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Content Regulation on Private TV Channels

As per existing regulatory framework, programmes and advertisements telecast on private satellite TV channels are regulated in accordance with the Programme Codes and Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and rules framed thereunder. The Programme and Advertising Codes contain a wide range of parameters to regulate programmes and advertisements on TV channels....

The Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 have been amended vide Notification No.GSR 416(E) dated 17.06.2021 thereby providing for a statutory mechanism for redressal of grievances/complaints of citizens relating to content broadcast by television channels. These rules are called the Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2021. The Rules provide that in order to ensure observance and adherence to the Programme Code and the Advertising Code by the broadcaster and to address the grievance or complaint, if any, relating thereto, there shall be a three-level structure (complaint redressal structure) as under: Level I - A self-regulation by broadcasters; Level II - Self-regulation by the self-regulating bodies of the broadcasters; and Level III - Oversight mechanism by the Central Government.

Any person aggrieved by the content of a programme of a channel as being not in conformity with the Programme Code or the Advertising Code may file his complaint in writing to the broadcaster or to Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) if such pertains to the Advertising codes laid by it. A broadcaster shall establish a grievance or complaint redressal mechanism and appoint an officer to deal with the complaints received by it. The broadcaster/ ASCII shall, within the stipulated time, takes a decision and communicate the same to the complainant. The grievances/ complaints which have not been addressed by the broadcaster shall be dealt and disposed of by the Self-regulating bodies (Level-II), registered by Central Government, within stipulated time.

As a part of oversight mechanism, Central Government has established an Inter-Departmental Committee (IDC) for hearing grievances or complaints and refer to the IDC grievances or complaints arising out of the decision of the self-regulating body, or if no decision has been taken by the self-regulating body within the stipulated time, or on receipt of such other complaints or references relating to violation of Programme Code or Advertising Code as it may consider necessary. The IDC is chaired by the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and consists representatives from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Defence. In March 2023, domain experts from Press Council of India (PCI), Bar Council of India (BCI), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) have been included as IDC member.

The Government has also established Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) as state-of-the-art facility with a view to monitor and record the content of satellite TV channels with regard to violation of Programme and Advertisement Codes enshrined under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and Rules framed thereunder. EMMC is equipped to monitor and record around 900 channels and currently monitors all permitted channels.(website of EMMC- www.emmc.gov.in File size unavailable) Ministry issues advisories to TV channels to adhere to program and advertising codes and in relation with other important issues from time to time.

A.  Grievance Redressal Mechanism To ensure observance and adherence to the Programme Code and the Advertising Code by the broadcaster and to address the grievance of complaint a three-level structure, as under, has been formed: -
Level I - A self-regulation by broadcasters
Level II - Self-regulation by the Self-Regulating Bodies of the broadcasters
Level III - Oversight mechanism by the Central Government

Filing and processing of Grievance and Complaint
i.  Any person aggrieved by the content of a programme of a channel as being not in conformity with the Programme Code or the Advertising Code may file his complaint in writing to the broadcaster: Provided that where such complaint relates to Advertising Code laid down by the Advertising Standards Council of India, such complaint may be addressed to the said Council and that Council shall deal with such complaint in accordance with the procedure laid down by it: Provided further that Advertising Standards Council of India shall take a decision on the complaint within sixty days of its receipt, and communicate the same to the broadcaster and the complainant.
ii.  The broadcaster shall, within twenty-four hours of complaint being filed, generate and issue an acknowledgement to the complainant for his information and record.
iii.  Every complaint shall be dealt with in the following manner, namely: -
(a)   the broadcaster shall dispose of the complaint and inform the complainant of its decision within fifteen days of receipt of such complaint;
(b)   if the decision of the broadcaster is not communicated to the complainant within the stipulated period of fifteen days, or if the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the broadcaster, he may prefer an appeal to the self-regulating body of which such broadcaster is a member, within fifteen days therefrom;
(c)   the self-regulating body shall dispose of the appeal within sixty days of receipt of appeal and convey its decision in the form of a guidance or advisory to the broadcaster, and inform the complainant of such decision within a period of fifteen days;
(d)   where the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the self-regulating body, he may, within fifteen days of such decision, prefer an appeal to the Central Government for its consideration under the Oversight Mechanism.

B.  Self-regulating Body (SRBs) Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2021 provide a three level structure for to ensure observance and adherence to the Programme Code and Advertising Code. It provide for Self regulation by Self Regulatory Bodies (SRBs) of the broadcasters as Level II. SRBs are independent bodies constituted by the broadcasters and registered by the Ministry of I&B. They are headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court or by an independent eminent person from relevant field. The SRBs shall have members being experts from the relevant fields. At present two self-regulating bodies have been registered by Ministry of I&B as under:
(a)   Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) for regulation of content non-news Private Satellite TV Channel:
Click here to see TV channels registered with BCCC
Click here to visit the website of BCCC
(b)   News Broadcasters Federation - Professional News Broadcasting Standards Authority" (NBF-PNBSA) for regulation of content non-news Private Satellite TV Channels
Click here to see TV channels registered with NBF-PNBSA
Click here to visit the website of NBF-PNBSA

C.  State/ District Level Monitoring Committees This Ministry has issued detailed guidelines subsuming all the earlier orders regarding constitution of State/ District level Monitoring Committees to monitor the content broadcast on private TV channels and also authorizes these committees to monitor content broadcast on private FM Radio Channels and Community Radio Stations. So far, State Level Monitoring Committees have been set up in 18 States, 5 Union Territories and District Level committees in 347 Districts.
Click here to see complete list

