Welcome, Prakash Javadekar. But has Modi missed a trick by not combining I&B with telecom?

31 May,2019

By Your Editor

The suspense over portfolio allocation ended earlier today with the announcement via a Rashtrapati Bhawan communique. While one needs to figure why some people were chosen (or not chosen) for a few key ministries, there is a new master for the media sector – the information and broadcasting ministry: Prakash Javadekar. The other important ministry for the media – telecom – sees Ravi Shankar Prasad continuing in office.

Although it requires some lateral thinking, one would’ve thought that given the mandate the new government has won and the Prime Minister’s penchant for going out-of-the-box, we would’ve had a single minister for telecom, and information and broadcasting. There’s a lot more to IT than the internet and social media, and it could well be looked at by another minister, if at all.

 

However, that’s not been done. And we are back to one minister for I&B and another for communications, IT and electronics. Sad, given that telecom is driving media in a big way, and in order that the digital economy grows, it’s important that there is integrated attention.

 

Be that as it may, let’s welcome back Prakash Javdekar to the I&B Ministry. He’s affable and has had some experience in I&B (May-November 2014) and a few years as a member of the Press Council of India. Javadekar is liked by most people and can be a consensus-builder.

 

There is loads happening in the media – especially on the digital front – and the minister would be required to step in and take a progressive approach to tackling things.

 

Will he? Won’t he? We’ll know for sure soon enough.

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