The J&K government has re-constituted content monitoring committees at the state and district levels to monitor violation of program and advertisement codes under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 by Private Satellite Television Channels, AIR Broadcast Code by Private FM Channels and Community Radio Stations.

Headed by Administrative Secretary Information Department, the 7-member state committee has been tasked to see whether District Level Monitoring Committees have been formed; whether they are meeting regularly; whether the authorized officers are effectively performing their duties and see how many cases are handled by them and what decisions are arrived at.

It has been also asked to give suggestion and provide guidance to District Level Committees and also take decision on the matters referred to it by District or Local Level Committees.

“The nominated members shall have a term of five years and shall not be eligible for re-nomination. Any vacancy can be filled up by nominating a new member for a fresh term. The Committee shall meet at least twice a year,” reads a government order issued here.

Headed by District Magistrate, the district-level committee, the order said shall have tenure for 5 years.

The 8-mmeber committee has been tasked to provide a forum where the public may lodge a complaint regarding content aired over any television distribution platform (cable, DTH, HITS or

IPTV), Private FM Channels and Community Radio Stations operating in the district and take action on the same as per prescribed procedure.

Its scope also includes to keep a watch on the content carried by the television distribution platform operators at local level that it is in conformity with the prescribed Program and Advertisement Codes and to ensure, through Authorized Officers, that no unauthorized channels are carried and local content if aired by the television distribution platform operators is restricted to information about local events and is presented in a manner which is balanced, impartial and not likely to offend or incite any community.

It has also been tasked to monitor that all the notified mandatory channels of Doordarshan, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are carried by the television distribution platform operators and in proper genres.

It has to also monitor that Multi System Operators (MSOs) and Local Cable Operators (LCOs) are operating after valid registration.

It has also been tasked to immediately bring to the notice of State and Central Government if any program is affecting public order or causing resentment in any community; review the action taken by Authorized Officers for enforcement of the provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and rules framed there under; monitor that the MSOs and LCOs are carrying only digital encrypted signals; monitor that only Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) compliant Set Top Boxes (STBs) are provided by MSOs/LCOs to consumers; keep a watch on the content carried by private FM Channels and Community Radio Stations operating in the District so that they abide by the AIR Broadcast Code.

“It is mandatory for all distribution platform operators, Private FM Channels and Community Radio Stations to preserve recordings of their programs for a minimum period of 90 days as per para 18.1 of the grant of Permission Agreement (GOPA) signed by these operators with the Government of India and guidelines,” the government added.  – Kashmir Observer