The Indian Readership Survey, 2013 was released on January 28, 2014. The release attracted differing views on the accuracy of the data and therefore the Readership Studies Council of India voluntarily requested subscribers to hold the study in abeyance and decided to undertake a revalidation exercise.
Subsequently a sub-committee for revalidation was established with two co-chairs representing publishers and advertising agencies. The sub-committee unanimously concluded that the methodology used to conduct IRS 2013 was in order and decided to commission a Process Audit.
This committee, after viewing several proposals unanimously agreed to award this audit to Praveen Tripathi, (Magic 9 Media) India's foremost expert on large-scale studies of media consumption behaviour.
The findings of the revalidation sub-committee and the audit report, it was decided, would be discussed by the Heads of four industry bodies i.e. Chairman-MRUC, Chairman-RSCI, President-INS and Chairman-ABC, and a decision taken by them.
The said Heads of the four bodies received and deliberated upon the report submitted by Praveen Tripathi and discussed the same with the Chairman of the RSCI - Technical Committee as well as the two co-chairmen of the revalidation committee.
The Audit was conducted in two stages. Stage one involving direct back checking of respondent homes after which a much broader and deeper Forensic Statistical Analysis exercise was carried out to identify and isolate both fieldwork compliance deficiencies and incidences of the occurrence of Unusual Publication Incidence (UPI) in respondent interview records. By sieving the aggregate data set for these issues, the audit was able to judge unequivocally whether the statistical deviations systematically changed any of the crucial readership outputs. The outcome was conclusive and unequivocal. The study results had not been impacted.
After intense deliberations and careful examination of the audit report, Chairman-MRUC, Chairman-RSCI President-INS and Chairman-ABC, have arrived at a unanimous and unambiguous decision to lift the voluntary abeyance placed on The Indian Readership Survey, 2013.
The voluntary abeyance placed on The Indian Readership Survey 2013 is lifted with effect from 20th August, 2014.