make to avoid sensation while following news and you have to give news in real time with utmost urgency but after verification.
(Photo clicked by staff photographer Brij Mohan)