Journalist Welfare Scheme (JWS): The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I & B) has decided to form a committee to review the existing guidelines of the Journalist Welfare Scheme (JWS).
- A ten-member committee headed by Shri Ashok Kumar Tandon, renowned Journalist and Member, Prasar Bharati has been constituted.
- The committee will have nine Members from different print and electronic media and an Additional Director General of PIB as members.
- Director (IP) in the Ministry will be the Convener of the committee.
Role of the Committee:
- The committee will take a look at the existing guidelines of JWS of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and make appropriate recommendations for changes therein.
- The committee will revise the quantum of ex-gratia payment in case of death as well as in other cases under the scheme.
- The terms of reference (ToR) of the committee include examining the need for such a revision of the quantum of ex-gratia payment.
- It will look into the aspect of differentiation or parity between accredited and non-accredited journalists for availing benefits under the scheme.
- The Committee is expected to give its report in a time-bound manner within two months and all secretarial assistance for convening its meetings will be provided by the Press Information Bureau (PIB).
- Its recommendations would enable the Government to frame guidelines afresh for the benefit of the journalists.
- This decision is considered significant in the light of the several changes that have taken place in the media eco-space including the loss of a large number of journalists due to COVID-19 and the broad basing of the definition of the “Working Journalists”.
- With the enactment of the Occupational, Safety, Health and Working Condition Code 2020, the definition of the Working Journalists has been broadened to include within its fold those working in both traditional and digital media.
About Ministry of Information and Broadcasting:
- Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is a ministerial-level agency of the Government of India (GoI).
- It is responsible for the formulation and administration of rules, regulations and laws in the areas of information, broadcasting, the press and the Cinema of India.
- The Ministry is responsible for the administration of Prasar Bharati, the broadcasting arm of the Indian Government.
- The Central Board of Film Certification is the other important statutory body under this ministry being responsible for the regulation of motion pictures broadcast in India.
- This ministry was founded on 15 August 1947.
- The current Minister of Information and Broadcasting is Anurag Thakur (Union Minister).