Trai study highlights broadcasting reforms

Written by Corporate Bureau | New Delhi, Feb 25 | Updated: Feb 26 2008, 05:40am hrs
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is studying whether state governments, urban and local bodies, three-tier panchayati raj bodies, publicly funded bodies, political and religious groups can be allowed to enter into the broadcasting activities.

At present, activities relating to the broadcasting sector, which include owning a TV or a radio channel as well as its distribution through various platforms, are mainly in the hands of Prasar Bharati, an autonomous body created by an Act of Parliament, and the private sector.

Earlier also state governments had shown interest in entering this sector, but were not granted the permission by the government to do so.

Recently, the government has received more requests from state governments and other entities asking for permission to undertake broadcasting and distribution activities.

The ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) has requested Trai to examine the matter of allowing the specified entities to enter into the broadcasting activities. I&B has further requested Trai to submit its recommendations as per the provisions of Section 11(1)(a) of Trai Act, 1997 on the above matter. The recommendations on the disqualification with respect to religious bodies to enter into broadcasting sector were also sought by the government.