Government rejects ranking on World Press Freedom Index, question methodology and sample size

New Delhi: In response to India’s ranking of 142nd in its world press freedom index, the government clarified its position by saying it does not subscribe to the views and rankings of Reporters Without Borders.

While answering Congressman Manish Tewari’s question in the Lok Sabha regarding the latest ranking of the World Press Freedom Index, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said that the methodology used by the foreign NGO Reporters Without Borders was questionable.

According to the PTI news agency, Rai said India’s disapproval is based on “very small sample size, little or no weighting for fundamentals of democracy, adoption of questionable methodology and non-transparent, the lack of a clear definition of freedom of the press, etc.”

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Meanwhile, answering the question about the closure of the Kashmir Press Club on January 18, Rai said there was no registered body with that name.

The minister added that there is no elected management body of the club because the club as a registered body has ceased to exist and has not registered under the law of 1860 on registration of companies.

Sharing details, Rai informed the Lok Sabha that the Estates Department of the UT administration took over the government building where the Kashmir Press Club was operated, on January 17, in the presence of the Executive Magistrate of Srinagar and the government building rolled out the static guard for its protection.

While answering another question, Rai said that according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, the number of cases registered under the UAPA counter-terrorism law in the country in 2020 is 796, according to the agency.

A total of 1,321 people were arrested under the UAPA and 116 people were acquitted. A total of 80 people were convicted under UAPA in the country in 2020, he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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