Press Council of India: Role & Objectives | Press Council of India Act

By K Balaji|Updated : October 27th, 2022

The Press Council of India was established by the Press Council Act 1978 and is a Statutory Body. it is the apex body for the regulation of Print Media in India. It enjoys independence from the Indian Government. The goal of the Press Council of India is to protect press freedom and also develop and preserve the press standards in India. In this article, we have shared all the information on the composition, powers, functions, and limitations of the Press Council of India.

The Press Council of India is an important topic for the UPSC Exam as it comes under the Indian POlity section. Candidates preparing for the upcoming UPSC exam must go through the article to learn about this topic in-depth.

Table of Content

What is Press Council of India?

The Press Council of India is a statutory body that protects press freedom. The Press Council Act 1978 governs the current press council.

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  • This is a quasi-judicial body that acts like a watchdog for the press, by the press, and works for the benefit of the press.
  • Press Council of India works as a regulator for the print media of the country,
  • This council is one of the most crucial bodies in India that maintain democracy and make sure the protection of freedom of expression.

Press Council of India- Composition

The Press Council of India is led by the chairman, and it has a total of 28 members, including the Chairman. The other members of PCI, apart from the chairman, are

  • 2 Members of the Rajya Sabha
  • 3 Lok Sabha Members
  • 7 Working Journalists
  • 6 Editors of Newspapers
  • 6 persons in the business of managing newspapers.
  • 3 people with specialized knowledge of public life
  • 1 person who manages news agencies

Functions of Press Council of India

The functions of the Press Council of India are as follows:

  • Making sure that the newspapers can operate independently
  • Another function of Press Council of India is Maintaining the news quality for the citizens of India
  • Setting high professional standards by creating a journalistic code of conduct.
  • Giving training to new journalists
  • Press Council of India also works to boost the technical and other research areas related to the news.
  • Maintaining high professional standards in news agencies by building a code of conduct.
  • Keeping track of things that may become an obstacle to the flow of news.

Press Council of India- Powers

The Press Council of India is bestowed with various powers such as

  • An editor can complain to the Press Council of India about any violation of journalist ethics,
  • This council is responsible for enquiring the complaints it gets,
  • Press Council of India can issue a warning, criticize the guilty.
  • The PCI decisions are final and can’t be changed.
  • PCI can demand copies of public records and summon witnesses.

Limitattions of Press Council of India

The limitations to the powers of the Press Council of India are given below:

  • The powers of Press Council of India to enforce standards on the print media is limited. PCI can’t enforce standards on electronic media such as Radio, television, and the internet. The PCI is only responsible for the operation of Print Media.
  • While enforcing the issued guidelines, the Press Council of India has very limited powers. It can’t penalize anyone for the violation of guidelines.

Press Council of India UPSC

Questions from the Press Council of India can be asked in the UPSC Exam. That's why candidates need to know all the facts related to PCI. To make things easier, we have covered everything in this article that would help the candidates during their preparation. Those who are planning to appear for the IAS Exam can go through this article to learn crucial information related to the Press Council of India.

Press Council of India UPSC Questions

Question: Which Act of the Parliament governs the functioning of the Press Council of India?

(a) Press Council Act of 1958

(b) Press Council Act of 1978

(c) Press Council Act of 1988

(d) None of the above

Answer: (b)

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FAQs on Press Council of India

  • The Press Council of India is a statutory body that is responsible for the regulation of print media in India. It was created by the Press Council Act

  • The Press Council of India sets professional standards for print media. The PCI aims to protect the freedom of the press while improving and regulating the press standards in India.

  • Yes, the Press Council of India is a statutory body created by the Press Council Act of 1978. It is the apex body that is responsible for the regulation of print media in the country.

  • There are various functions of the Press Council of India such as ensuring the newspaper can operate independently, setting high professional standards, maintaining the quality of news, giving training to new journalists, etc.

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