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India plans Ofcom-style regulator

India already has plenty of media-related regulator whether via the Ministry of Broadcasting, TRAI (the Telecom Regulatory Authority) as well as the Press Council of India, which monitors print. There’s also the Programme & Advertising Code and its rules on advertising minutes, decency, obscenity or incitement.

However, there are also tight regulations on foreign ownership or investment in media companies, as well as various other rules covering photography, use of ‘drones’ and such like, and the India Medical Council has a watching brief over the advertising of so-called ‘fringe’ medicines.

There are now reports that India’s Government has decided to create an organisation that would handle grievance redress problems, over what it describes as “objectionable” content that might be transmitted on TV or radio.  Currently, broadcasters tend to self-regulate such complaints.

In January 2017 India’s Supreme Court directed government to establish a mechanism for complaints to be aired and heard against broadcasters, and with binding penalties for violations.

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