S.No. Title Details Date
151 Scroller to be carried by broadcasters in support of self-regulation for grievance against objectionable advertisements-reg Download (400.78 KB) pdf 24/01/2019
152 Letter dt. 05.06.2018 to all Private Satellite TV/FM Radio channels for consider to A&N Islands in all their weather forcasts and similar generic topics Download (340.67 KB) pdf 07/06/2018
153 Minutes of Monthly Open House Meetings for applicant MSOs/existing MSOs - reg. Download (130.18 KB) pdf 02/08/2017
154 Air Broadcast Code Download (207.19 KB) pdf 25/05/2017
155 Advisory dated 13.06.2016 to all TV channel to carry the same language captions and audio description for accessing by persons with disabilities Download (392.3 KB) pdf 19/08/2016
156 Implementation of the recommendations of the Bezbauuah Committee report on the concerns of the people of North East living in other parts of the country Download (429.8 KB) pdf 19/08/2016
157 FDI limit in FM Radio-order dated 21-07-2016 Download (89.9 KB) pdf 04/08/2016
158 Reference from NCPCR - Disclosure of identity of the minor accused in media reports and reference from DCPCR - Protection of children from sexual offence Download (1.1 MB) pdf 14/06/2016
159 Advisory to TV Channels on quiz based game shows Download (195.53 KB) pdf 14/06/2016
160 Telecast of Programmes apparently encouraging superstition and blind belief Download (108.28 KB) pdf 14/06/2016
161 Advisory dated 29 May 2014 regarding display of CBFC certificate before telecast of films Film trailers Download (371.14 KB) pdf 14/06/2016
162 Cable TV Network (Amendment) Rules, 2015 Download (939.85 KB) pdf 14/06/2016
163 International Yoga Day Download (584.13 KB) pdf 13/06/2016
164 Advisory dated 27-07-2015 to all TV channels regarding live coverage of anti-terrorist operations Download (244.9 KB) pdf 14/06/2016
165 Advisory to all TV Channels not to telecast any content which shows ill-treatment and cruelty to animal Download (82.61 KB) pdf 14/06/2016
166 Advisory to TV channels regarding coverage of public demonstration Agitations Download (55.54 KB) pdf 14/06/2016
167 Telecast of programmes as news items showing clipping from films not certified for unrestricted public exhoibiton Download (151.72 KB) pdf 14/06/2016
168 Project Management Agreement with BECIL for 1st batch of FM phase-III Download (238.3 KB) pdf 02/06/2016
169 Advisory to all TV Channels not to telecast the advertisements as found violative by ASCI Download (1.34 MB) pdf 14/06/2016
170 Protection of Identity of children in need of care and protection of juveniles in conflict with law Download (937.87 KB) pdf 14/06/2016
171 Advisory dated 20.09.13 to news and current affairs TV Channel Download (456.09 KB) pdf 14/06/2016
172 Advisory regarding misleading advertisement contravening ASCI Code Download (586.17 KB) pdf 14/06/2016
173 Advisory dated 23 June, 2014 to All TV Channels are advised to the extremely careful in portraying such still images scenes which depict rash, negligent or dangerous driving Download (384.71 KB) pdf 14/06/2016
174 Advisory 29-12-2012 Download (85.89 KB) pdf 14/06/2016
175 Letter dated 02.09.2016 regarding implementation of the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act) and Protection of children from Sexual offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) regarding prohibition on disclosure Download (694.93 KB) pdf 26/09/2016
176 Guidelines for providing Headend-in-the-Sky (HITS) Broadcasting Service in India Download (2.81 MB) pdf 02/06/2016
177 Advisory Download (240.14 KB) pdf 08/06/2016
178 Security Clearance Download (141.09 KB) pdf 08/06/2016
179 Constitution of Inter- Ministrial Committee (IMC) Download (144.85 KB) pdf 08/06/2016
180 Advisory regarding maintenance of CTI dt. 14-02-2014 Download (21.1 KB) pdf 08/06/2016
181 Modified Para 31(Migration to Phase-III) of FM Phase-III Policy Download (717.51 KB) pdf 08/06/2016
182 Replies to queries raised after pre-bid meeting held on 28-01-2015 Download (1.87 MB) pdf 08/06/2016
183 Migration GOPA Phase III Download (451.53 KB) pdf 03/06/2016
184 GOPA Phase III Download (460.74 KB) pdf 03/06/2016
185 Bank Guarantee Proforma for Community Radio Station Download (26.72 KB) pdf 08/06/2016
186 Format of self declaration by IPTV service providers Download (16.14 KB) pdf 08/06/2016
187 Advisory regarding broadcast of content of FM Radio Channels Download (183.53 KB) pdf 13/06/2016
188 Policy Guidelines for expansion of FM Radio broadcasting services through Private Agencies (Phase-III) Download (520.76 KB) pdf 08/06/2016
189 NIA MARCH 2, 2015 FM PHASE-III Download (1.59 MB) pdf 08/06/2016
190 NIA-E-auction of Second Batch of Private FM Radio Phase-III 20-06-2016 Download (2.13 MB) pdf 21/06/2016
191 First Batch FM Phase-III Auction Results Download (357.04 KB) pdf 21/06/2016
192 South Asia FM -successful bids of 1st batch e-auction Download (54.79 KB) pdf 07/11/2016

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