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TV Stations Must Now Air "Social Relevant Information."

The Union Cabinet has adopted the revised guidelines for television channels in India. According to these rules, all stations with permission to do so (except for foreign channels and places where it might not be possible) must show content about national importance and social relevance for the country for at least 30 minutes daily.

This provision of the law was made because "airwaves and frequencies belong to the public and must be used for the good of society." The eight issues are education and literacy, agriculture and rural development, health and family welfare, science and technology, women and the weak, environmental and cultural heritage, and national integration.

The unified criteria exclude channels, including sports-related channels, where broadcasting such material would be impractical. The Center would send general warnings to the channels about this matter when necessary.

Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra said on Wednesday that the new rules, which are replacing the ones that have been in place since 2011, will make it easier for companies and limited liability partnership firms registered in India to get permission to uplink and downlink TV channels and do other related things.

Mr. Chandra, enumerating the benefits, said that the obligation to request authorization for live transmission of events had been eliminated; just previous registration of events would be required for live telecast. 

No permission would be needed to change the language, go from standard definition to high definition, or the other way around. Just letting them know ahead of time would be enough.

The Ministry has said that a business or LLP does not need a special license to use technology other than DSNG (Digital Satellite News Gathering) to collect news, such as optic fiber, backpack, mobile, etc. Moreover, if just two people are running a firm or LLP, one may be replaced during an emergency as long as they have the proper security clearance.

The report said that India would become a teleport center for other countries, and LLPs and firms would be able to uplink international channels from Indian teleports, creating new jobs that would boost the economy. However, specific periods have been recommended for the granting of authorization.

The Ministry says that the power of more than one teleport or satellite can be used to uplink a channel. Based on the Companies Act or the Limited Liability Act, the suggestions have made it more probable that a corporation or LLP might get a television channel or teleport.

In order to ensure the payment of fees, security deposits are often required. Additionally, graded punishments have been recommended for various violations, and the penalty provisions have been rationalized. 

The mandatory need to encrypt their communications applies to TV networks uplinking in frequency bands other than C-band. At the time of renewals, it said that the net worth requirements for businesses and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) holding licenses must be met.

A minimum net worth of 20 crores is required to launch a channel, with an additional five crores required for each subsequent channel.

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Tags: #Social #TV #content #channel


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