New Govt Guidelines: TV Channels Must Telecast 30 Mins Of ‘National Interest’ Content Daily

New Delhi: Television channels will henceforth have to telecast 30 minutes’ content which pertains to national interest or public service every day.

Specifying latest guidelines in its uplinking and downloading rules, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting clarified that this won’t be applicable for sports, wildlife and foreign channels.

“We will soon bring a circular regarding this… But before that, we will meet and discuss with all the stakeholders,” I & B Ministry secretary Apurva Chandra told India Today.

Modalities on timing of telecast of the content about national interest are being worked out.

“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 new guidelines state.

The guidelines also specified that

Themes of national importance have been specified, and include education and spread of literacy; agriculture and rural development; health and family welfare; science and technology; welfare of women; welfare of the weaker sections of society; protection of the environment and of cultural heritage and national integration.

The ministry also stated that the Central government may issue general advisories from time to time on telecast of content in national interest, and the channels will have to comply with the same.

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