Regulators

I&B ministry earmarks Rs 20 crore to strengthen TV channels' monitoring

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NEW DELHI: An amount of Rs 20 crore has been allocated in the current financial year 2014-15 for facilitating augmentation of the monitoring capacity of the Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC).

Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B Ministry) sources told Indiantelevision.com that a sum of Rs 90 crore had been earmarked in the 12th Plan 2012 to 2017 to enhance the monitoring capacity of the centre.

EMMC is a subordinate office under the Ministry of I&B and has been set up with state-of-the-art facility with effect from 9 June, 2008. EMMC monitors the content of the private satellite TV channels with regard to violation of Programme and Advertising Codes as enshrined in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and Cable Television Network Rules, 1994.

The government hopes to increase the capacity of the EMMC to 1500 by 2017, which currently monitors around 300 television channels.

These channels are chosen randomly out of the 839 channels beaming into Indian homes. The aim is to first achieve the target of monitoring 600 channels within a few months.

The Programme Code provides that no programme should be carried which (a) offends good taste or decency (b) contains anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half truths (c) criticizes, maligns or slanders any individual in person or certain groups, segments of social, public and moral life of the country (d) denigrates women through the depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman, her form or body or any part thereof in such a way as to have the effect of being indecent or derogatory to women, or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals (e) denigrates children (f) is not suitable for unrestricted public exhibition (g) is unsuitable for children. Action is taken against defaulting channels whenever any violation of the said codes is noticed or brought to the notice of the Ministry.

The Ministry also has an Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) to look into the violations of the Programme and Advertisement Codes. IMC has representatives from the Ministry of home affairs, defence, external affairs, law, women and child development, health and family welfare, consumer affairs and a representative from the industry in Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). IMC meets periodically and recommends action against violations.

The Ministry issues advisories from time to time on various issues, which are also relevant to reality shows. These are available at Ministry?s website www.mib.nic.in.

In addition, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has formulated the ?Guidelines for Media Reporting on Children,? which has been circulated by this Ministry among all TV channels/NBA/IBF on 23 November, 2012. The guidelines lay down provisions to be followed by broadcasters/producers in case child participants are taken in their shows.

Besides, as part of self-regulation by industry, Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), which is a representative body of non-news and current affairs TV channels, has set up Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) to examine the complaints about television programmes. BCCC has also issued some Advisories on various issues related to reality shows to their member channels, which are available at their website Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF).

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