Kolkata, Jan 2 (UNI) Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi today said efforts were on to make the Right to Information Act more effective.
Addressing industrialists at Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry on ''Media Role in Democracy'', Mr Dasmunsi said talks and discussions were on in the ministry and other fora on evolving a mechanism to make the Act more effective for seeking information, particularly on public issues.
Barring classified information, efforts were on to make the Act effective in the present form as far as availing information is sought by an applicant as it would strengthen the democracy, said Mr Dasmunsi.
He, however, urged the people to use wisdom while seeking information saying getting an answer on public issue was easier than on private issue due to logisitcal reasons.
To a question, Mr Dasmunsi ruled out autonomy of the Prasar Bharati, immediately saying it depend on the Central budget. Besides it has social obligations on many public issues, which private channels did not, he observed.
'' But Doordarshan enjoyed much more freedom than the BBC,'' said the union minister.
Barring some social issues like health, Doordarshan enjoyed huge freedom on political coverage, claimed the Boradcasting Minister. He said unless and until Prasar Bharati became self sufficient financially, the present position would continue.
He also questioned how far a reporter of a print media or an electronic channel enjoyed freedom while reporting an event.
Mr Dasmunsi, however, lauded Indian media, both print and electronic, saying they were fairly balanced than their counterparts elsewhere.
In fact there was no complaint against any media as they had the capability to rise on any occasion whenever the situation demands, he added.
He also said the fourth estate should be allowed to function freely for successful democracy.
UNI PC KK AE AS1918