New Delhi, July 21 (UNI): The government has rejected the World Press Freedom Index 2022 published by international journalism not-for-profit Reporters Without Borders ranking India at 150th position out of 180 countries.
In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur said the government does not subscribe to the publisher’s views and country rankings.
He questioned the methodology adopted by Reporters Without Borders saying it was non-transparent.
“The government does not subscribe to its views and country rankings and does not agree to the conclusions drawn by this organisation for various reasons including very low sample size, little or no weightage to fundamentals of democracy, adoption of a methodology which is questionable and non-transparent etc,” the Minister said.
Thakur said the government is committed to ensure the right to freedom of speech and expression enshrined under the Article 19 of the Constitution of India.
“Press Council of India (PCI), a statutory autonomous body, has been set up under the Press Council Act, 1978 mainly 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 under Section 13 of the Press Council Act, 1978,” the Minister 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 added.