Home Ministry tells States/UTs to curb spread of false news about Covid-19

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 02, 2020 Published on April 02, 2020

PIB sets up fact check unit

The Home Affairs Ministry has urged State governments to take effective measure to curb the spread of fake news to prevent panic among citizens due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

This comes after the Supreme Court, while hearing a writ petition, noted that the panic created by fake news led to mass movement of migrant labourers and also to untold suffering for them.

“Following up on the Court’s observations, Secretary, Union Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA), Ajay Kumar Bhalla, has written to all States/UTs to take effective measures to fight fake news. It has been communicated that the Government of India is creating a web portal for people to verify facts and unverified news promptly. States/UTs have been requested to create a similar mechanism at their level for issues relating to them” an official statement added.

The government has decided to constitute a Covid-19 Fact Check Unit (FCU) in the Press Information Bureau (PIB) under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, which has become operational from Thursday and is headed by PIB DG, Nitin Wakankar. “The official version of any news on Covid-19 can be obtained from the Unit,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, referring to the SC’s observations and directions to ensure provision of basic amenities such as food and medicines and relief shelters, among others, in line with NDMA/MHA directives, the Home Affairs Ministry has asked all States and UTs to comply with these directives and advisories in “letter and spirit, for the containment of the spread of Covid-19 in the country.”

Published on April 02, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.