Insecurity Complex: Panel Sees Loopholes In DTH Guidelines

New Delhi: | Updated: Nov 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
Two years after the government approved Direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcasting, the standing committee on Information Technology has raised concerns relating to security issues in DTH telecast. This is mainly because of high frequency applications in DTH. Morality is yet another point being examined in this context.

The committee, according to its 40th report, enquired about the safeguards incorporated into the DTH guidelines to address security and morality concerns. The information and broadcasting ministry, in its reply, has listed all the precautionary measures as laid out in the guidelines. That is, the applicant company must be an Indian entity having Indian management control; application for licence will be processed after obtaining the security clearance from the home ministry; and the government can take over the entire service in the interest of national security. However, the committee questioned the I&B ministry on how licences could be revoked or cancelled, merely by providing for it in the guidelines. I&B secretary admitted that it was a complex matter.

Regarding security, a home ministry representative said the draft licence agreement was examined from that angle. However, on misuse of DTH telecast, the representative said there was a possibility of conveying wrong information and propaganda through DTH.