In an indication of the kind of work the self-regulatory body mandated to regulate all non-news channels, including general entertainment, children, and special interest channels, will have to put up with, 90% of the 150 odd complaints that have been lodged in the last month border on the frivolous.
"Only 10% complaints come under our jurisdiction. Some complaints pertain to bringing up some TV serial characters back to life, demands to reduce the number of advertisements etc," said (former) Justice AP Shah, who heads the 13-membered Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC) after the BCCC met for the first time on Thursday.
Besides the painful process of deciding cases on a case-to-case basis, the body is engaged with framing a set of guidelines and laying down the set of norms that will regulate content. The guidelines are expected to be ready in one month.
The TV content regulatory body includes four members from the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), four members from national level statutory commissions, besides four eminent civil society personalities—Prof Anand Kumar (from JNU), Nandini Sardesai, journalist Vir Sangvi and film personality Shabana Azmi.
The chairperson and non-broadcaster members will have three-year tenures while broadcaster members will hold office for one year.
Whether advertisements on TV will come under the BCCC's ambit or not is under consideration, Shah said.
BCCC can also initiate suo motu proceedings against any programme broadcast on any of the TV channels as and when it deems necessary.
Content will be divided into two categories: 'G' and 'R'. While 'G' will be content that is suitable for unrestricted viewing by all viewers and/or under parental guidance, 'R' category content—to be aired from 11 pm to 5 am--will mean restricted programmes that are not meant for children and young viewers.
The move to set up a monitoring body was felt in the backdrop of increasing reports of vulgar content in TV shows.