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Government forms committee for regulation of online media

It will do so keeping in mind the existing FDI norms, programmes and advertising code for TV channels and norms circulated by the representative bodies of media organisations.

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Online News

New Delhi, April 5 : In a move to establish regulatory framework for online media and news portals, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has set up a committee that will recommend formation of appropriate policy.

The committee, which has Secretary of the ministry as its convener, was set up a day after the ministry withdrew its guidelines on fake news following directions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to an order of the ministry of April 4, the 10-member committee includes secretaries of the ministries of Home, and Electronics and Information Technology, and the departments of Legal Affairs, and Industrial Policy and Promotion.

It also has a representatives from the Press Council of India, News Broadcasters Association and the Indian Broadcasters Federation.

The Terms of the reference (ToR) of the committee include delineation of the sphere of online information dissemination which needs to be brought under regulation, on the lines applicable to the print and electronic media.

The committee will recommend appropriate policy formulation for online media/ news portals and online content platforms, including digital broadcasting, that encompasses entertainment, infotainment and news and media aggregators.

“It will do so keeping in mind the existing FDI norms, programmes and advertising code for TV channels and norms circulated by the representative bodies of media organisations,” the order said.

The committee will also analyse the international scenario on the existing regulatory mechanism with a view to incorporate the best practices.

The order said the content on private television channels is regulated by the Programme and Advertisement Codes, while the PCI has norms to regulate the print media.

“There are no norms or guidelines to regulate the online media websites and news portals. Therefore, it has been decided to constitute a committee to frame and suggest a regulatory framework for online media/ news portals including digital broadcasting and entertainment/ infotainment sites and news/ media aggregators,” it said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government had made a hasty retreat on Tuesday as the Prime Minister withdrew within hours of release of his government’s order that threatened to take away the accreditation of journalists involved in producing

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BJP leader shot dead in Mandsaur

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gun shot

BJP leader and Mandsaur Municipal Corporation President, Prahlad Bandhwar, was shot dead in Nai Abaadi, Mandsaur on Thursday. Police has launched a search operation for the miscreants.

SL Borsi, SHO Kotwali police station, said, “We have got a name, police is searching for him. A police team has gone for the same. They had a land dispute.”

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Army commander visits forward positions in Poonch

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india-pakistan-border army ceasefire

Jammu, Jan 17 : Amid heightened tension on the Line of Control (LoC), the Northern Army Commander on Thursday visited forward positions in Poonch district.

Defence spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand said, “Lt General Ranbir Singh, Army Commander, Northern Command, accompanied by the White Knight Corps Commander, Lt general Paramjit Singh visited forward posts of Poonch Sector to review the operational preparedness and the prevailing security situation.

“During the visit to the sector, the Army Commander was briefed by the commanders on the ground about the current operational situation, prevailing security dynamics and the preparedness of the formations in dealing with the same.

“The Army Commander was also briefed on the actions being taken to ensure a robust counter-infiltration and counter-terrorist grid to enable continued peace and stability in the region.

“The Army Commander interacted with the soldiers and complimented them for their unwavering dedication to duty.

Tension has been prevailing along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts due to frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

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JNU sedition row BJP creation, says ex-ABVP member

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JNU Protest

New Delhi, Jan 17 : A former ABVP member has said the chargesheet filed against the 10 JNU students, including Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, is the brainchild of BJP and claimed that some ABVP members had themselves raised “Pakistan Zindabad” slogan on the JNU campus in 2016 which led to the slapping of sedition charges.

Pradeep Narwal, who left the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) after the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) sedition row in 2016, told IANS that the entire issue is politically-motivated and has been raised to benefit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming general election.

The entire controversy was fomented by the ABVP in 2016 to divert the attention from the University of Hyderabad student Rohith Vemula’s suicide.

“This was a media trial, then, and this is a media trial, now. The controversy was created by the BJP to dilute the suicide of Rohith Vemula, who was forced to end his life by Bandaru Dattatreya (then Labour Minister from Telangana), who escalated the matter to the HRD Ministry, while the matter should have been dealt with at the Vice Chancellor level,” Narwal said.

He also suggested that certain members of the ABVP and its sympathisers were also seen among the students in the video grab which captured “Pakistan Zindabad” slogan — the slogan purported to be the heart of the sedition charge in the chargesheet — being raised.

“Hence, either the video is doctored, as I have been saying all along, or the chargesheet should also be filed against those ABVP members,” he said, adding that he was frequently threatened and abused by the ABVP members for days after his leaving the group.

Vemula committed suicide three years back on this day in his room on the University of Hyderabad campus.

In his suicide note, he had narrated how he was being victimised for coming from a low caste and how casteism was rife in the university. His death sent thousands of university students across India into agitation, who waged several protests against the “institutional discrimination” at places of higher education.

Narwal, who joined the Congress six months back, said the chargesheet has been filed to create a “narrative” before the general election on the basis of “doctored videos”.

“If due process is not followed in this case, it would be the biggest fraud on democracy,” he said.

The Delhi Police on Monday filed a chargesheet naming Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and seven Kashmiri students, mentioning that anti-national slogans were raised by them at an event held at Sabarmati Dhaba on the JNU campus in February 2016.

The police have cited video footage made by ABVP members, among others, as evidence.

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