The Narendra Modi government has come up with a proposal that will permanently render ineligible those journalists who are found peddling fake news. Although the powers will be with Press Council of India (in case of print media) and News Broadcasters Association (in case of electronic media), the chances of abuse of powers are very high.
Economist Surjit Bhalla said, "As someone who has just written about the prevalence of fake news (more like fake analysis), I find it shocking that some people feel that control of media will lead to a better outcome - rest assured, it will be a lot worse."
Says Rupa Subramanyam, author and economist, "The new proposal puts the onus on self-regulation, penalizes before an inquiry, and doesn't define what fake news is. If self-regulating is the goal, why is government involved in the first place? Is "amending the guidelines" legislative reform? Advisory? Only in India self-regulation involves the government. Definition of an oxymoron."
However, I & B Minister Smriti Irani counters saying, "Would like to highlight that ‘fake news’ cases will be determined by PCI and NBA, both which are not regulated/operated by Government of India. Conduct rules and ethical work practices have been determined by NBA and PCI already."