Nav Bharat (MP), in an official communiqué, rues that it has been a long wait, trying to get its readership in place through the NRSC. Says a Nav Bharat spokesperson, “On December 24, 2003, we got the estimates of NRS and it was shocking to learn that our readership in Madhya Pradesh, which was to the tune of 8, 84, 000 had been credited to the Nava Bharat Chattisgarh.The NRSC has classified Nava Bharat Chattisgarh and Maharasthra as Nava Bharat-A and Nava Bharat MP as Nava Bharat-B for reporting the readership. The masthead designs of both the groups are different but names are same, which could perhaps explain the confusion.”
Having said that, the spokesperson clarifies, “The Nava Bharat group was split in April 2002, and with this Nava Bharat (MP) became a separate entity with six editions – Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Satna and chindwara in its fold. There was a clear understanding and agreement between the two groups that they would not circulate their publications into each other’s territories. However since MP and Chattisgarh share long and close borders there is some spillage of circulation of copies form Chattisgarh to MP and vice versa.”
He also states that as per the ABC Jan-June 2003, there is circulation of 1171 copies of Nava Bharat-A in Shahdol district of MP. The NRS 2003 shows a readership of Nava Bharat-A in Madhya Pradesh at 8,84000 which resulted in RPC of 754.91.The readership of Nava Bharat-B is estimated at 13,66,000 which has a circulation of almost 2,56,503 copies in Madhya Pradesh.
When Nava Bharat (MP) raised its concerns with NRSC and its research agency IMRB, they claimed that they were informed that the anomalies in data occurred due to the inclusion of the masthead of Nava Bharat in all the SCR in rest of MP. Further it was observed that readership shown by both these publications was mutually exclusive with no duplication.
The paper also states that at the time, the research agency as well as NRSC agreed that these mistakes had been made but strictly refused to correct the data citing the court directive that there could not be any deletion, addition or correction of data in NRS 2003. The only option that was given was on the possibility that an NOC would come from Nava Bharat-A.
The spokesperson states, “Since the other group is no way a loser in this case, they refused to be drawn into this controversy. We raised this query to NRSC that it’s our readership which is severely damaged and it is because of mistake done by research agency why and by what logic NRSC is involving Nava Bharat-A group.”
After much discussion with the NRSC, as per Nava Bharat, it was decided that an advisory would be put in the NRS report CD, clarifying that the entire readership of both Nava Bharat-A and Nava Bharat-B in MP ought to be taken as that of Nava Bharat (MP). However, with this option not being implemented by the NRSC, Nav Bharat says that it has been left with no other options except to subscribe to the Indian judicial system.
As per an excerpt of the notice served by Navabharat Press (Bhopal), filed by advocate Ajay Gupta, “The NRS 2003 study report published on December 24, 2003 reveals a great anomaly by showing the readership of Navbharat-B as readership of Navbharat-A belonging to the group publishing Navbharat from Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. It was an astonishing situation. My client is shocked to note the data with such anomaly. The readership of my client was shown almost half in comparison to immediate previous NRS report, while there was no significant drop in their circulation as per ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation) Jan-June, 2003 certification,” says Gupta.
The notice filed by Gupta, states, “Mr. Hemant Mehta, of IMRB, the Research Agency has informed my client that the readership estimates in MP of both Navbharat-A, and Navbharat-B are mutually exclusively and there is no duplication with each other, making it clear that the readership, which has been attributed to Navabharat-A in rest of the MP is actually that of Navbharat-B and belonging to my client.”
“The above anomaly has been brought to the notice of almost all concerned in your organisation including you the noticee No 2, the research agency for MP, and Andre Nair, Head of Technical Committee. All of you have agreed and have understood the problem, but no corrective and remedial steps have been taken by any of you till date, in spite of several verbal commitments in response to my client’s efforts made in writing and by personal visits many a times,” pleads Gupta in his complaint.
Nava Bharat (MP) categorically asserts that its reputation in the Indian market is suffering every passing day on account of the loopholes presented by the NRS, a fact which is further reiterated by the notice. The notice ends on a note: “You are well aware and also understand that my client is suffering badly in his business and reputation with every passing day by the incorrect data regarding readership circulated by you the noticee No 1. The loss in revenue is about Rs 3-4 lacs per day that is estimated to a loss of Rs 90 lacs per month. Further my client is also suffering a great loss of reputation. The damage caused to my client is very severe and it will take many years to control the damage caused.”
The Nava Bharat (MP) group has gone on record to state that it expects to see losses to the tune of Rs 8 crore within this financial year, on account of the faulty figures posed by the NRS.