Citizens' Issues
Press Council wants electronic, social media under its purview

Journalistic ethics apply not only to the print media but also to the electronic media and there is no reason why electronic media be not regulated by a statutory body says the Press Council

New Delhi: The Press Council of India (PCI) has urged Union Government to carry out necessary amendments to bring electronic and social media under its purview, saying broadcast media's claim for self-regulation is 'futile' and 'oxymoron', reports PTI.
The PCI, which also sought to be renamed 'The Media Council', cited the recent incidents where social networking sites were used to spread rumours that triggered exodus of people belonging to north-eastern states to justify its demand for widening its area of operation and said there should not be any "dilly-dallying" in the matter by the Government.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the PCI said that it had resolved that the "Government of India be requested to initiate suitable legislation to amend the Press Council Act, 1978, by (i) bringing the electronic media (both broadcast and social media) within the purview of the Press Council Act, and renaming it as The Media Council." 
The PCI also sought more powers for itself, the statement said, adding that it had passed a resolution to this effect at a meeting held yesterday in the capital.
"Journalistic ethics apply not only to the print media but also to the electronic media, and hence there is no reason why electronic media be not regulated by a statutory body, when the print media is regulated," it said.
PCI Chairperson Justice Markanday Katju has in the past also expressed views that the electronic media should be under the purview of the council.
The PCI also gave reasons for passing the resolution to include the electronic and the social media within its ambit.
"When the Press Council Act was enacted, there was no electronic media, and hence there was no need for any legislation for regulating the electronic media," the PCI statement said.
"Subsequently, the electronic media has come into existence. Journalistic ethics apply not only to the print media but also to the electronic media...," it said.
The PCI said that experience had shown that "the claim of the broadcast media for self-regulation is futile and meaningless, because self-regulation is an oxymoron." 
"All social activity has to be regulated. Regulation is different from control. In control, there is no freedom, while in regulation, there is freedom but it is subject to reasonable restrictions in the public interest," the PCI statement said.
The Press Council also said that it was in favour of only regulation and not control, and that this regulation should be by an independent statutory authority like the Press Council of India and not the government.
The Council said that it presently has 28 members (apart from the Chairman), of which, 20 are representatives of the Press.
"These 20 members are not appointed by the government but elected by press bodies. All important decisions are taken by majority vote. If the electronic media is also brought under the Press Council (to be named The Media Council), the electronic media will also have their representatives in the Council," it said in its statement.
The Council said that recent happenings had indicated that regulation of media was important.
"In recent times, experience has shown that the unregulated electronic media is playing havoc with the lives of the people. An example is what happened to the people of North-East," the PCI statement said.
"Hence, the Press Council resolved that now the time has come when there should not be any dilly-dallying in the matter by the Government, and the amendments to the Press Council Act, as proposed above, should be made forthwith," the PCI said.


HDFC Invest Wise: One more ULIP

With the market already full of ULIPS that inflicted losses on the savers, here’s another product that joins the category. Will it be any better than the existing ones?

HDFC Life Insurance has launched a single premium ULIP (unit linked insurance product) plan named “Invest Wise”, which is an investment product aimed at saving for long-term goals, such as for children’s education and marriage or else investors’ own retirement planning. Targeted towards its so called “Wisdom Investor” segment, the plan is meant for the age group of 45 to 70 years with a fixed term of 15 years and offers a five-fund option for investment. The settlement options include withdrawal of funds in various patterns included the one for five years. The sum assured is fixed at 1.1 times the premium. There is no cap on the premium.


Since the sum assured is low, more of the premium money would be directed towards investment, which means more returns at withdrawal or maturity. Also, since the term is fixed, investors should be able to align the plan to the life goals they wish to fulfil through it.


In case death happens before 60, the sum assured minus withdrawals made in two years proceeding the year of death or the fund value, whichever is higher, would be paid. However, in case of death after 60, all withdrawals will be deducted from the sum assured for comparison with the fund value.


Many such plans exist in the market, the only minor difference being that this plan would invest in more market-oriented instruments compared to the other child or retirement ULIPS. In other words, this seems to be a me-too product with little difference. The bigger issue is that we are never sure how the corpus would grow over time.



Madhusudan Thakkar

5 years ago

How can IRDA pass such inferior, deficient, flawed, faulty, defective, substandard, imperfect & abysmal product?On the one hand IRDA chief is singing about adequate "Insurance" component. Why IRDA has closed its eyes in above?Since this plan does not offer 10 times of life cover there is no question of tax benefits also.


5 years ago

I invested in same kind of unit linked plan 2 yrs back named HDFC sl crest highest investment guarantee fund , which is giving guarantee for Rs.15, my average investment ratio for 2 yrs around Rs.9.5, ie 7.5% p.a return on the policy maturity, I invested when benchmark nifty around 5400, Nifty went upto 5620 but the fund is not even crossed Rs.10 and include all other charges like FMC ,Mortality, etc., nothing the investor will get at the end. moral of the story: Use the product for the purpose they developed, Insurance is for security to life and majorly not for wealth

CAG refuses to join public debate on coal issue

In a statement, the Comptroller and Auditor General said it has been getting repeated calls from the media for reactions, but CAG Vinod Rai feels that it would be improper on his part to join a public debate on this issue

New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Tuesday declined to join a public debate on the controversies over its findings on the coal blocks allocation which have come under attack from Prime Minister, the Congress party and critics, reports PTI.
"Being a Constitutional authority, the C&AG (Vinod Rai) feels that it would be improper on his part to join a public debate on this issue. It is hereby stated that the organisation of C&AG would clarify on the report at the appropriate forum when required," an official statement from the CAG office said.
The statement said the CAG office has been getting repeated calls from the media for reactions to the news stories on the allocation of coal blocks and augmentation of coal production presented in Parliament on 17th August and subsequent clarifications in this regard.
Yesterday in Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh questioned the CAG findings on coal blocks allocation describing them as "disputable and flawed".
"The policy of allocation of coal blocks to private parties, which the CAG has criticised, was not not a new policy introduced by the UPA. The policy has existed since 1993 and previous government also allocated coal blocks in precisely the manner that the CAG has now criticised," he had said.
In a 32-point rebuttal of the CAG findings on the coal blocks allocations Singh said "the observations of the CAG are clearly disputable."


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