Terming the present television viewership rating system in India as “not above board” and “insensitive” to people's choice, a Parliamentary panel has asked the government to put up a regulatory mechanism to make the television rating more accountable.
“The likes, dislikes and interests of the viewers largely remain un-addressed by the rating system,” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology said on Monday.
Echoing the popular sentiment over television channels going berserk for television rating points (TRP), the committee said the rating system in vogue was promoting violence, vulgarity, crime, sex and blind imitation of the western culture, ignoring India's great cultural values.
In recent past, television channels had received flak for coverage of the Mumbai terror attack with accusations that channels jeopardized security operations to gain higher TRP.
In its report, Television Audience Measurement in India. tabled in Parliament on Monday, the committee rubbished the claim of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, the body of private broadcasters, that ratings do not affect viewers.
“It was the government's responsibility to protect people's interest as against the commercial interest of the rating companies," the committee noted.
“It is high time the government intervened in the matter and put in place some sort of governmental oversight or regulation on TRP system to make it credible and accountable to the choice of viewers,” it said.
The Information and Broadcasting ministry has been asked to have independent audit system to check veracity of TRP ratings. The committee wanted the government to hand over the job of content regulation to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) till a separate Broadcast Regulatory Authority is set up.