MIB does not keep record of non-carriage of mandatory channels: Jaitley

NEW DELHI: While multi-system operators (MSOs) and direct-to-home (DTH) operators are expected to mandatorily carry a total of 24 Doordarshan channels in digital addressable system (DAS) areas, the number of channels to be carried in the non-DAS areas is 10.

The channels to be carried by DAS and non-DAS areas includes Gyan Darshan, which is currently off-air but Doordarshan sources tell that some arrangement was being worked out to re-start the channel run by the Indira Gandhi National Open University.

The channels to be carried in the DAS areas include 22 DD channels including DD National, DD Bharati, DD News, DD India, DD Sports, and Kisan Channel. The other DD channels are language channels. Other than DD, the channels for DAS areas are Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha TV, and Gyan Darshan.

The channels to be carried in non-DAS areas are:  DD National, DD News, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV, DD Sports, DD Urdu, DD Bharati, Kisan Channel, Gyan Darshan, and one regional language of Doordarshan channel of the State in which the cable operator is located.

The Government has also listed a schedule of channels to be carried mandatorily by operators including local cable operators in the 35 states and union territories.

Notifications were issued in this regard in September 2013 and again on 25 May this year.

Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Arun Jaitley told Parliament that his Ministry does not have any record of such complaints received as the authorised officers - district magistrate, or a sub-divisional magistrate, or a Commissioner of Police within his local limits of jurisdiction - have powers to take action for non-carriage of the mandatory channels by cable operators on their networks under Section 11 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995.

An advisory was also issued in June when it was brought to the notice of the Ministry that a few MSOs were not carrying some of the mandatory channels. It was clarified that non-carriage of these channels shall attract action /punishment under Sections 11and l8 of the Cable Act. Earlier, the Ministry had written to all concerned registered MSOs for DAS notified areas to carry the mandatory channels on their networks.

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