The human resources development (HRD) ministry has approached the Prime Minister’s Office to sort out its impressive 1,000 educational TV channels plan with the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry. The I&B ministry says the proposal of the HRD ministry does not meet certain norms and guidelines.
“Yes, we are aware of this and have referred it to the PMO, to take a look into the matter,” sources in the HRD ministry said. Confirming the development, I&B secretary Uday Kumar Varma told HT: “There are certain uplinking and downlinking guidelines that have to be adhered to.”
Under the present guidelines, only companies registered under the Companies Act, 1956, can operate a TV channel. The HRD ministry is not a registered company, so unless amendments are made to the existing law, it would not be possible to grant permission to the HRD ministry, said an I&B ministry official.
“For amendments to the existing law, the usual route of forwarding it to the Union cabinet has to be followed,” the official said adding: "Under Companies Act, license to operate TV channels can only be given to registered companies not to government departments.”
Aiming to give a boost to education, the HRD ministry plans to make television an education medium in a big way and plans to launch as many as 1,000 channels in this regard.
It had already initiated steps to launch the first 50 round-the-clock channels at the earliest and had approached the Information and Broadcasting ministry for permission.