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On January 1, ‘national interest’ content may be broadcast on television

The Indian television channels will be required to air 30 minutes of “national interest” content each day beginning January 1, 2023.

Under the ‘Guidelines for Uplinking and Downlinking of Television Channels in India, 2022’ approved by the Union Cabinet earlier this month, it has become mandatory for channels to broadcast national and public interest content.

According to officials from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B), the channels will be given time to conceptualize and create such content after the guidelines become effective on November 9.

Sources told The Indian Express that the likely implementation date for such content was January 1, 2023.

Sources said there would be another round of meetings between the ministry officials and stakeholders to finalize the plan.

By the guidelines, at least 30 minutes must be allocated to telecasting content about “public service and national interest”, for which eight themes were assigned to channels. As per the government, the move is based on the principle that airwaves are public property and should be used for the benefit of society.

Channels cover the following topics: (i) education and literacy; (ii) agriculture and rural development; (iii) health and family welfare; (iv) science and technology; (v) women’s welfare; (vi) welfare of the weaker sections of society; (vii) protecting the environment and cultural heritage; and (7 (viii) national integration.

A general advisory will be issued to the channels from time to time regarding the transmission of content in the national interest. The channel must adhere to the same, according to the guidelines.

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