In a bid to check malpractices by cable operators and to curb undesirable content shown on cable TV, the information and broadcasting ministry on Wednesday issued guidelines to define the role of the state and district monitoring committees.
The decision to issue these guidelines was made after the ministry was deluged with a raft of petitions from viewers regarding malpractices by cable operators at the local level.
According to the guidelines, the primary functions of the committees is to ensure that no programme is affecting public order or fanning widespread resentment in any community; no unauthorised or pirated channels are carried and to ensure that local news is presented in a impartial manner and do not offend or incite any community.
In case a cable network operator fails to carry channels prescribed for mandatory carriage or carries them with weak signal and poor visibility, the committee may take an action it may consider necessary under Section 11.
Earlier, the constitution of both state and district-level committees to enforce the Cable TV Networks Rules was envisaged, but the constitution of the state-level committee was not specified.
The new guidelines have specified the constitution of the state-level committee as well. The secretary, information & public relations of the state will be the chairman of the committee.
Other members will include representative of the director general of state police, secretary, social welfare department of the state, secretary, women & child development of the state, representative of a leading NGO of the state working for women, academicians, psychologists and sociologists (one each to be nominated by the chief secretary), and director (Information) of the state.
The state level monitoring committee will see whether district or local committees have been formed and are meeting regularly, to see whether the authorised officers are effectively performing their duties, to take decision on the matters referred to it by district or local level committee and to recommend action and forward complaints against satellite channels to the ministry of information & broadcasting through the chief secretary of the state.