The Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2018 is expected to meet its deadline. Media Research User Council (MRUC) on Monday held a meeting and appointed Vikram Sakhuja as the new chairman of the Technical Committee (Tech-Com) that will set the plan for IRS 2018 rolling. The council is confident about closing the next IRS on time.
Sources in the MRUC claimed that the body, which until a few months ago faced a crash crunch due to non-payment by some media houses, has finally got the required funds for IRS. MRUC needs Rs 20 crore for the survey, and is said to have already received close to 50% of this amount.
When asked about the progress of the survey, Ashish Bhasin, Chairman of MRUC, said IRS is very much on track. âThe field work anyways starts in full gusto only after the monsoon and takes three to four months to complete. So I am hopeful we will have it out on schedule,â said Bhasin.
Sources say that the setting up of the Tech-Com is a major step in this direction and things will start moving faster now. Sources also claimed that the council has an ambitious plan to increase the sample size from 3,30,000 to 3,60,000.
When contacted for his plans as the Tech-Com chief, Sakhuja said his focus is on ensuring data validity, liability and integrity. âFor publications with local/regional presence, we want to enhance their ability to read their publications at a smaller geographical aggregates. I will now be putting together the Tech-Com and hope to have a lot of faces from the old Tech-Com that did a brilliant job. You will see much of the old and a few new initiatives,â he told exchange4media.
However, until last month, it was believed that MRUC was struggling with funds and objections from publishers on the questionnaire, which had delayed the process of survey.
exchange4media had in February-March 2018 reported that the council had sent notices to all publishers asking them to pay their subscription fee to help it start the survey. The MRUC had also sought an increase of around 50% in the fee to cover the cost of research, which has increased due to an enhancement of the base. However, until July, many publishers and agencies were yet to make the payment.
A senior industry person had then told exchange4media, âLast six months were lost in getting funds and settling objections raised by publishers to the questionnaire. Now that the council is expanding its base and upgrading its technology, it would need more funds.â
Meanwhile, many who had paid their fee on time, were upset over the delay in action on ground. âYou canât blame the council. The entire industry has to take the onus. We paid our dues on time yet we may have to suffer due to those who continue to err,â a leading publisher had said.
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