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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

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