Television

Dasmunsi reiterates govt resolve on B'cast Bill

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NEW DELHI: A draft Broadcasting Bill may have been put in the backburner for the time being, but the government is determined to bring in regulation for the broadcast industry.

Pointing out that allegations of intrusion of privacy of individuals and other such issues are taken up by an autonomous Press Council of India for the print medium, information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi today said, "In so far, as electronic media are concerned, such a specific code has not been formulated."

That's why the government is considering a Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill in consultation with other ministries, the minister informed the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) today.

Dasmunsi's ministry, which had earlier proposed to bring in the broadcast Bill in the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament, has not yet listed it amongst the business that the House would undertake during this session lasting till end-August.

However, the I&B minister, who has been blowing hot and cold over the proposed Broadcast Bill, did admit in Parliament today "a need has also been felt to consult the media in the matter."

This makes it amply clear that the government had failed to take the industry stakeholders into confidence while drafting a note for the Cabinet's consideration on the issue and has been forced to soften its stand on the face of stiff media opposition to some draconian clauses proposed.

According to Dasmunsi, a committee has been set up to formulate a programme code based upon the concept of self-regulation by TV channels.

While making his point on the need to regulate the electronic medium in the country, Dasmunsi scored a few points when answering to queries from his fellow parliamentarians.

To a question on government show cause to TV channels, Dasmunsi said 190 such notices have been issued to different television channels for violation of Programme and Advertising Codes during the period 2004-06 till date.

The break up of number of channels against whom it was established a breach of Programme and Advertising Codes has Orders for setting up of monitoring committees for private television channels at the State and District levels was issued in September 2005 and the order for constitution of an inter-ministerial committee to take cognizance suo-motu or look into the specific complaints regarding violations of the Programme Code and Advertising Code, as defined in Rule 6 and 7 of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 was issued in April 2005.

Government has asked States to constitute monitoring committees at district levels to monitor private satellite and local cable channels to detect and look into the violation of Programme and Advertising Code, according to the minister.

As far as content monitoring is concerned, the Indian government is serious about the whole thing.

Dasmunsi said the government proposes to set an Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) for content monitoring of private television channels and to check violations of programme and advertisement codes.

The total cost of the project is Rs 116.5 million out of which RS 29 million has already been released.

Another tranche of RS 58 million has been allocated under Annual Plan 2006-07 for the purpose.

As of now, EMMC project is underway on a temporary basis in Pushpa Vihar area in Delhi and is likely to be commissioned in a full-fledged manner 2007, subject to availability of funds and other infrastructural requirements.

However, Dasmunsi said that the ministry of urban development has been requested to give a permanent piece of real estate in the Capital for the EMMC project.

(RS 47= 1US$)NEW DELHI: A draft Broadcasting Bill may have been put in the backburner for the time being, but the government is determined to bring in regulation for the broadcast industry.

Pointing out that allegations of intrusion of privacy of individuals and other such issues are taken up by an autonomous Press Council of India for the print medium, information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi today said, "In so far, as electronic media are concerned, such a specific code has not been formulated."

That's why the government is considering a Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill in consultation with other ministries, the minister informed the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) today.

Dasmunsi's ministry, which had earlier proposed to bring in the broadcast Bill in the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament, has not yet listed it amongst the business that the House would undertake during this session lasting till end-August.

However, the I&B minister, who has been blowing hot and cold over the proposed Broadcast Bill, did admit in Parliament today "a need has also been felt to consult the media in the matter."

This makes it amply clear that the government had failed to take the industry stakeholders into confidence while drafting a note for the Cabinet's consideration on the issue and has been forced to soften its stand on the face of stiff media opposition to some draconian clauses proposed.

According to Dasmunsi, a committee has been set up to formulate a programme code based upon the concept of self-regulation by TV channels.

While making his point on the need to regulate the electronic medium in the country, Dasmunsi scored a few points when answering to queries from his fellow parliamentarians.

To a question on government show cause to TV channels, Dasmunsi said 190 such notices have been issued to different television channels for violation of Programme and Advertising Codes during the period 2004-06 till date.

The break up of number of channels against whom it was established a breach of Programme and Advertising Codes has Orders for setting up of monitoring committees for private television channels at the State and District levels was issued in September 2005 and the order for constitution of an inter-ministerial committee to take cognizance suo-motu or look into the specific complaints regarding violations of the Programme Code and Advertising Code, as defined in Rule 6 and 7 of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 was issued in April 2005.

Government has asked States to constitute monitoring committees at district levels to monitor private satellite and local cable channels to detect and look into the violation of Programme and Advertising Code, according to the minister.

As far as content monitoring is concerned, the Indian government is serious about the whole thing.

Dasmunsi said the government proposes to set an Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) for content monitoring of private television channels and to check violations of programme and advertisement codes.

The total cost of the project is Rs 116.5 million out of which RS 29 million has already been released.

Another tranche of RS 58 million has been allocated under Annual Plan 2006-07 for the purpose.

As of now, EMMC project is underway on a temporary basis in Pushpa Vihar area in Delhi and is likely to be commissioned in a full-fledged manner 2007, subject to availability of funds and other infrastructural requirements.

However, Dasmunsi said that the ministry of urban development has been requested to give a permanent piece of real estate in the Capital for the EMMC project.

(RS 47= 1US$)

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