Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023
The Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023, is currently open for public feedback, as announced by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- The draft Bill provides for a consolidated framework to regulate the broadcasting services in the country. It seeks to replace the existing Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and other Policy Guidelines currently governing the broadcasting sector in the country.
- The Bill streamlines regulatory processes, extends its purview to cover Over-the-Top (OTT) content and digital news, and introduces contemporary definitions and provisions for emerging technologies.
Key Features of the Draft Bill:
- The bill seeks to consolidate and modernize the regulatory provisions for various broadcasting services under a single legislative framework.
- It incorporates provisions for emerging broadcasting technologies keeping in view the technological advancements in this field.
- It enhances self-regulation with the introduction of ‘Content Evaluation Committees’ and evolves the existing Inter-Departmental Committee into a more participative and broader ‘Broadcast Advisory Council’.
- It allows for a differentiated approach to programme and advertisement codes.
- The bill addresses the specific needs of persons with disabilities by providing enabling provisions for the issue of comprehensive accessibility guidelines.
- The draft Bill introduces statutory penalties such as advisory, warning, censure, or monetary penalties, for operators and broadcasters.
- Monetary penalties and fines are linked to the financial capacity of the entity.
- The bill also includes provisions for infrastructure sharing among broadcasting network operators and carriage of platform services.
- The Ministry has also approved the ‘Digital Advertisement Policy, 2023,’ enabling the Central Bureau of Communication to conduct campaigns in the Digital Media Space.
- The Central Bureau of Communication, operating under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, is responsible for creating awareness and disseminating information about various government programs, schemes, and policies in India.