New Delhi, Jun 10: A ‘marking’ system for newspapers has been introduced for the first time by the government under its new Print Media Advertisement Policy that aims to promote transparency and accountability in the release of its ads. The “marking system” has been put in place to incentivise newspapers which have better professional standing and get their certification verified, according to an official statement today on the new policy for Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP). Also Read - Dodgy websites, right-leaning news portals receive advertisements worth Rs 14 crores by Madhya Pradesh govt

“For the first time the policy introduces a New Marking System for newspapers to incentivize Newspapers who have better professional standing and get their circulation verified by Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) or Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI),” the statement said. This will also ensure transparency and accountability in the release of advertisements by DAVP, it added. The marking system is based on six objective criteria with different marks each of them.(Also Read: Arvind Kejriwal government spends Rs 16 lakh per day on advertisements: RTI) Also Read - Now CMs, Governors, union & state ministers to feature in government advertisements

These include – Circulation certified by ABC/RNI (25 marks), EPF subscription for employees (20 marks), number of pages (20 marks), subscription to wire services of PTI/UNI/Hindustan Samachar (15 marks), own printing press (10 marks) and annual subscription payment to PCI (10 marks). Advertisements shall be released by DAVP to newspapers based on marks obtained by each newspaper, the statement said. The policy framework includes circulation verification for empanelment of Newspapers and Journals with DAVP. Also Read - PMK welcomes Supreme Court ruling on government advertisements

The procedure involves certification by RNI or ABC if circulation exceeds 45,000 copies per publishing day and for circulation up to 45,000 copies per publishing day certificate from Cost or Chartered Accountant, Statutory Auditor Certificate or ABC is mandated, the statement said. The policy states that RNI circulation certificate shall be valid for a period of two years from the date of issue and in case of ABC, the current certificate shall be used for circulation certificate. Director General of DAVP reserves the right to have figures of circulation checked through RNI or its representative.