Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on Monday gave an interview to the Editor of OpIndia Hindi, Ajeet Bharti and spoke on a host of issues such as government’s measures to tackle the worsening environment in NCR, brazen repression of press in Maharashtra, Bihar elections, self-regulation of OTT platforms among other things.
Here are the key takeaways from Union Minister Prakash Javadekar’s interview with OpIndia:
Development and Environment protection go hand in hand: Prakash Javadekar
When asked about his opinion on the narrative set by many that development is always against environment, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that he thinks development and environment complement each other than be at odds with each other.
“The change in the situation of the land is inevitable. We just have to be careful that the change doesn’t adversely affect the land and its surrounding environment. When I was in school, India’s population was close to 30 crores. Today, it is close to 136 crores. We need increased productivity of our agricultural goods to feed this population, new and skilled jobs to provide employment to the people. For such endeavours development is a must. It is our policy to place equal importance to both environment and development,” Javadekar said.
Naxalism has been reduced to one-third levels as compared to UPA tenure
Answering the question of if development engendering resentment among the tribal population and pushing more people towards Naxalism, Prakash Javadekar rubbished the perception peddled by many as misplaced and said that the Modi government has been quite successful in reducing the Naxalism prevalent in the country. He asserted that the interests of tribals and Adivasis have never been comprised and the Environment Ministry keeps their sentiments and welfare under consideration while formulation its policies.
Central government working to completely eliminate stubble burning in the next 3-4 years
On the issue of deteriorating quality of the environment in and around the Delhi NCR region, especially during the winters, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar expressed optimism about the central government getting a handle on it in the coming 3-4 years.
He added that there are many factors that play a vital role in contributing to the worsening environment woes in Delhi, key among which is the stubble burning by farmers during the winter season. He listed pollution from industries, moisture in the atmosphere and vehicular pollution as being other factors that exacerbate the worsening air quality in Delhi and NCR region.
“The day the government’s formulated policies regarding stubble burning becomes cheaper for farmers than burning the stubble, they will stop doing it. Unfortunately, state governments around the NCR have not been able to fully tackle the issue. The central government in the coming years will hopefully bring in measures that will greatly reduce the stubble burning by farmers,” Javadekar said.
Centre wants OTT and other Digital Media platforms to self-regulate their content: Union Minister Prakash Javdekar
Being also the Information and Broadcasting Minister of India, Prakash Javadekar was also asked about the government’s take on regulation of online content. To this, the Minister responded that the government is encouraging digital media organisations in the country to self-regulate their content.
“The central government wants OTT platforms and other digital media organisations to self regulate their content. We are nudging the important stakeholders to create a mechanism for self-regulation of content that goes on air through their respective platforms,” Javadekar said.
Robust measures instituted by PIB to counter the fake news: Javadekar
On the matter of prevalence and furtherance of fake news by not just self-proclaimed fact-checkers and established media organisations, Prakash Javadekar said the debunking of fake news is being robustly done by the fact-checking arm of the Press Information Bureau(PIB).
He also added that media organisations, both the local as well as foreign organisations, are officially communicated through PIB if they are found peddling distorted interpretation of news.
Prakash Javadekar condemns the relentless hounding of Republic TV channel by Maharashtra government
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar also condemned Maharashtra government for the relentless hounding of the Republic TV channel. He noted that journalists in Maharashtra are being harassed to suppress the truth and further one’s political agenda.
“The TRP scam was wrong. There should be an impartial and fair investigation into it. The channel whose name was not mentioned in the complaint is being accused of wrongdoing and the one which was mentioned is enjoying a free run,” Javadekar said.
Shiv Sena ditched BJP to fulfil its political greed
Prakash Javadekar came down hard at the erstwhile BJP ally-Shiv Sena, stating that the saffron party was ditched by the Shiv Sena because they wanted to fulfil their greed of installing a Thackeray as the state’s chief minister.
In doing so, they formed a nexus with the very parties that they fought the election against, Prakash Javadekar said on Shiv Sena forming the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government in Maharashtra with ideological rivals NCP and Congress. Javadekar also claimed that unity of the three coalition partners in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government is dependent on their commitment to corruption.
“They have insulted public mandate which voted in favour of PM Modi’s leadership. They are under the delusion that they have won the elections and were able to form a government in the state but in reality they have been defeated,” Javadekar said.
Nitish Kumar will be next chief minister of Bihar: Prakash Javadekar
Speaking on the forthcoming Bihar assembly elections, Prakash Javadekar said that the party is alliance is confident of returning to power with a thumping majority and that Nitish Kumar will be the next chief minister of the state.
The Union Minister also spoke about the departure of LJP from the NDA alliance in Bihar. He said that though LJP remains a key alliance partner in the central government, in Bihar, it will act as a vote-cutter party.
I take it as the success of the Ministry that changes incorporated in history books are not talked about: Prakash Javadekar
When asked there had not been any changes in the history books, Javadekar cited three articles published in the Indian Express to claim that changes were incorporated in the text books.
Suggestions from about 1,100 teachers were incorporated in the books and more than 200 pages of changes have been made so far, Javadekar said. However, he also added that he considers it as his Ministry’s success that the changes made in the books did not warrant undue attention in the media.
You can watch the entire interview here: