Prasar Bharti: Route all broadcasting activities through the Centre

The Center has issued an advisory to Union Ministries, State Governments and Union Territories not to enter into any broadcasting program directly and only go through Prasar Bharati.

The advisory issued on October 21, and circulated among various government departments and ministries, state chief secretaries and all secretaries of UT administrators, says, “No ministry/department of the central government and state/UT governments and their associated agencies shall enter into broadcasting of broadcast programs in future. / distribution.”

It added that if any of these entities already broadcast content, “it will be done through public broadcasters”. And where these companies are already distributing broadcast content, they will have to pull themselves out of distribution operations by December 31, 2023, the advisory said.

The move could affect the broadcasting operations of several state-run media, including some operating in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is the nodal ministry for all matters related to broadcasting. “According to Article 246 of the Constitution, only the Ministry can legislate in this regard,” the official communication said.

It was in 2012 that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the broadcasting regulator, suggested that central and state governments, their associated agencies, enterprises, joint ventures with the private sector and government-funded entities should not be allowed. To enter the broadcasting business.

The advisory noted that TRAI’s recommendations have been considered by the I&B Ministry. In this regard, the advisor said that TRAI relied on the spirit of the Sarkaria Commission’s recommendations and the Supreme Court’s observation that “State control really means governmental control, resulting in control by political parties or parties in power for the time being. And further observed that Public Service Broadcasting is a statutory corporation. should be at hand…to ensure their impartiality in political, economic and social affairs and other public issues”.

Emphasizing the key role and importance of Prasar Bharti “as an independent statutory body”, TRAI suggested that it would meet the legitimate aspirations of government agencies in relation to broadcasting activities, while recommending an ‘arm’s length’ relationship. Strengthening between Prasar Bharati and Govt.

The advisory said that entry into the business of broadcasting for educational purposes by the Center and State Governments and UT administrations should be done through appropriate agreements between India and the respective governments, it said. However, this does not affect existing policy guidelines regarding setting up of community radios including government universities, colleges, schools, agricultural science centres, central/state universities, autonomous bodies and agricultural universities, the ministry states.

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