A committee has been formed to monitor television programmes and advertisements as per the rules laid down in the Cable TV Act. The committee, headed by additional secretary in the I&B Ministry Anil Baijal, has members from the home ministry, law ministry, I&B ministry, department of women and child development and Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
According to sources, from time to time, representatives of other ministries and government departments would be involved in the workings of the committee, depending on the case of violation coming to it.
The issues to be covered by this committee will range anything from obscenity to security of the country to liquor and tobacco advertising to derogatory depiction of women.
In the past, there have been cases when the government has given directives to some TV channels to stop certain programmes and advertisements, though there is no mechanism in place to monitor the same regularly. Among TV broadcasters pulled up by the government for undesirable programming was French channel FTV. Even as the channel was told to change its programming keeping in mind ‘Indian sensibilities’, there has not been much change. Also, some of the regional channels have often been criticised for carrying ‘sleazy’ stuff, with no action being taken against them.
On the advertising front also, not only have some private channels been showing surrogate advertisements on liquor and tobacco, but also direct liquor ads. Although the Cable Act specifies that no ad should promote directly or indirectly production, sale or consumption of cigarettes, tobacco products, wine, alcohol, liquor or other intoxicants, broadcasters have largely got away with showing most of these.
Now with the committee coming into being, the government may take note of broadcasters’ lapses with greater immediacy.
Source: Financial Express