The Shyam Benegal panel, formed to look into the overall functioning of the Censor Board, has suggested that CBFC chairperson and its members should play a role at “guiding the body at apex level” rather than participating in routine certification process, Lok Sabha was informed today. Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore, in a written reply, also said the panel has suggested that the number of Board members should be reduced.
“CBFC chairperson and Board members to play a role in guiding the Board at apex level than participating in routine certification process,” Rathore said, listing the key recommendations of the Benegal panel.
The panel had been constituted by the I&B ministry to look into the functioning of the Censor Board which has been mired in a spate of controversies in recent times.
The Minister also said that the government has not received any complaint/representation from film industry regarding the functioning of CBFC.
The CBFC has been in recent times embroiled in controversy over suggesting cuts in movies, including ‘Udta Panjab’ whose makers had taken the matter to the court which had pulled up the Board.
“There are, at times, difference of opinion relating to certification in individual cases between the producers and the Board. These cases have been dealt with in accordance with the provisions of Cinematograph Act, 1952,” Rathore said.
He also said that in its report, the panel has also envisage role for National Commission for Women, National Commission for Protection of Child’s Right, film professionals in making nominations to examining panels.
The advisory panel for Revising Committees to be selected from persons with indepth understanding of Indian society like sociologists, anthropologists or psychologists or persons of eminence is another key recommendation.
The panel has also recommended 20 per cent representation from film industry from each region.
Out-of-turn (Tatkal scheme) for film certification has also been recommended, the Minister said.
In reply to another question on Prasar Bharati, Rathore said “while revenue of AIR has recorded gradual growth, revenue of Doordarshan (DD) has not.”
He also said in 2014, rating in percentage of DD National in All India was 0.17 per cent.
In 2015, rating percentage dropped to 0.10 per cent as rating agency did not cover DD National on All India basis. He also said the increasing reach of other channels in rural areas has also eaten into DD viewership.
This year, till the 27th week of 2016, rating percentage of DD National is 0.11 per cent as per Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data, he said.