The government does not subscribe to the views and country rankings of the World Press Freedom Index, published by foreign NGO ‘Reporters Without Borders’, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said on Tuesday.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Mr Thakur said the government also does not agree with the conclusions drawn by this organization for various reasons including very low sample size, little or no weightage to fundamentals of democracy and adoption of a methodology which is questionable and non-transparent.
“In pursuance of its policy to uphold the freedom of press, the government does not interfere in the functioning of the press,” the minister said in response to a question by YSRCP member Adala Prabhakar Reddy.
He said the Press Council of India (PCI), a statutory autonomous body, has been set up to preserve the freedom of the press and improve the standards of newspapers and news agencies in the country.
PCI considers complaints filed ‘by the Press’ concerning curtailment of press freedom, physical assault/attack on journalists under Section 13 of the Press Council Act, Mr Thakur said.
PCI is also empowered to take suo-motu cognizance in matters on the pressing issues concerning freedom of press and safeguarding of its high standards, he said.
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