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Real fun begins at night

I&B Ministry will introduce a new timing regime where each programme will be certified, writes Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2006 15:44 IST

Crime programmes after 10 pm and sizzling music videos only after 11 pm -— this is how your TV programmes are expected to be slotted soon.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting plans to introduce a new, staggered timing regime in which each programme will be certified —- stating who can view it -— and will be slotted accordingly.

For this, the ministry has asked the TV industry to incorporate a self-certification mode for the programmes.

"We have a draft from the FICCI on self-regulation module the industry has agreed upon. Based on the module, each programme will get a certificate from its broadcaster, stating who can view it," a senior ministry official said.

The code will be much more comprehensive than the one for film certification.

"The reach of TV is bigger. We have to look at regulation for entertainment, news channels, sports channels and religious channels," an official said.

The government will step in only when the self regulation module is violated.

I&B secretary SK Arora said earlier this week: "We will have a regulatory authority to take action against any violation. A broadcast Bill will soon be introduced in Parliament."

Sources in the industry say each channel may have to appoint an ombudsman to ensure that the code is enforced strictly.

With this, the viewers too will get a platform to complain against the content.

The new set of rules and regulations are likely to come into force from mid 2006.

The FICCI has submitted a revised draft on which the discussions are in the final stage, sources say.