Asserting that correct information is the "oxygen" of a healthy democracy, President Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday asked Indian Information Service (IIS) officers to be well-equipped to counter disinformation and act promptly against fake information.
"Today with wide and instant spread of information, a challenge of fake information travelling equally fast has also emerged. You have to take the responsibility of combating fake news," she said, addressing a group of IIS officers/officer trainees, who had called on the president.
She urged them to harness technology and work with dedication to combat this alarming trend of misusing media, especially social media, to build false narratives.
"Another challenge before you is that latest technology will also be used by those who trade in disinformation or fake information. You have to be well-equipped to counter such disinformation and should act promptly against fake information," Murmu said.
She said certain basic protocols have been developed to identify fake news and educate the public about it.
The president said that latest tools and technologies such as artificial intelligence should be leveraged for dealing with emerging challenges.
"As we all know, communication is a crucial factor in making citizens aware about government policies, programmes and its functioning. Through effective communication and with correct information, you can be instrumental in making citizens informed partners in the progress of the country. I believe that correct information is the oxygen of a healthy democracy," she said.
Murmu also said that social media has altered the information landscape.
"It has dramatically shrunk the response time for information officials like you. To ensure that information reaches the last mile, it is pertinent for you to know the importance and relevance of various media channels and platforms," the president said.
She said that IIS officers have a key role in enhancing the image of India on the global stage.
"India has always given the message of peace and brotherhood to the world. Spreading India's soft power through cultural messages for the entire humanity is an important area where they can make a big difference," she said, addressing the officers/officer trainees of 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 batches.
Invoking India's rich culture and heritage in communication messages made for the audience within the country and abroad can give a big boost to the country's image on the world stage, the president said.
Addressing the probationers of Indian Naval Armament Service (INAS), she said they have to play a significant role in providing an efficient and safe armament logistics delivery system to both the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard.
She said with advancement in technology and introduction of state-of-the-art weapons, they must strive for innovation to achieve the goals of indigenisation.
The president said that while much has been achieved in the pursuit of indigenisation over past decades, the time is now ripe for launching a new phase of self-reliance by manufacturing technologically advanced equipment within India, in line with the vision of ‘Make in India’.
She urged INAS officers to wholeheartedly contribute towards achieving self-reliance in the field of naval armament and realising the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India).
"This will make the Indian Navy combat ready and future proof and will also strengthen the maritime interests of the country," Murmu said.
The president advised officers to always remember that their positions are of great responsibility and accountability.
Murmu also highlighted the need for higher number of women officers in INAS.
"Women are now entering and making a mark in all fields including defence forces. I hope that more women will be joining Naval Armament service also in coming days," she said.
Murmu said every decision that they take will impact the lives of citizens either directly or indirectly.
"So their goals should be aligned with the development goals of the country and well-being of fellow citizens," she said.
-With PTI Input