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Ministry of I&B mandates to take nod for State Governments’ before entering into the broadcasting business

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    28th Oct, 2022

Context

In view of the recommendations as per Telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI), the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has ordered that the State Governments’ are not allowed to enter into Educational broadcasting on their own and need to take consent from the public broadcaster, the ‘Prasar Bharati’.

Key-highlights of Guidelines:

  • The entry of Central/State/Union Territory governmentsinto the broadcast activity for educational purposes would be allowed through Prasar Bharati route via "suitable" means.
  • All such existing activities would also have to be brought under its purview.

TRAI:

  • TRAI regulates telecom services including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services which were earlier vested in the Central Government.
  • It also aims to provide a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.

Broadcasting in India:

  • Broadcasting is referred to as a central source of news and information across the globe.
    • Broadcasting services: Cable TV, DTH Services, Terrestrial services (Doordarshan), Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), Radio (FM, AM, Community Radio).
  • The body that regulates and governs the media and entertainment sector in India is enshrined in the Cable Networks Act, 1995 and the Prasar Bharti Act, 1990. These are regulated by the
    • Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
    • Prasar Bharti
  • The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is the nodal ministry for all matters relating to broadcasting.

Prasar Bharati

  • Prasar Bharati is India’s largest public broadcasting agency.
  • It is a statutory autonomous body set up by an Act of Parliament.
  • It comprises the Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio, which were earlier media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. 
  • Headquartered in: New Delhi

Do States have a call on their own Broadcasting in India?

  • Only the central government, as per Article 246 of the Constitution, can legislate on such subject.
    • Entry No. 31 in List I (Union List) of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India covers "posts and telegraphs, telephones, wireless, broadcasting and other like forms of communication".
  • In the context of the demand by some States to have their own broadcasting stations, the TRAI had cited the views of Sarkaria Commission and the Verghese Committee, the power of an exclusive call to the States regarding broadcasting could not be supported.

Do you know?

Reuters Institute’ Digital News Report 2021 ‘revealed that DD News and All India Radio are the most trusted News brands in India.

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