India Celebrates National Press Day; Honours the PCI

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  • National commemorated National Press Day today at an event held at Constitution Club of India.

Every year, since 1966, the nation commemorates National Press day on the 16th of November. This day honours the establishment of the Press Council of India (PCI), a statutory and quasi-judicial organization. It symbolizes the freedom of speech bestowed on the journalists of the society that unearth truth under all circumstances.

The First Press Commission 1956 proposed a committee to protect the ethics of journalism and freedom of the press in India. The following ten years led to the formation of the Press Council of India. The Press Council was established on 4 July 1966 in India with Justice J R Mudholkar, a Supreme Court judge, as the Chairman of the Press Council of India , which operated from 16 November 1966. The Council was established abiding to the rules of the Press Council Act of 1978.

PCI plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy democracy in the country and scrutinizes all journalistic activities to keep credibility intact. It acts as a moral watchdog corroborating that Indian journalists are not driven by any influence .

The council consists of 29 members inclusive of a Chairman. Of the additional 28 members,  20 of them come from the media, nominated by the newspapers, television channels and other media outlets operating in India. Of the rest 8 members, 5 are from Parliament,  while three represent culture, literary and legal fields as nominees of Sahitya Academy, University Grant Commission and Bar Council of India respectively.

Currently, Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, succeeded Justice Markandey Katju (2011-2014) as the chairman. He was first elected as the head in 2014 and re-elected for the second term recently.

This year the occasion was themed ‘Who is Not Afraid of Media?’.  As part of the celebration, the Press Council of India organized a function at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi. Eminent Journalist and Author Mr Swaminathan Gurumurthy,  solicited the celebration as the Guest of Honour and Keynote Speaker. 

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