Balramji Dass Tandon, Governor, Chhatisgarh today said that media had played important role in country’s freedom struggle and strengthening democracy and now the time has come to play frontal role in taking our country to the new heights of overall development thereby making it the economic superpower of the world. Presiding over the concluding session of two day media conclave jointly organized by Indian Journalists Union (IJU) and Punjab Journalists Union here at Media Studies Institute of Chandigarh University, Mr. Tandon said that with the advancement of various communication techniques, the whole world was turned into a global village. He said that with ever changing communication mediums, the role and responsibility of media increases manifold. He congratulated both the Journalists association for bringing a large number of journalists together to discuss as well as sort out problems being faced by the fraternity besides sharing their experiences to further improve their reporting and other skills.
Earlier addressing the gathering, Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, Public Relations Minister, Punjab said that journalism was the fourth pillar of democracy and right from the days of struggle for nation’s freedom, during Indo-China and Indo-Pak wars, imposition of emergency and other challenges faced by the country, media rose to the occasion and played a significant role in creating awareness as well as opposing any wrong doing. He said that with emergence of social media and electronic media, the flow of information becomes too fast so it becomes imperative for media also to be doubly sure before disseminating any information particularly on sensitive issues like communal harmony or religious feelings of any community besides matters relating to security & integrity of our country.
Mr. Majithia informed that the Punjab government was all set to double the free travel facility from Rs.1200 to Rs.2400 and Rs.1600 to Rs.3200 to the accredited journalists and desk personnel . He said that minimum 35 to 40 correspondents of each vernacular including sub-editors and proof readers were enjoying the free travel facility given by Punjab government. Every year, the Punjab government was spending Rs.5 lakh to provide free travel to media persons, he added.Mr. Majithia pointed out that previous government never cared for safety and security of media persons. Keeping in view the high mobility job of media persons, the SAD-BJP government had decided to provide accident insurance of Rs.5 lakh to accredited media persons in its first term and every year over 400 accredited media persons was insured. “ Now last year our government has extended the 5 lakh accident cover to all yellow card journalists and this year over 3500 journalists have been provided 5 lakh insurance cover and Punjab government has deposited a premium of Rs.7 lakh for giving them accident cover”, the Public Relations Minister added.
Mr. Majithia further said that the SAD-BJP government had promised to construct Press Club in every district and as a part of our promise, Press Club at Patiala and Bathinda have already started working in government accommodation provided by the government. The Punjab government has also started construction of world class press club in Amritsar for which Rs.1.36 crore has already been released to PWD and Press Club would be operational by April, 2016.Mr. Majithia urged the media persons to highlight the unique development projects besides welfare schemes aimed at ensuring the welfare of certain underprivileged sections of the society, so that the benefit of those initiatives should reach to the concerned masses in a speedy way. He assured the office bearers as well as members of both Journalists unions that the State government was always open to their genuine demands and facilitates media as much as possible so that it could discharge its duties efficaciously.
Mr. Satnam Singh Sandhu, Chancellor, Chandigarh University thanked the visiting dignitaries’ and journalists participating in the conclave. He said that today’s deliberations would play an important role in guiding their students. Prominent amongst others, who were present on the occasion included; Mr. SN Sinha, President, IJU, Mr. Amar Devapalli, General Secretary, President Punjab Chandigarh Journalists Union Mr. Balwinder Jammu, Mr. K Sriniwas Reddy, Editor, Vishal Andhara, Dr. BS Sohi, Vice Chancellor, Chandigarh University and Mr. Sanjay Tandon, President, BJP, Chandigarh.