Union Cabinet approves "Guidelines for Uplinking and Downloading of TV channels in India, 2022."
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the "Guidelines for Uplinking and Downloading of TV channels in India, 2022", informed the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
According to the official release by Ministry of I&B, "the consolidated guidelines shall ease the issue of permissions to the companies/ LLPs registered in India for Uplinking and Downloading of TV channels, setting up of Teleports/ Teleport Hubs, use of Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG)/ Satellite News Gathering (SNG)/ Electronic News Gathering (ENG) systems, uplinking by Indian News agencies and temporary uplinking of a live event."
The revised guidelines eases compliance for Television Channels, no prior permission for Live Telecast of Events needed, Indian Teleports may uplink Foreign, Obligation to telecast content in National/Public Interest.
The last time the guidelines were amended was 11 years back, i.e., on 2011.
Speaking with news agency ANI, Secretary at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B), Apurva Chandra said, “We have released the new guidelines after around 11 years. We've taken the approval of the Union Cabinet, as per the improvement we have considered over the years."
Secretary Chandra also said that the ministry has made numerous strides in terms of ease of doing business by simplifying the rules and procedures.
As per the revised guidelines, the main advantages are as follows: -
i. Ease of compliance for the permission holder
a. Requirement for seeking permission for live telecast of events has been done away with; only prior registration of events to be telecast live would be necessary;
b. No requirement of prior permission for change of language or conversion of mode of transmission from Standard Definition (SD)to High Definition (HD) or vice versa; only prior intimation would be required.
c. In case of emergency, for a company/ LLP with only two Directors/ Partners, a Director/ Partner can be changed, subject to security clearance post such appointment, to enable business decision making;
d. A company/LLP can use News gathering equipments other than DSNG, such as optic fiber, Bag back, mobile, etc. for which no separate permission would be necessary.
ii. Ease of Doing Business
a. Specific timelines have been proposed for grant for permission;
b. Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) entities can also seek permission;
c. LLPs / companies would be allowed to uplink foreign channels from Indian teleports which would create employment opportunities and make India a Teleport-hub for other countries.
d. A news agency can get permission for a 5 year period as against one year at present;
e. A channel can be uplinked by using facilities of more than one teleport/ satellite as against only one teleport/satellite at present;
f. It has broadened the possibility of allowing transfer of TV Channel/Teleport to a company / LLP as permissible under the Companies Act/ Limited Liability Act.
iii. Simplification and Rationalization
a. One composite set of Guidelines has replaced two separate Guidelines;
b. Structure of the Guidelines has been systematized to avoid duplication and common parameters.
c. The penalty clauses have been rationalized and separate nature of penalties have been proposed for different type of contraventions as against uniform penalty at present.
Other highlights that Secretary Chanda spoke of while speaking to ANI is the mandatory broadcasting of 30-minute time slot to themes which have something of national importance and social relevance like related to the women empowerment, teaching and agriculture etc.
“We have kept a provision that a 30-min slot should be given for things of national importance or national interest; seven-right themes have been given for the same - women empowerment, agriculture, teaching," Apurva Chandra said, adding, “So given the obligations to broadcast this, this is a new thing we will be consulting the channels will come out with more detailed guidelines."
The I&B secretary said, “We have tried to bring everyone on a level-playing field."
To go through the complete guidelines, refer to the official release of Ministry of Broadcasting & Information available at PIB dated November 9, 2022.