Stationery and Printing
The Department of Stationery and Printing is one of the oldest departments of the Pondicherry Administration. This Department is a service department to meet the printing needs of all the departments, local bodies, public sector undertakings, etc. functioning under the Pondicherry Administration. This department shoulders the responsibility of procurement and supply of all types of papers stationery and certain non-paper stationery articles, to all the departments at free of cost.
(Extract from Gazetteer of India, Union Territory of Pondicherry)
Prior to the establishment of government press, the important government orders, etc. were conveyed to the public through word of mouth by tom-tom from street to street. Handwritten bills were also pasted on the doors of the fort in different languages. Anandarangapillai tells us that an 'European on horse back, attended by the court accountant Azhagapillai, and a drummer, proclaimed, through each street and at the city gates, the order of the Council, copies of which had been exhibited on the 1 March at the court house, fort, town gates and the church. The European first read out the notice in French. Azhagapillai of the accountant caste, next explained the same in Tamil and finally the drum was beaten. The prohibitionof the sale of brandy, toddy and other intoxicating liquors was notified in this fashion.
The revolution in France created a new awakening among the people in the colonies. More and more people came to evince greater interest in the day to day activities of the government as well as public utility services like the Comit'e de Bienfaisance, Mont-de-Pi'et'e, Hospital, L'eproserie, Prisons, Bazaar, etc. They were also increasingly concerned with the prospects of trade, commerce, agriculture and other avenues of livelihood. It was under these circumstances that the Government Press was established in 1816, chiefly for printing official documents and the various laws and regulations and notices of public utility services. Since 1823 important government ordinances and administrative appointments were published in what was then called the Archives Administratives des Etablissements Francais de I'Inde. From 1828 onwards all laws, orders and decisions of the administration came to be published under the title of Bulletin des Actes Administratifs and copies of the Bulletin were made available to subscribers. The same year a Tamil printing section was added to the Government Press. An 'almanac' is understood to have been published at least some years before 1838, as evident from the preface to the 'almanac' of that year. It carried a list of all public servants in the establishments (Civil list) and other useful information. It was published by Constant Sic'e up to 1842 and then by F.E. Sic'e from 1850 up to 1856. From 1857, it came to be published by the government under the title of Annuaire des Etablissements Francais dans I'Inde.
The Archives Administratives des Etalissements Francais dans I'Inde which appeared in the French establishments as earlu as 1823 may be taken as the oldest version of a Gazette in Pondicherry. Important laws, ordinances, rules, etc. were published in these issues. From January 1828 onwards they came to be published under the title of Bulletin des Actes Administratifs des Etablissements Francais dans I'Inde. From 1872 it started appearing as Bulletin Officiel des Etablissements Francais dans I'Inde. Since 1911 it appeared under the title of Journal Officiel des Etablissements Francais dand I'Inde as a weekly. Soon after de facto transfer of the territories, it started appearing as La Gazette de I'Etat de Pondiche'ry or the Gazette of Pondicherry. While before merger, it carried material in French and Tamil, after merger material in Tamil, English and French are published.