Regulators

Govt. again rules out IMC reconstitution, says checks adequate

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NEW DELHI: The Government has once again ruled out any reconstitution of the Inter-Ministerial Committee which examines complaints against television channels.

The minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore told the Parliament this week that the IMC “already includes representatives from various Ministries concerned and the industry.”

He also said that the existing provisions contained in the Programme & Advertising Codes and the existing mechanism are considered adequate to regulate content of private satellite TV channels. “No shortcomings have been found in the functioning of the IMC”, he added.

Similar questions have been asked in this and previous sessions and the government has repeatedly said there is no proposal to reconstitute IMC.

Content telecast on private satellite TV channels and transmitted/re-transmitted through the Cable TV network is regulated in terms of the Programme and Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 and Cable Television Network Rules 1994 framed thereunder.

The Act does not provide for pre-censorship of any programme or advertisement telecast on such TV channels. However, all programmes and advertisements are required to be in conformity with the said Programme and Advertising Codes.

The IMC functions under the Chairmanship of Additional Secretary (I&B) and comprises officers drawn from Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence, External Affairs, Law, Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare, Consumer Affairs, Information & Broadcasting and a representative from the industry in Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) to take cognizance suo-motu or look into specific complaints regarding violation of the Programme and Advertising Codes.

He said the IMC functions in a 'recommendatory' capacity. The final decision regarding penalties and its quantum is taken by the Ministry on the basis of the IMC recommendations.

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