Television

Only two cases of vulgarity and indecency on reality TV shows reported to Government in last two years

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NEW DELHI: Only two instances have come to the government over the past two years of vulgarity and indecency in reality shows on television, and both relate to Colors.

Answering a question in Parliament today, Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley however ruled out any guideline to check such trends as he said ?the existing provisions contained in the Programme and Advertising codes and the existing mechanism are considered adequate to regulate content including reality shows on TV channels?.

In the first case relating to Bigg Boss Season-7, Colors had been issued an advisory on 26 March 2014 and a warning was issued on 8 January last year on the second case relating to "Fear Factor Khatron Ke Khiladi-Dan Ka Blockbuster" when the channel was asked to run an apology scroll.

The Minister said in reply to a question that the content telecast on private satellite TV channels including reality shows of different genres is regulated under the cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and cable Television Network Rules, 1994 framed there under. The Act does not provide for pre-censorship of any programmes and advertisements telecast on such TV channels.

However, it prescribes that all programmes and advertisements on such TV channels should be in conformity with the prescribed programme code and Advertising code enshrined in the Act and the rules framed there under, which contains a whole range of principles to be followed by these  channels including the reality shows carried thereon.

He said the Government has set up Electronic Media Monitoring centre (EMMC) to review the content of private TV channels in the contest of violation(s) of programme and Advertising Codes.

An Inter-Ministerial committee (IMC) has also been set up in the Ministry to look into the specific complaints or suo-motu take cognizance against the violation of programme and Advertising codes and appropriate action is taken as per cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act' 1995, if any violation if established.

This Ministry also issues advisories to TV channels 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 have been circulated by this Ministry among ail 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 its self-regulating mechanism, Indian Broadcasting Foundation which is a representative body of non-news & current affairs TV channels, has set up the Broadcasting content Complaints Council (BCCC) headed by retired High Court judge Mukul Mudgal to examine 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 i.e. www.ibfindia.com.

The Programme code, inter-alia, provides that no programme should be carried in the cable service which (i) offends against good taste or decency; (ii) contains anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half truths; and (iii) denigrates women through the depiction in any manner of the figure of a women, 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.

Action is taken against defaulting channels whenever any violation of the said codes is noticed or brought to the notice of the Ministry.

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