What is the rank of India in World Press Freedom Index 2021?_00.1
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What is the rank of India in World Press Freedom Index 2021?

In the recently released World Press Freedom Index, the rank of India is 142 out of 180 nations.

The index has been published every year by the international journalism not-for-profit body namely Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

As we have seen that India has not slipped further in the Index but it continues to be counted among the countries classified “bad” for journalism and is termed as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists trying to do their jobs properly.

What is the rank of India in World Press Freedom Index 2021?_50.1

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Which country topped the Index?

The latest index ranks 180 countries and topped by Norway which is followed by Finland and Denmark. Eritrea ranked at the bottom.

The rank of China is 177, Turkmenistan 178, and North Korea 179.

Last year also India ranked 142 same as this year after it had consistently slid down 133 in 2016.

If we see South Asian neighbourhood countries rank of Nepal is 106, Sri Lanka 127, Myanmar 140, Pakistan 145 and Bangladesh 152.

The report further stated that India shares the “bad” classification with Brazil, Mexico and Russia.

Journalism, the main vaccine against disinformation is completely or partially blocked in 73% of the 180 countries.

To control the spread of information, the COVID-19 pandemic has been used to perfection by nations.

Out of total index’s that is 180 countries, only 12 or 7% can claim to offer a favourable environment for journalism.

The concern is also raised by the report about the larger Asia-Pacific region because various nations in an attempt to curb freedom of the press have in place draconian laws on ‘sedition’, ‘state secrets’, and ‘national security’.

In India, the situation is worrying in Kashmir where incidents of harassment of reporters by police and paramilitaries have surfaced.

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What is the reason behind India’s Poor Performance?

It has been said that journalists are exposed to every kind of attacks like police violence against reporters, ambushes by political activists, and reprisals instigated by criminal groups or corrupt local officials.

The journalists have often been subjected to coordinated hate campaigns on social networks. Such campaigns are mainly violent when the targets are women.

It said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “tightens his grip on media”. With “four journalists killed in connection with their work in 2020, India is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists trying to do their job properly”.

What is the rank of India in World Press Freedom Index 2021?_60.1

About World Press Freedom Index

Since 2002, it has been published every year by Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) or Reporters Without Borders.

RSF is based in Paris and is an independent NGO with consultative status with the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF).

The organization of the Francophonie (OIF) is 54 French-speaking nations collective. As per the level of freedom available to journalists, the index ranks countries and regions. However, it is not an indicator of the quality of journalism.

The parameters are pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.

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At last, about Freedom of Press

Article 19 of the Indian Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression which deals with ‘Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc

Here to inform you is that Freedom of Press is not protected by the Indian legal system but is impliedly protected under article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution which says “All citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression”.

The Supreme Court in Romesh Thappar v. the State of Madras in 1950 observed that freedom of the press lay at the foundation of all democratic organisations.

Also, the Freedom of Press is also not absolute. Certain restrictions are faced under Article 19(2) which are as follows:

Matters related to interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

Source: IndianExpress

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Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 21 April, 2021

 

 

 

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