The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has made substantial appointments, notably reassigning Manish Desai, a distinguished officer of the Indian Information Service (IIS) since 1989, from his role as the Central Bureau of Communications (CBC) chief to head the Press Information Bureau (PIB).
Throughout his illustrious career, Manish Desai has shouldered various critical responsibilities, including his tenure as the CBC chief, where he oversaw the government’s advertising and public communication arm. His purview encompassed a wide spectrum of communication activities spanning print, electronic, outdoor, transit, and new media platforms.
Between November 2019 and January 2020, Manish Desai served as the Director General of the Registrar of Newspapers of India (RNI). Notably, he boasts an impressive six-year stint as the Additional Director General (ADG) of PIB from 2012 to 2018. Additionally, he has held the position of Director General of the West Zone PIB in Mumbai.
Manish Desai’s appointment as the Principal Director General of PIB comes as Rajesh Malhotra, who has led the media outreach unit since 2022, prepares for retirement.
In another significant development, Bhupendra Kainthola, the former Principal Director General of PIB, Kolkata, has been designated as the Press Registrar, a pivotal role overseeing press-related matters. Meanwhile, Dhirendra Ojha, the current Press Registrar, is set to assume the role of the new CBC chief following Manish Desai’s transition.
It’s worth noting that the Press Information Bureau (PIB), the primary agency responsible for disseminating information on behalf of the Indian government, celebrated its centennial anniversary in June of this year. Established in Shimla in June 1919 as the Central Publicity Board, it originally operated under the colonial government’s Home Ministry with the initial mission of compiling an annual report on India for presentation to the British Parliament.
The inaugural leader of the publicity cell at its inception was Dr. LF Rushbrook Williams, who was affiliated with Allahabad University and held the title of Officer on Special Duty. These appointments mark significant changes in the leadership of crucial government communication entities and represent notable milestones in the history of the Press Information Bureau.