Media Current Affairs

India, Ethiopia sign agreements on trade, communication

India and Ethiopia have signed agreements on trade, communication and media to boost bilateral ties. The agreements were signed after wide ranging talks between President Ram Nath Kovind and his Ethiopian counterpart Mulatu Teshome at Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

The agreement was signed during President Ram Nath Kovind’s second leg of his maiden visit abroad to Djibouti and Ethiopia

Singed Agreements

  • Trade Agreement
  • Agreement in field of Information, Communication and Media.

India-Ethiopia Relations

Bilateral partnership between India and Ethiopia rests on civilizational ties and cultural bonds. Historical linkages between both countries go back about 2,000 years of recorded history. India is amongst top trade, investment and development partner of Ethiopia.

India’s is third most important trading partner for Ethiopia. India’s exports to Ethiopia in 2012 amounted to US $ 890 million i.e. 11% of all of Ethiopia’s imports. It mainly comprised primary and semifinished iron and steel products, drugs and pharmaceuticals, machinery and instruments, metal, plastic chemicals, transport equipments, electrical materials etc. India’s annual imports from Ethiopia have stagnated in range of US $ 30million. These mainly consist of cotton, pulses and spices.

Ethiopia continues to be largest recipient of India’s concessional Lines of Credit in Africa, with commitment of over one billion dollar. India is second largest foreign investor in Ethiopia with approved investment of US $ 4.78 billion. About 40% of Indian investment is in field of commercial agriculture. India is actively playing important role of capacity building in Ethiopia in field of ITEC, education, Science and Technology and Defence etc

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Union Government puts ban on NDTV India on hold

The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has put hold its order imposing a oneday  ban   on Hindi  channel  NDTV  India.

Earlier, the ministry had imposed oneday ban (on November 9) on NDTV India over its live coverage of the Pathankot terror attack, violating Programme/Advertising Code.

Opposition parties and media bodies have criticised arbitary punitive decision of the Union Government saying this was tantamount to an assault on media freedom.

What is the issue?

  • An Inter-ministerial Committee (IMC) had found that NDTV India channel had violated the provisions of the programme code, specifically, clause (rule) 6 (1) (p) of the code, in its live coverage of the Pathankot terrorist attack on 4 January 2016.
  • The live coverage by the channel may have given away sensitive information and could have helped the terrorists.
  • The IMC comprised of joint secretaries Home, Defence, I&B, External Affairs, Law and Justice, Health and Family Welfare, Consumer Affairs, Women and Child Development and representative of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).

What is Programme Code?

  • The Programme/Advertising Code of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 has been incorporated in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.
  • The code gives the Union Government the power to block the transmission and re-transmission of any channel in the country. It is binding on all cable networks.
  • It has been taken from Content code governing All India Radio (AIR) which has been framed around restrictions to free speech under 19 (2) of the Constitution.
  • For the violation of this code, 30 channels have been ordered to be banned for periods ranging from 1 day to 2 months between 2005 and November 2016.

Note: There are no content-specific laws or binding rules for the print media and nor they require licence to publish a newspaper.

What is clause 6 (1) (p) of the Programme Code?

  • The clause 6(1)(p) was introduced by an amendment to The Cable Television Network Rules in 2014 by the Union Government and it came into force in March 2015.
  • It prohibits live coverage of any anti-terrorist operation by security forces. In these cases, media coverage will be restricted to periodic briefing by an officer designated by the appropriate Government till such operation concludes.

Comment

  • There are no specific laws protecting the freedom of the media in India. But journalists and journalism thrive on broader freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 of Constitution.
  • Article 19 gives all citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression. However, the first constitutional amendment in 1951 put “reasonable restrictions” on use of Article 19.
  • The reasonable restrictions can be imposed on issues related to sovereignty and integrity of India, security of state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

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