DRAFT BROADCASTING SERVICES BILL (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Governance)

News-CRUX-10     21st November 2023        
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Context: Recently introduced, experts have indicated that communication over-the-top (OTT) apps like Whatsapp, Telegram, and Signal, among others, might be encompassed in the draft Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill 2023

  • This has raised concerns that they could potentially be bundled with broadcasting OTTs such as Netflix.

Draft Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill

  • Aim: The objective is to establish a consolidated legal framework for the broadcasting sector.
  • Modernization: The Bill aims to replace the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, and other policy guidelines that currently govern the broadcasting sector.
  • Extension: The regulatory scope is expanded to include OTT content, digital news, and current affairs, which are presently regulated under the Information Technology Act, of 2000.
  • Regulation: The bill introduces regulatory provisions for various broadcasting services under a unified legislative framework.
  • Adaptability: It responds to the dynamic landscape of OTT, Digital Media, DTH, IPTV, and more, fostering technological advancement and service evolution.
  • Differentiated Approach: The bill allows for a varied approach to the Programme and Advertisement Code across different services. It mandates self-classification by broadcasters and robust access control measures for restricted content.
  • Inclusivity: The goal is to enhance inclusivity and accessibility in broadcasting for people with disabilities by incorporating subtitles, audio descriptors, and sign language.
  • Penalty: It provides statutory penalties for operators and broadcasters, such as advisory, warning, censure, or monetary penalties.