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TV content regulatory panel by mid-April

By mid April, a panel headed by a retired judge with the mandate to monitor television channels will be in place. It will report and weed out sensitive and vulgar content on television.

delhi Updated: Mar 29, 2011 00:09 IST
Sanjib Kr Baruah

By mid April, a panel headed by a retired judge with the mandate to monitor television channels will be in place. It will report and weed out sensitive and vulgar content on television.

This panel will also take up complaints from civil society regarding any objectionable content on TV, ministry sources said.

A watershed period or time for selective viewing will be fixed from 11 pm to 5 am. "Watershed hours will have content that is meant for selective viewing which may not necessarily mean adult content. So naturally it’s not a free-for-all situation," the source said.

"Nor is the I&B ministry relinquishing its hold totally. It will step in as and when needed or if when the action of the mechanism doesn't work out satisfactorily."

As of now, there is no censor board for TV. All programmes telecast on TV channels through cable networks have to adhere to the programme and advertising code in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act.

The government is taking these measures in the backdrop of increasing reports of vulgar content in TV shows like "Big Boss."

Last year, the government had rapped private satellite TV channels on as many as 33 occasions.

The strictures were in the nature of show cause notices, warnings, advisories and orders on various counts ranging from surrogate advertisements, propagating false beliefs to shows depicting vulgarity and obscene content.

At present, the I&B ministry has facilities to record programmes of 300 TV channels on a 24-hour basis and store recorded content up to a period of 90 days.

The Electronic Media Monitoring Centre has been set up by the ministry to monitor and record content.

The I&B ministry had given permissions to 367 TV channels from 2008 till date while applications for 361 new channels are at various states of scrutiny.

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