The current state of the media in India and its impact on public discourse and accountability. It highlights the issues of sensationalism, lack of fact-checking, and the blurring of lines between fact and opinion in the media. As a UPSC aspirant, it is important to understand the role of media in a democracy and its responsibility towards the public.
Since liberalisation in 1991, the audiovisual media in India has transformed itself, with an explosion in the quantity of media offerings.
Indian journalism has changed in style and substance, driven by the "breaking news" culture and the search for sensational stories.
Television news in India has given up providing a public service and prioritizes sensation over substance.
Social media compounds the problem by offering a platform for unverified "facts" and viral opinions.
The print media is also affected, with journalists feeling pressed to publish without fact-checking due to the relentless 24x7 breaking news cycle and the rise of social media.
The media has become a willing accomplice of motivated leaks and malicious allegations
Charges are reported uncritically without questioning their plausibility
The blurred lines between fact, opinion, speculation, reportage, and rumor in Indian media are a matter of serious concern
Free media are essential for democracy as they provide information for citizens to make informed choices and hold elected officials accountable
The media's obsession with superficial and sensational news trivializes public discourse and distracts the public from real questions of accountability.
The author supports a free press and believes it is necessary for a democratic society.
The government needs a free and professional media to keep it honest and efficient.
The free press serves as a mirror to society and a scalpel to probe wrongdoing.
The author criticizes the current rulers for intimidating newspapers and blocking TV channels that publish news prejudicial to government interests.
The author believes that instead of censorship, what is needed is better journalism.
To achieve better journalism, there should be a culture of fact-verification and accuracy in the industry.
Journalists should not feel pressured to break the news without ensuring the accuracy of their facts and accusations.
There should be better journalistic training at accredited media institutes that emphasize values of accuracy, integrity, and fairness.
Media organizations should issue retractions with equal prominence when false claims or intentionally misleading statements are published or broadcasted.
Newsrooms should maintain a diverse journalistic environment and provide space for alternative views or refutations.
Journalists should welcome comments and feedback from viewers and readers to build trust and engagement.
Laws and regulations should be introduced to limit control of multiple news organizations by a single business or political entity.
A single overseer for print and television news companies would help limit the power of corporate and political entities and promote media standards.
India's population is becoming more literate, leading to an increase in media consumers.
The media should contribute to shaping an informed, educated, and politically aware India.
India needs to take itself seriously and responsibly to be seen as a responsible global player and a model democracy.
The media can play a crucial role in achieving this.
It highlights the challenges faced by India's youngest citizens in terms of education during the pandemic. The article discusses the findings of a survey that reveals the struggles of rural students aged 14 to 18 in basic mathematics and reading skills. It also highlights the gaps in enrollment and educational choices among students.
The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) titled "ASER 2023: Beyond Basics" reveals the impact of the pandemic on rural students aged 14 to 18 in India.
More than half of the surveyed students struggled with basic mathematics, a skill they should have mastered in Classes 3 and 4.
About 25% of students in this age group cannot read a Class 2 level text in their mother tongue.
Boys performed better than girls in arithmetic and English reading skills.
86.8% of students in the 14-18 year age group are enrolled in an educational institution, but there are gaps as they grow older.
The percentage of students not in school increases from 3.9% for 14-year-olds to 32.6% for 18-year-olds.
Most students in Class 11 and higher opt for Humanities, with fewer girls enrolled in the science stream compared to boys.
Only 5.6% of students have opted for vocational training or other related courses.
The proportion of children opting for private tuition increased from 25% in 2018 to 30% in 2022.
Close to 90% of the surveyed youngsters have a smartphone and know how to use it, but many are unaware of online safety settings.
The National Education Policy 2020 aims to achieve universal foundational literacy and numeracy in primary school by 2025.
All states have made efforts in foundational literacy and numeracy under the NIPUN Bharat Mission, but there is still a lot of catching up to do.
Rising enrollment is positive, but students often struggle to cope with the ambitious curriculum set for higher secondary level.
The Right to Education Act, 2009 ensures universal access to education, but there are still gaps to fill.
