India mandates ‘national interest’ content on television channels

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of India has ordered television broadcasters to air national interest or public service programming for 30 minutes every day.

In the ministry’s most recent uplinking and downloading regulations, it was stated that television channels other than those broadcasting sports and wildlife will be required to air such programming in the national interest.

According to India Today, the ministry also removed international channels from responsibility.

Apurva Chandra, the secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, assured the media outlet that the issue would be further discussed with stakeholders.

“Soon, we will distribute a circular on this. But prior to it, we will consult with all relevant parties “The official’s words were quoted.

She stated that the broadcast times for the daily 30-minute mandated material had not yet been determined and that the ministry was working on the details.

“As airwaves/frequencies are public property and must be used in the best interest of society, a company/LLP with permission under these guidelines for uplinking a channel and its downlinking in India (other than foreign channels only downlinked in India) may undertake public service broadcasting for a minimum of 30 minutes per day on themes of national importance and social relevance,” the new guidelines state.

Under the heading “responsibility of public service broadcasting,” the ministry included agriculture, rural development, education, the welfare of women, health and family welfare, environmental protection, as well as cultural heritage and national integration as topics.

It stated that networks may provide such programming whenever viable, with the exception of sports channels where it may not be possible.