All these options have been put together by the I&B ministry in a note, that has been circulated among various ministriesHome, Defence, External Affairs and Finance. A decision on the issue is expected in January, the minister said in a free-wheeling interview.
The current guidelines allow uplinking to all broadcasters, irrespective of foreign equity or nationality. However, when recently the Star proposal came up for uplinking its to-be-launched news channel, the government for the first time faced a case of 100 per cent foreign-owned news channel. Ms Swaraj said: When uplinking guidelines were made, this scenario was not visualised. But, other news channels including Zee and NDTV (content provider for Star News in its current avatar), which were granted uplinking permission, also have foreign equity.
The minister said that if the Cabinet changes the foreign equity norms for news channels, even others such as Zee would have to abide.