All Indian channels to air 30 mins of 'national interest' content from Jan 1, 2023; sports, foreign exempted
From January 1, 2023, it will be mandatory for all Indian channels to air content pertaining to “national and public interest” for at least 30 minutes everyday, according to Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B).
The New Year’s Date came after several round of deliberations, and a final go-ahead to the proposed plan will happen in another meeting, sources told The Indian Express.
The Union Ministry had earlier this month approved the ‘Guidelines for Uplinking and Downlinking of Television Channels in India’ under which this new rule was put forward.
It obligated all private channels to run at least 30 minutes programmes daily on issues of national importance and social relevance.
This rule will however, not be applicable for sports, foreign and wildlife channels, the ministry said.
While the rest of the rules under the new guidelines came into effect on November 9, the channels were given some time to come up with “national interest” content in relation to their own programmes.
The themes of national importance include: education and spread of literacy, health and family welfare, agriculture and rural development, science and technology, welfare of women, weaker sections of society, protection of the environment and of cultural heritage and national integration.
The new guidelines stated, obligation of public service broadcasting — 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…”
The central government has released the new guidelines after around 11 years, after they were previously issued in 2011, Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra said.
“We’ve taken the approval of the Union Cabinet, as per the improvement we have considered over the years… we have made multiple improvements in terms of ease of doing business,” he added.