| 13 Jul 2024
New body soon to act against 'Inappropriate content' on radio and TV

NEW DELHI: Despite the existence of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for examining cases, the Government is expected to set up a body to regulate the content broadcast on television and radio channels.

This follows certain directives of the Supreme Court in regard to such content, according to sources in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

On 12 January 2017, the Supreme Court had directed the government to establish a mechanism for redressal of complaints against "contents of private TV channels and radio stations and accord due publicity to the measures to enable citizens approach it with their grievances." The court also said the concerned statutory authority which shall adjudicate upon the same including the appellate and other redressal mechanisms, leading to a final conclusive determination.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee examines any complaints received by it against the electronic media, while the Press Council of India deals with the print media. Though the IMC functions in a recommendatory capacity, its directives are followed by orders of the Ministry.

Apart from this, three self-regulatory bodies are already engaged in this task: the Broadcast Content Complaints Council for general entertainment channels and the News Broadcast Standards Authority (both headed by retired judges) and the Advertising Standards Council of India which has its own monitoring cell. In addition to all these is the mandate to follow the Programme and Advertising Codes which had initially been formulated for All India Radio and Doordarshan.

The new move implies that apart from the objections that are raised by the self-regulatory bodies, grievances expressed by the general public regarding any content broadcast over radio or television can be lodged with the designated authorities who may include the district magistrate (DM) or the police commissioner (Chairmen of the district-level monitoring committee).

Thus, the move comes in the midst of a scenario where there are escalating concerns of over-regulating and gagging of free speech by the Central Government.

Interestingly, MIB sources were unable to say what can constitute ‘inappropriate content’,

A general public grievance redressed mechanism already exists in the government for all kinds of complaints and these can be registered on

It was reported in February 2017 that action was taken in 52 cases of television and two of radio in the past three years for violation of the Code. The minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore had said the action in most cases was limited to apology scrolls, or switching off channels for a brief period.

Apart from this, the Ministry had earlier issued directions to States to set up District level and State level Monitoring Committees to regulate content telecast of local TV channels carried on Cable TV Networks.