NEW DELHI: After facing backlash over controversial directive on fake news, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is now planning to swap Press Information Bureau (PIB) cards it issues to journalists, with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) cards.
In a move ostensibly to improve security inside government buildings and offices, PIB — the media wing of the I&B Ministry — wrote to the Union Home Ministry in January asking if the accreditation cards it issues to mediapersons could be replaced with RFID cards, claimed sources in PIB.
However, there has been no progress on the proposal, they added. PIB issues these identification cards to journalists after a careful verification process to facilitate their entry into Central government premises. Replacing PIB cards with RFID would mean that journalists entering the government premises will have to swipe the cards upon entry.
A section of media on Wednesday questioned the move saying the implementation of the new system will help government in tracking journalists — their entry, exit and possibly who they are meeting.
Responding to the media reports, principal director general of PIB Frank Noronha tweeted that he hasn’t received any instructions pertaining to the tracking of journalists from the I&B Ministry.
Central Press Accreditation Committee, which is headed by the director-general of the PIB looks into PIB accreditation of journalists. As per information, nearly 3,000 cards are issued annually to reporters, photographers, TV cameramen and editors. The whole process of verifications take around three-four months.