I&B Ministry to restrict the entry of State Governments into direct Public Broadcasting

In a statement released on Friday, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (IBM) ordered all departments and ministries of the Centre, State, and Union Territory Governments, as well as the organisations they are affiliated with, to refrain from engaging in broadcasting or distribution of broadcasting activities going forward.

By December 31, 2023, the organisations dispersing the broadcasting content are to remove themselves from it and those who are already broadcasting their content are to do so via public broadcaster, Prasar Bharati.

According to the Ministry, the guidance was released in light of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) suggestion, the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Cricket Association of Bengal case, and the legal advice of the Law Ministry.

The action may have political ramifications because the recommendation may have an impact on several companies, including Kalvi TV and Arasu Cable in Tamil Nadu as well as the IPTV of the government of Andhra Pradesh.

According to the Ministry, Prasar Bharati has already signed memoranda of understanding to include the operational broadcasts that are now in place for a number of Central government ministries and departments as well as a number of State governments under its jurisdiction.

In order to carry out the most recent ruling, suitable arrangements through Prasar Bharati would enable Central, State, and Union Territory governments to participate in broadcast activity for educational purposes. It would also need to include any currently taking place similar activities. Up to that point, it will be possible to watch the continuing educational channels and other scheduled programming without interruption along with the Government institutions, colleges, schools, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, some autonomous organisations, and agricultural universities are all qualified to establish community radios under the current policy guidelines.

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