Thursday, 27 February 2014

Paradigm Shift in Information Dissemination through I&B Initiatives

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has undertaken several policy initiatives to facilitate a vibrant information order in the last ten years. These measures have aimed at bringing about a paradigm shift in the key indicators constituting the critical domains within the Information, Broadcasting and Film sector. 

The initiatives undertaken by the Ministry has enabled the discourse of the ‘India Story’ to be disseminated across different platforms. The Ministry has also aimed at providing quality information to the masses, thereby ensuring that the inclusive growth perspective is spread.

In the Broadcasting Sector, the Ministry has pursued policies with a view to harness the benefits of technology and ensure that a framework is built enabling growth and change for the Broadcasting landscape in the country. Currently, India is one of the largest Broadcasting industries in the world. The total number of TV channels has increased from 130 in 2004 to 788 in 2014. 

The country today has the third largest TV market with close to 154 million TV households, next only to China and USA. Concurrently, the size of the Television Industry has witnessed an exponential growth from Rs. 18,300 Crore in 2006 and is expected to be valued at Rs. 50,140 Crore in 2014.

Broadcasting sector in India has benefitted from a series of policy initiatives launched by the Ministry. The digitization process has brought about a paradigm shift in the sector ensuring transparency which subsequently has defined the contours of orderly growth. Two phases of cable TV digitization has been completed. A total of 3 Crore Set Top Boxes have been installed in these phases. 

The remaining two phases are expected to be completed by December 2014. The introduction of various policies and guidelines across the broadcasting space has enabled the industry to reach out and engage with the diverse consumer base in the country. 

Some of the key policy guidelines implemented by the Ministry have been as follows: Policy guidelines for up-linking and down-linking of TV channels (amended in 2011), Policy guidelines for HITS Broadcasting Services (2009), Policy guidelines for IPTV (2008), Revision of FDI Policy in five segments of Broadcasting Sector (2012), Policy guidelines for Television Rating Agencies in India (2014), Policy guidelines for Community Radio Stations (2002 and amended in 2006), Policy guidelines for FM radio Phase-II & III, Policy guidelines on direct to home services ( DTH)( 2001). These guidelines have ensured an enabling environment for the broadcasting industry in India to grow and adhere to International standards.

The policies initiated by the Ministry to promote the FM component in Radio have ensured a vibrant growth in the sector. While 245 FM Channels were launched in 85 cities since 2005, in the third phase 839 channels are proposed to be launched in 294 cities.Due to the impetus given by the FM policy, the size of the Radio industry has grown from 600 Crore in 2006 and is expected to be valued at 1540 Crore in 2014. 

One of the key thrust areas of the Ministry in the past several years has been to empower the local communities through the Community Radio movement. Necessary changes have been brought about in policy to ensure a wider participation amongst stakeholders. The number of operational Community Radio Stations has increased from 64 in 2009 to 163 in 2014.

The inauguration of the National Media Centre (NMC) by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi on 24th August, 2013, has been one of the key highlights to facilitate a state of art communication centre with ultra modern facilities for greater interaction between the Government and the media. Similarly, in the Print Media segment several policies have been issued and implemented for the qualitative growth and liberalization of the sector.

In the Films sector, The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting constituted a panel under the Chairmanship of Shri Mukul Mudgal, Retired Chief Justice, High Court of Punjab and Haryana to examine issues of certification under the Cinematograph Act 1952.

 The Committee reviewed major areas of concern pertaining to the following: Advisory Panels; Guidelines for certification and issues such as portrayal of women, obscenity and communal disharmony; Classification of Films; Treatment of Piracy; Jurisdiction of the Appellate Tribunal; Review of the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952.The committee has recently submitted its report which is being reviewed by the Ministry.

One of the key highlights of the films sector has been the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) showcasing India`s rich film heritage over the past 100 years. This initiative is a small tribute of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to the great film heritage of India.

 The Museum is situated in the 6,000 square-foot Gulshan Mahal - a heritage building. The museum will be a ready-reckoner of the history of Indian cinema showcasing technological aspects of production and screening of films, as well as its social aspects during the past 100 years.

 Through its interactive galleries, it will trace the evolution of celluloid from the Lumiere Brothers, Raja Harishchandra onwards, and showcase Indian cinema in three stages - silent era, golden era and the modern era. It will portray the footsteps taken by Indian cinema, from the period of silent films to the studio period, and then recreate the times when stars and mega stars dominated the silver screen. 

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