The government has asked television channels to provide details about the public service content they have been asked to broadcast everyday. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has asked the TV channels to start providing these details from March 1, The Economic Times reported Tuesday.
The ministry issued a fresh set of guidelines on Monday, asking TV channels to show at least 30 minutes of public service content everyday and 15 hours monthly.
While insisting “voluntary compliance and self-certification would be the guiding principles,” the ministry has specified that broadcasters shall submit a monthly report on the ministry-run Broadcast Seva portal in the first week of every month, the ET report said.
The government has exempted foreign television channels downlinking in India and channels broadcasting predominantly sports, devotional, spiritual and yoga content from providing the monthly reports.
“The theme for broadcasting should comprise content of national importance and of social relevance,” the ministry said.
The themes include “education and spread of literacy, agriculture and rural development, health and family welfare; science and technology; welfare of women; welfare of weaker sections of the society, protection of environment and of cultural heritage; and national integration,” it added.
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According to a report in The Indian Express, the ministry has clarified that the national interest content can be embedded in the programmes being telecast. And the content need not be of 30 minutes at a stretch but can be split over smaller time slots.
However, the content broadcast from midnight to 6 am won’t count, the ministry said.
The content can be shared between the broadcasters and a repeat telecast on one or several channels is allowed, according to the guidelines.