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Nine news channels got govt notice in three yrs for promoting anti-national agenda

13-April-2018
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Nine news channels got govt notice in three yrs for promoting anti-national agenda

The government took action against nine news channels, including Aljazeera TV, ABP News, Aaj Tak and NDTV, in the last three years for “promoting anti-national agenda and inciting or encouraging violence”, according to a statement submitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the Lok Sabha.

The notices/warnings were issued under Rule 6 (1) (e) of Programme Code of Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, which provides that no programme that is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or promote anti-national attitudes, should be carried in the cable service.

The list of channels-- TV9, Aljazeera TV, Sathiyam TV, Sudarshan News, DY 365, NDTV India, NDTV 24x7, Aaj Tak and ABP News-- was submitted in the Lok Sabha by Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, in response to a query seeking names and details of the news channels which received notices/warning letters from the government for promoting anti-national agenda.

exchange4media contacted these channels for their reaction on the issue, but none of them responded.

In its response, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting also said:

The ministry has set up Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) to keep a watch on the content of private TV channels for any violation of Programme and Advertising Codes.

An Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) has also been set up in the Ministry to look into specific complaints or take suo-motu cognizance against the violation of Programme and Advertising Codes. The IMC has representatives from the Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence, External Affairs, Law, Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare, Consumer Affairs, Information & Broadcasting and a representative from the industry in the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).

The IMC meets periodically and recommends action in respect of violation of Programme and Advertising Codes by private TV channels.

Apart from this, the ministry has also issued directions to states to set up district-level and state-level monitoring committees to keep a watch on the content telecast on cable TV channels.

In case of any violation, action against TV channels may range from issue of warnings or advisories to comply with the Programme/Advertising Codes, directing channels to run apology scrolls on their channels to taking the channels off air temporarily for varying period depending on the gravity of the violation.

Before taking such an action, usually show cause notices are issued to the channels, the ministry informed the Lower House.

Here is the submission made by the ministry in the Lok Sabha: 

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