The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is evolving content monitoring mechanism for television and radio. As part of this mechanism, the Ministry is finalising an action plan to make private TV channels accountable to viewer forums.
According to reliable sources in the I&B Ministry, the government is proposing to set up viewer forums on the lines of consumer forums with legal backing in the coming Budget Session of the Parliament. These empowered forums will be set up at regional and national levels, and private TV channels would be made responsible to these forums.
On the radio front, too, the ministry is evolving a content monitoring mechanism for private FM channels. This, according to ministry sources, would be a self monitoring system by the FM channels and the government would step in only if there was a violation of the mechanism.
The I&B Ministry mandarins revealed that they would monitor the behaviour of FM channels through self regulatory mechanism for 2-3 years before taking a final decision with regard to allowing news and current affairs programmes on these private FM stations.
Meanwhile, the I&B Ministry is in the process of finalising the draft guidelines with regard to showing adult content on television, which have been prepared by the panel constituted by the Ministry for this purpose. The programming guidelines also relate to depiction of women on television.