Centre Asks States To Monitor All Private Radio Channels, Prohibiting Criticism Of Friendly Countries, ‘Obscenity’

8 Aug 2017 11:57 AM GMT
Centre Asks States To Monitor All Private Radio Channels, Prohibiting Criticism Of Friendly Countries, ‘Obscenity’
Courtesy: The Indian Express | Image Credit: One India

The Centre has communicated to states and Union Territories that all content aired by private FM and community radio stations will be monitored by the existing committees set up to keep a watch on television broadcast.

As of April this year, state and district level monitoring committees have been set up in 19 states, five UTs and 327 districts for auditing the content telecast on private satellite channels.

FM channels and community radio stations are required to adhere to the All India Radio Broadcast Code, which prohibits criticism of friendly countries, attack on religions and communities and anything obscene and defamatory.

“It has been decided that these committees will be henceforth authorised to monitor the content broadcast on private FM, community radio stations in addition to private satellite TV channels,” Additional Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry Jayashree Mukherjee said in a letter to all states and UTs, reported The Indian Express.

Earlier in May, the centre had heavily come down on the audio-visual media and set up a grievance redress mechanism against inappropriate content telecast on news and entertainment channels, including the radio. Anyone who wants to complain about the violation of a program or advertising code of the government can do so at their respective district magistrate or the police commissioner.

I&B Minister added that any violations would be acted upon by the authorised officers or brought to the notice of the ministry for taking necessary action.

“I request you to constitute these state and district-level monitoring committees wherever these have not been set up so far and to effectively monitor all types of content,” she said.

The Logical Indian community condemns the government’s regulation on the content of private FM and community radio stations. The Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees the Freedom of Speech and Expression as one of its six freedoms. Such retaliation by the government instils fear of censorship in the citizens.

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