Content slot – Guidelines for Uplinking and Downlinking of Satellite Television Channels in India, 2022 | 11th November 2022 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • It talks about the recently released new guidelines for television channels operating in India by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Relevance:

  • GS2: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.

What's the crux of the article?

  • The newly released guidelines, known as “Guidelines for Uplinking and Downlinking of Satellite Television Channels in India, 2022”, require that all television channels operating in India should broadcast content on themes of national importance and socially relevant issues for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • This provision is not applicable for foreign channels and channels where it is not feasible like sports channels.
  • Reason given for this is that airwaves and frequencies are public property and need to be used in the best interest of society.
  • The guidelines also empower the Central Government to issue a general advisory to the channels for telecast of content in national interest, and the channel shall comply with the same from time to time.
  • This suggests that the government will closely monitor the media. Experts worry that the government would exploit this provision to control television channels.

Guidelines for Uplinking and Downlinking of Satellite Television Channels in India, 2022:

  • These recommendations were first introduced in 2005, then modified in 2011, and now, in 2022.
  • New Guidelines ease compliance for Television Channels
  • No prior Permission for Live Telecast of Events
  • Indian Teleports may uplink Foreign Channels
  • Obligation to telecast content in National/Public Interest.
    • The 30 minutes content will not be provided by the government. The TV channels are given the freedom to create and broadcast their own content.
    • Eight themes are given:
      1. education and spread of literacy,
      2. agriculture and rural development,
      3. health and family welfare,
      4. welfare of weaker sections of society,
      5. science and technology,
      6. women’s welfare,
      7. protection of women and
      8. cultural heritage and national integration.

Way Forward:

According to a FICCI-EY report, with television subscriptions estimated to add another 42 million by 2025 from 178 million in 2021, thus, the public service broadcast is not a bad idea in a diverse country with myriad issues.



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