Regulators

NBP draft ready for consultation with Prasar Bharati CEO

It is guided by the vision of a “functional, vibrant, resilient broadcasting sector in the country

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/11/shashi-shekhar-vempati.jpg?itok=8k8wx0MY

KOLKATA: A fresh broadcasting policy in India, that’s up to speed on the dynamic industry developments, has been on the cards for a long time now. Last month, the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) intimated that work on the National Broadcast Policy (NBP) was in full swing. Now, the draft NBP is ready to be shared with Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati for further consultation.

The draft is also ready for consultation with scientific ministries like the department of telecommunication, ministry of electronics and information technology, ministry of science and technology on the lines of the utilisation of spectrum, emerging technologies, trends in the broadcasting sector, increasing outreach of TV and radio households, fall-back arrangement for broadcasting during emergencies like disasters and wars.

According to the draft accessed by Indiantelevision.com, the policy is guided by the vision of a “functional, vibrant, resilient broadcasting sector in the country.”  To keep with the vision, it provides “specific goals, strategies and policy stipulations.” Broader goals as described in the draft include the universal reach of broadcasting, enabling environment for sectoral growth and level playing field, as well as enhanced global outreach.

Back in December, MIB additional secretary Neerja Sekhar said that the ministry would soon come up with a draft for the much-discussed policy. “Though the consultations on the National Broadcasting Policy were held with the stakeholders and industry some time back, we have been putting together various parts… and (addressing) the emerging issues. I feel that we are getting pretty close to coming up with a draft version,” she had said.

It was in 2019 that the MIB initiated talks with members of the Indian broadcasting and media industry about formulating a National Broadcast Policy. Although no timeframe was given, the ministry had said that the aim of the policy would be to address issues that are challenging the sector, with the aim of promoting more self-regulation.

At present, the broadcast industry is regulated by the Cable TV Act, which many stakeholders consider outdated and inadequate to govern the newer challenges in this rapidly growing sector.

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