After various people expressed anger and disappointment over controversial news channel NDTV appearing as a ‘media partner’ at an event hosted by NITI Ayog, the policy think-tank of the government of India clarified that the news channel was not the media partner for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit – an event that NITI Ayog is hosting in partnership with the government of United States of America.
NITI Aayog is not partnering with any media channel or publication for #GES2017. We welcome all media to attend & cover the event widely!
— NITI Aayog (@NITIAayog) November 26, 2017
As it turns out, NDTV is the media partner of ‘Shuruaat Bus’, which features as one the various events taking place under the aegis of Global Entrepreneurship Summit. ‘Shuruaat Bus’ is an initiative led the Global Education & Leadership Foundation (tGELF), which is not a government entity. However, NITI Ayog is a partner in this initiative, which is being showcased in Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
NITI is partnering in this initiative through its arm named AIM (Atal Innovation Mission), which also took to Twitter to clarify about NDTV not being a media partner for the parent event.
NDTV is a media partner of Shuruaat Bus only. @NITIAayog has no media partner for GES and is open to all media for coverage
— AIM (@AIMtoInnovate) November 26, 2017
So, while NITI Ayog is technically correct that NDTV is not the media partner of Global Entrepreneurship Summit, its arm AIM in partnership with tGELF had chosen NDTV as a media partner for another event, which is part of Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
This did not go down well with the disappointed users, who thought NDTV must have been entirely avoided by any government entity, even if present as a partner in another entity, owing to the tax evasion charges on the channel’s promoters and other controversies surrounding the news channel.
The fact that an arm of NITI Ayog did partner with NDTV for a smaller event – which is part of the larger event about which clarification was issued – was not a ‘lesser crime’ for many users:
— Raju Das | ৰাজু দাস (@rajudasonline) November 26, 2017
What further irked and angered users was the fact that presence of NDTV as media partner was advertised along with NITI Ayog’s logo, which has the government of India emblem. This was not deemed appropriate by many users, as the channel is under taxmen’s scrutiny; the presence of sovereign emblem alongside NDTV’s name could be seen as giving the channel legitimacy by the same government that suspects it of wrongdoings:
Front view of the bus. And here the NDTV logo is bigger than Niti Ayog ? pic.twitter.com/pflTSUxlZy
— Suresh Kochattil (@kochattil) November 26, 2017
LOL, watch this, what Niti Aayog guy Amitabh Kant is saying. It’s @NITIAayog sponsored, guy at NitiAayog are lying.
— Shivam Toons ? (@shtoons) November 26, 2017
The bus itself was launched by the Aayog and IIT Delhi :) – https://t.co/Osr2c9VZjs“shuruaat”-bus-flagged-iitd-2
— Aashish Chandorkar (@c_aashish) November 26, 2017
Niti Ayog or AIM have not issued any further clarification or justification over NDTV being a media partner for this smaller event, which will be showcased at Global Entrepreneurship Summit.