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Index Monitoring Cell

Topics Covered: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability.

Index Monitoring Cell:


Context:

Index Monitoring Cell (IMC) recently submitted its report to the centre.

Key recommendations:

Decriminalise defamation.

Consent of the Press Council of India should be made a prerequisite before filing an FIR against the media or a publication.

About the Index Monitoring Cell:

  • Set up by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in 2020.
  • Its task is to improve India’s ranking in the World Press Freedom Index and to evolve an objective yardstick to gauge media freedom.
  • The group will also put in place a mechanism for States to come up with their own rankings of press freedom.

Composition of the IMC:

It will include the director-general of the Press Information Bureau, officials from the Registrar of newspapers of India, Bureau of outreach and communication, and from the press facilitation unit, apart from the secretary of the Press Council of India and Niti Aayog.

About Press Freedom Index:

Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF), or Reporters Without Borders, a non-profit organisation that works to document attacks on journalists around the world, ranked India 142 out of 180 countries in its annual Press Freedom Index report published on April 22, 2020.

  • The parameters that are evaluated for these rankings, include pluralism, media independence, environment and self-censorship, legal framework, transparency among others.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. When and why was the IMC setup?
  2. About the Press Freedom Index.
  3. Parameters.
  4. India’s performance.

Mains Link:

Suggest ways to improve India’s ranking in the annual Press Freedom Index.

Sources: the Hindu.