India ranks 133rd out of 180 countries listed in the World Press Freedom Index 2016, released by NGO Reporters Without Borders. India jumped three places compared with last year's ranking. Published annually, the rankings are based on freedom allowed to journalists in countries around the world.
Noting that it is hard for journalists in India to cover regions such as Kashmir that are regarded as sensitive by the government, Reporters Without Borders criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being indifferent to the "threats and problems" faced by media personnel and bloggers in the country, who are are "attacked and anathematised by various religious groups that are quick to take offence".
"Instead, in a desire to increase control of media coverage, Modi envisages opening a journalism university run by former propaganda ministry officials," the NGO added.
The list was headed by three north European countries – Finland, Netherlands and Norway. Africa as a region overtook the Americas when it comes to press freedom, the NGO said. Pakistan was ranked 147th and China 176th. The three lowest-ranked countries were Syria, North Korea and Eritrea.