It is important to stay updated with the latest developments in the field of defense and strategic partnerships. This article discusses Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's recent visit to the United Kingdom and the opportunities for cooperation between India and the UK in the field of defense technology, specifically in electrical propulsion for aircraft carriers.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recently visited the United Kingdom after a gap of 22 years.
The growth of Chinese military power and its expansion into the Indian Ocean has given the UK an opportunity to reorient its strategic priorities.
The Indian Navy has capability-related needs to counter the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
Mr. Singh's visit aimed to secure key technologies from the UK to address the Indian Navy's technological gaps against the Chinese.
One area of cooperation between India and the UK is in electrical propulsion for aircraft carriers.
The Indian Navy's carriers currently do not use electric propulsion technology, while the Royal Navy's Queen Elizabeth Class carriers do.
Preliminary engagements between the Indian and UK governments have already taken place regarding the Indian Navy securing electric propulsion technology.
The Chinese PLAN is also integrating electric propulsion into its warships.
The Indian Navy is working on integrating electric propulsion technology into its future warships.
The advantage of electric propulsion is that it reduces the acoustic signature and enhances electrical power generation for subsystems.
A joint working group called the "India-UK electric propulsion capability partnership" was established in February 2023.
The Royal Navy has agreed to provide technical know-how and share its experience in maritime electric propulsion.
The British will also train, equip, and help establish the necessary infrastructure for developing an electric propulsion system.
The technology will initially be tested on landing platforms docks and guided missile destroyers with a displacement of over 6,000 tonnes.
Challenges in the India-U.K. defence relationship include legacy issues and concerns about British motives and objectives in the Subcontinent.
The emergence of China as a major naval power in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has created a strong rationale for closer defence ties between the UK and India.
The UK and India have already conducted joint military exercises and are planning for deeper defence industrial cooperation.
During the visit of Mr. Singh, the British officially announced their plans to deploy a littoral response group and a carrier strike group in 2024 and 2025 respectively, to train and increase interoperability with the Indian Navy.
This visit signifies the UK's rediscovery and bolstering of its military involvement and presence East of Suez, which had declined until the late 1960s.
A recent Supreme Court order regarding the appointment of a commissioner to inspect a mosque in Mathura. It raises important questions about the maintainability of suits related to the status of places of worship and the need to respect the religious character of such places. Reading this article will help you understand the legal aspects of the issue and the implications for religious harmony in India.
The Supreme Court has stayed the execution of an Allahabad High Court order to appoint a commissioner to inspect the Shahi Idgah Mosque in Mathura.
The appointment of the commission was halted because it was sought on vague grounds without any particular reason.
The Supreme Court has ruled that civil courts should not grant any interim relief if there is a question about the maintainability of the suit or if the suit is barred by law.
The committee of management of the Shahi Idgah Mosque has questioned the maintainability of the suit in the name of the deity, Bhagwan Sri Krishna Virajman, and other Hindu worshippers.
The suit is barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which prohibits the conversion of the religious character of any place of worship as it was on August 15, 1947.
Hindu devotees claim that the mosque is standing on the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
Several suits are pending in connection with the mosque in Mathura and the Allahabad High Court has transferred all the suits to itself for disposal.
A commission has been appointed to inspect the premises in the Mathura dispute.
The legal strategy is similar to the one used in the Gyanvapi Mosque case in Varanasi.
The Mathura dispute was settled through a compromise in 1968 and implemented through a decree in 1973.
The current suits challenge the compromise and seek the transfer of the entire land to the deity.
The use of the judiciary to attack Muslim places of worship by claiming they were built on Hindu structures is a regular feature.
Courts must determine at the earliest stage whether such suits are maintainable.
The inauguration of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu, which is now the longest sea bridge in the country. It highlights the impact of this infrastructure development on the Mumbai-Navi Mumbai drive, reducing the travel time from 42-km to 20 minutes. Reading this article will provide insights into the importance of infrastructure development in promoting social empowerment and improving connectivity in India.
The Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu is the longest sea bridge in India.
It was inaugurated on January 13.
The bridge has six lanes.
It has reduced the travel time between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai from 42 km to 20 minutes.