New Delhi, May 25 (IANS): Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said on Wednesday that the media has immense capacity to shape the right perceptions and perspectives of the public as an effective tool for empowerment.

Addressing the 17th Asian Media Summit virtually, Thakur said Indian media ensured that Covid awareness messages, important government guidelines and free consultations with doctors reached everyone in the country.

“The Doordarshan and All India Radio have significantly fulfilled their public service mandate which has been proven by their role in setting the trend through timely coverage, field reports and program organization on public health,” he said.

Thakur applauded the role played by the Indian media during the difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking on the misinformation, the minister said, “The unverified allegations and false content circulating in the media has created an atmosphere of extreme fear among the population.”

Crediting the fact-checking unit of the Press Information Bureau, he said it was firmly tackling this threat of fake news and disinformation by spreading it in real time.

Further underscoring the achievements of the government in the fight against Covid-19, Thakur said while vaccinating a population of 1.3 billion was extremely difficult, India has vaccinated the majority of its population through the combined efforts of the government. , Covid warriors and civil society.

Crediting the media for sharing this burden and delivering, the minister said, “In this endeavor, the Indian media has played a very important role in educating people on the benefits of being vaccinated against coronavirus. We faced many roadblocks. Challenges were vaccine hesitancy. This was shattered by the media through proper messaging and education. Our Prime Minister Modi has addressed the citizens through Indian radio programs or TV channels to reach out and clarify this to give a clear message on the vaccine.

The theme for this year’s Asia Media Summit is “Future Forward, Reimagining Media”. Focusing on the changing mechanisms of media delivery, Thakur noted that today’s media is highly technology driven and experiencing a rapid pace of innovation. The growth of the Internet through affordable mobile devices has revived the media industry.

“5G technology will further enhance the user experience, with increased speed of delivery and improved quality of media content,” the minister said.

Thakur, however, also said that authenticity of content will always remain at the core, regardless of technological advancement.

“We can talk about the right to free flow of information, we also have to talk about the need to disseminate correct information,” he said.

Recalling the recent unprecedented display of Indian soft power via cinema at Cannes, Thakur said Indian cinema reigns in the hearts of millions across the world and has created an identity for India.

“This was evident in how Indian films were overwhelmingly applauded by film-goers at the festival. With 3,000 releases, India produces the highest number of films every year,” Thakur said.

He further reiterated the incentives announced at Cannes, for the promotion of film shooting in India.

He noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision was to prioritize the preservation and promotion of India’s rich cultural heritage.

“To realize this vision, the government has announced the world’s largest film restoration project under the National Film Heritage Mission. Through this campaign, more than 2,200 films of all languages ​​and genres will find their former glory. Preservation connects generations and new generations should know, recognize and imbibe the values ​​held dear by our ancestors,” said Thakur.

Thakur briefed the audience on the celebration of the country’s 75 years of independence from British rule and said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, we are reviving our historic morals, traditional values ​​and cultural ethos.

“Our younger generation is increasingly aware of the sacrifices our freedom fighters made for independence,” Thakur added.