The self regulatory body mandated to regulate all non news channels, including general entertainment, children, and special interest channels will be up and running from June 1.
"The 13 member Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC) will be headed by Justice AP Shah, former chief justice, Delhi high court, and will include four members from the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), four members from national level statutory commissions, besides four eminent civil society personalities for which two names, Prof Anand Kumar (from JNU) and Nandini Sardesai, have been finalized," an IBF official told HT.
“The chairperson and non broadcaster members will have three year tenures, while broadcaster members will hold office for one year,” said Uday Shankar, president, IBF.
IBF, a representative body of private broadcasters mandated to frame the regulatory content and complaint redressal mechanism for the over 550 non news and current affairs TV channels in the country, has come out with a two tier mechanism to address complaints at the broadcaster service provider level and at the BCCC level.
Announcing the release of the new guidelines, an IBF statement said, "IBF recommends that the self-regulatory content guidelines be notified immediately for all non-news channels under the Cable Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 replacing the present Programme Code. The notification of self-regulatory content code should be delinked from the broadcast bill, in the interest of all the stakeholders of the broadcasting sector especially the viewer.”
“BCCC may (also) initiate suo motu proceedings against any programme broadcast on any of the TV channels as and when it deems necessary,” it added.
The guidelines also divide content 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 11PM to 5AM—will mean restricted programmes that are not meant for children and young viewers.
While the BCCC's job will be to weed out objectionable, sensitive and vulgar TV content, the government retains the right to step in whenever the body fails in its task.
As of now, there is no censor board for TV. In India, the Central Board of Film Certification regulates films, movie videos, film trailers; the National Broadcasters’ Association regulates content on news channels while the Advertising Standards Council of India monitors advertisements.
A regulatory body for TV non-news channels has been a long felt need especially in the backdrop of increasing complaints over content being aired.