In Pics: PM, Sonia launch Rs 60-crore National Media Centre

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New Delhi, Aug 24: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday inaugurated National Media Centre in central Delhi that is well-equipped with modern infrastructure.

Speaking at the inauguration of the National Media Centre here, the PM said, "A witch hunt is no substitute for investigative journalism. At the end of day, credibility is media's currency", adding that the spirit of inquiry should not lead to calumny.

PM tells Media 'credibility' is currency

The Prime Minister  also said the exponential growth in India's media sector began during the 1990s, and expressed confidence that the media would not be found wanting in efforts to consolidate India as an inclusive, progressive society.

He said the media was among the principal beneficiaries of the wave of economic reforms introduced in the country, and advancements like the internet, the telecom revolution, low-cost broadcasting and social media were inconceivable just two decades ago.

Sonia Gandhi says media's watchdog role 'welcome'

While speaking at the inauguration of the National Media Centre here, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said that well-intentioned criticism of the policies of the government by the media was welcome, for the media played an important watchdog function.

She also said there was need to highlight shortcomings in government policies, and the media needed to be "the government's enemy".

"We welcome the watchdog role of the media," she said, adding that it had strengthened democracy.

Sonia also said that at times media makes the political establishment 'uncomfortable'.

On Mumbai gangrape that spread outrage all across the country yesterday, Sonia said, "I am saddened and pained over the gangrape of a photojournalist in Mumbai."

Talking informally to media people after the inauguration, Sonia expressed hope that the Food Security Bill will be passed in the monsoon session of Parliament.

In New Delhi

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at the inauguration of the National Media Centre in New Delhi on Saturday.

In New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at the inauguration of the National Media Centre in New Delhi on Saturday.

In New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Union I & B Minister Manish Tewari unveiling the plaque to inaugurate the National Media Centre in New Delhi on Saturday.

In New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressing at the inauguration of the National Media Centre, in New Delhi on Saturday.

In New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at the inauguration of the National Media Centre in New Delhi on Saturday.

Asked if UPA-III (United Progressive Alliance-III) will be a reality, she said: "Yes, of course, 100 percent."

To a question about the possibility of early general elections, she said: "Our aim is to go till the end (of the government's tenure)."

About the National Media Centre

Located at 7-E, Raisina Road, it is in proximity to Rashtrapati Bhawan, government offices, Vigyan Bhavan and Parliament House.

The swanky National Media Centre will serve as the communication hub of the government. It is likely to house the Press Information Bureau (PIB) as well.

The Centre has been constructed by the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) at a cost of Rs 60 crore over a period of three years with a total covered area of 13,867 sqm. The plot size is 7787.46 sqm (1.95 acres).

It has a press conference hall for 283 media persons, a briefing room for about 60 persons, 24 work stations for journalists, a library, media lounge and cafeteria. The press conference hall and media lounge are wi-fi enabled.

Among the facilities provided at the centre are optic fibre Internet backbone with redundancy, mini data centre for application development and hosting webcast, including live webcast, Video feed to TV channels, IT facilities to media persons in work area and lounge, Internet telephony and AV Video Wall.

The world class media centre will have two basements, a ground floor and four floors above it.

OneIndia News

(With Agency inputs)

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