Dear Reader,

Last week, on 3rd August, two bills which have implications for press freedom were in Parliament. While the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha, the government introduced the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill in the Lower House, which was subsequently passed on August 7, 2023.

The first bill - the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill - has raised hackles in the media, with the Editors Guild of India urging the Lok Sabha Speaker to refer it to a Select Committee of Parliament.

The bill, the Guild argues, expands and widens the scope for “more intrusive and arbitrary checks” on the media, retains the power of the state to wantonly deny the right of publication to news entities, and enter the premises of a news publication at will, and is, therefore, “draconian” in its spirit.

The second - the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill - passed just yesterday in the Lok Sabha, ostensibly protects the data and privacy of citizens from encroachment by enterprises. However, the proposed legislation is embedded with damning flaws which need to be ironed out before it becomes law. The Editors Guild has also raised its concerns on this bill.

MediaNama analyses the provisions of the DPDP Bill and raises concerns about the unfettered right to mass surveillance by the government, the unbridled mining of publicly shared citizen’s data and the increase in compliance burden on companies. Furthermore, the story points out that the Bill enables the state to block content, and threatens to terminally weaken the provisions of the RTI Act.

As Manipur continues to simmer, Mojo Story travels to the frontlines of the ethnic conflict to bring us a series of ground reports. This includes the story of young men who wield guns, in a battle that they seem to consider larger than themselves, but at the same time aspire to go beyond their present - to be “businessmen” and even “join the Indian Army”!

Again from Manipur, Main Bhi Bharat reports on the less than happy state of relations between the two frontline communities – the Meiteis and the Kukis. And the fears that the suspicion and animosity will only deepen and widen, even as the urge for an end to hostilities and peace is palpable.

And, in Kerala, the children of migrant workers, more often than not, find it a challenge to assimilate and integrate. Keraleeyam Masika takes us through how Project Roshni, an initiative in the Ernakulam district, is helping them to overcome the language barrier and create an inclusive and supportive school environment.

For more such stories from the grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Fifteen Major Concerns With India’s Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023

MediaNama looks at the bugs in the Personal Data Protection bill passed by Parliament this week which could erode citizens’ rights to data and privacy, and severely erode the right to information.

Read Here

In an Underground Bunker, Holding A Gun, This Young Boy Has a Different Dream

Mojo Story reports on the lives and aspirations of young men who are fighting on the frontlines of the ethnic conflict in Manipur.

Watch Here

मणिपुर: संगीनों के साये में ज़िंदगी

Main Bhi Bharat reports from Manipur on the cleavage between communities and the urgent need to restore peace and normalcy.

Watch Here

പാഠം ഒന്ന് 'നാമൊന്ന്'

Keraleeyam Masika tells us how Project Roshni, in Kerala’s Ernakulam district, is reducing the local-language gap among children of migrant workers.

Watch Here

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മീനും മനുഷ്യരും തിന്നുന്ന പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് കടൽ
TrueCopy Think dives deep into the scourge of plastic pollution in the sea, seen through the eyes of biologists and marine scientists, and explains why Kerala must urgently address the issue.
‘There Is No Solution. We Will Be Killed One By One:' Kashmiri Pandits, 4 Years After Modi Govt Revoked J&K Autonomy
Has the revocation of Article 370 improved the lot of the Kashmiri Pandits In Jammu and Kashmir? Article 14 reports from Srinagar.
One Drop At A Time
The Citizen reports from Tikamgarh district in Madhya Pradesh on how the farmers came together as a community to rejuvenate the local river, and conserve water through ponds and check dams.
कटिहार और अररिया के स्कूलों में नामांकित बच्चों में से 50% भी नहीं आते स्कूल
Based on a survey of government schools in Katihar and Araria in Bihar, मैं मीडिया analyses the sorry state of affairs – dilapidated infrastructure, abysmal teacher availability and shockingly-low student attendance in the classrooms.

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