Public Relations Department, Assam was established in June 1940 at Shillong, the then Capital of the State. It was named Publicity & Rural Development Department at the time of inception. The main objective behind setting up of the Department was to disseminate war propaganda in the wake of the Second World War and to uphold public morale in support of the Allied Power. The head of Publicity Department was called Publicity Officer and he had two Asstt. Publicity Officers one for Assam Valley and the other for Surama Valley. In November 1997, the Government of Assam vide Notification No.AR31/ 97/2 Dated 1.11.97 created a new Department namely “Information &Public Relations Department” by bifurcating the existing Home Department and the new I&PR Department was made the Administrative Department for Directorate of Information & Public Relations . Consequently, the Government of Assam vide Notification No., AR31/97/6 Dtd. 28.4.1998 also upgraded the Directorate of Information & Public Relations from a Level-II Directorate to a Level- I Directorate.
The first Publicity Officer of the department was an officer from Assam Civil Service – Yahia Khan Choudhury. The prime task of the department at that time was to focus on the war related news and informations by way of Press Note, Articles, and Booklets. After India attained independence, the responsibility, stature and importance of the Directorate increased manifold. The department used to send regularly two fortnightly reports regarding 1) Indo-Pak Relations and 2) Public opinion to the Chief Minister.
The department also brought out a forthnightly Journal in Assamese and Bengali under the tittle ‘Bhavisyat Asom ‘ (The future Assam). Apart from press release, booklets etc. the department used to give war related news through hand made megaphone made with thin galvanised iron sheet by publicity personal at various important points of Shilong town. The announcements were made in English, Assamese, Khasi, Hindi & Nepali languages. During war period, a separate wing named as Song & Publicity Organization was created in the department with Kriti Nath Sarma Bordoloi, renowned lyricist and musician as head of the wing. The wing composed songs in Assamese, Bengali and Khasi languages and also produced Gramophone Records of the same.
After Yahia Khan, A.S. Chakrabarty Iyengar became the Publicity Officer of the department. He was also the Private Secretary to the Chief Minister of Assam, Sir Syed Mohammod Sadullah. After him, I.C.S. Hayley, Captain Dowse, Major Rigby, M. H. Hussian, I.C.S S.C. Bhattacharjee, I.A.S. B.C. Kapur, I.C.S. A.N. Kidwai took over as Director of the Department in succession.
Later on during the tenure of Directorship of I.P. Choudhury, separate wings such as Exhibition, Cultural and Film Division were created in the department. The responsibility of putting up Tableau and presentation of folk Dances in the Republic Day parade in New Delhi from Assam was borne by this department every year and the Directorate was able to bag prizes and carry honour and prestige to Assam several times.