If you are missing the nostalgia of the golden days of early Dooradarshan where educational, agricultural and cultural programme used to hold the attention of the audience, there are some good news for you.
Union cabinet has yesterday approved the “Guidelines for Uplinking and Downlinking of Television Channels in India, 2022” according to which all the television channels will now have to telecast contents of public and national interest, reports Indian Express.
The channels will have to give 30 minutes slot for the programmes that will uphold the national values, the guideline of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting says. Though the act is supposed to be implemented from November 9, the MIB will give time to the channels to prepare their contents for promoting “public service and national interest.”
The channels have been given eight themes on the basis of which they will have to produce their contents. In the guidelines, government has noted that as the airwaves are public property, it must be used for the publics.
“As airwaves/ frequencies are public property and need to be used in the best interest of the society, a company/LLP having permission under these guidelines for uplinking a channel and its downlinking in India (other than foreign channels only downlinked in India) may undertake public service broadcasting for a minimum period of 30 minutes in a day on themes of national importance and of social relevance, including… (i) education and spread of literacy; (ii) agriculture and rural development; (iii) health and family welfare; (iv) science and technology; (v) welfare of women; (vi) welfare of the weaker sections of the society; (vii) protection of environment and of cultural heritage; and (viii) national integration,” the statement reads.
Create Nationalist content or Response to Government Notice
I&B secretary Apurva Chandra said that they will consult the broadcasters and other stakeholders to fix the time slot of the programmes besides the date of implementation. After its implementation, the ministry will monitor the channels and if any non-compliance is found, response will be sought.
The condition as per the government guidelines will be applicable to every channel except a few those are exempted by its own nature. “The channels may… appropriately modulate their content to fulfil the obligation… except where it may not be feasible, such as in the case of sports channels, etc,” it reads. Besides, the wild life channels and the foreign channels may come under the exemption. The government will soon issue a detailed guideline.
Though it seems to be an honest attempt to uphold the national value, on of the doctoral research fellows in a Delhi-based university on the condition of anonymity told Outlook, “It is to be seen what sort Nationalist values they will promote. Will it really be developmental as it used to be in our childhood or it will be jingoistic promotion of Hindutva values?”
Easy access to Indian Teleports
The government guideline also asks the TV channels who are uplinking in different frequency bands except the C band to encrypt their signals. It says that for the uplinking and downlinking of the satellite channels the application will now be subject to government’s clearance and “approval by the Ministry of Home Affairs, and wherever considered necessary, of other authorities.”
However, it eases the process to some extent. There will from now be no permission required for live telecast except registration. Indian teleports will now easily be used by the foreign channels to for uplinking.
Earlier, Singapore was the hub of teleport uplinking. After the new guideline it is expected that there will be more interest among the foreign channels to use Indian teleports.