On September 2, 2021, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) constituted a 11-member committee to review the existing guidelines of the Journalist Welfare Scheme (JWS). The Member of Prasar Bharati Board, Ashok Kumar Tandon, is named as its chairperson.
- The committee will submit its recommendation within 2 months.
Reason behind this formation:
There are two key reasons which are as follows:
i.Revision of quantum of ex-gratia payment: The media domain has lost a large number of journalists due to COVID-19, therefore it is required to revise the quantum of ex-gratia payment in case of death as well as in other cases under the scheme.
- Presently, JWS provides one time ex gratia on urgent basis to journalists and their families.
- MIB also provided ex-gratia payment 5 lakh each to the families of journalists who unfortunately died due to COVID-19 and such assistance has been given in over 100 cases.
ii.Broadening of Working Journalists definition: It will revise and broad-basing the definition of working journalist for the purpose of the Scheme keeping in view the Occupational, Safety, Health and Working Condition Code-2010 as well as Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code ) Rules, 2021.
- The committee will also look into the aspect of differentiation between accredited and non-accredited journalists for availing benefits under the scheme.
Members of Committee:
i. Sachidanand Murthy, Resident Editor, The Week
ii. Shekhar Aiyar, Freelance Journalist
iii. Amitabh Sinha, News 18
iv. Sishir Kumar Sinha, Business Line
v. Ravinder Kumar, Special Correspondent, Zee News
vi. Hitesh Shankar, Editor, Panchjanya
vii. Ms. Smriti Kak Ramachandran, Hindustan Times
viii. Amit Kumar, Times Now
ix. Ms Vasudha Venugopal, Economic Times
x. Kanchan Prasad, Addl. DG, Press Information Bureau (PIB)
Recent Related News:
In July 2021, Former Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the virtual ‘India Pavilion’ during the 74th Cannes Film Festival, organized by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting jointly with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
About Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB)
Union Minister– Anurag Singh Thakur (Constituency- Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh)
MoS– Loganathan Murugan (Constituency- Tamil Nadu)