The I&B ministry issues a public service broadcasting advisory

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry clarified that topics of national importance and social relevance embedded in private TV channel programmes would qualify for the “Public Service Broadcasting” Obligation.

What is the news?

  • The guidelines were first issued by the Ministry on November 9, last year.
  • It has now issued the advisory following consultations with stakeholders.

Key Guidelines for TV Channels on National Importance Content

  • The “Guidelines for Uplinking and Downlinking of Television Channels in India, 2022” require such content to be broadcast for 30 minutes every day.
  • The time spent telecasting public service broadcasting content in between commercial breaks is not counted toward the 12-minute commercial break limit.
  • The content time will be accounted for cumulatively on a monthly basis, i.e. 15 hours per month.
  • Broadcasters have the option of modulating their content.

Themes of National Interest

  • The relevant content embedded in the programs may be accounted for public service broadcasting.
  • However, it should be done in a manner that the overall objective of the public service broadcasting may be achieved.
  • The content could include the themes of:
    • Education and spread of literacy
    • Agriculture and rural development
    • Health and family welfare
    • Science and technology
    • Welfare of women
    • Weaker sections of society
    • Protection of environment and cultural heritage and
    • National integration

Provisions for voluntary compliance

  • Other topics: The above list is merely indicative and could be expanded to include topics such as water conservation, disaster management, and so on.
  • Self-certification: Through voluntary compliance and self-certification, the advisory aims to achieve the goal of public service broadcasting by private TV channels.
  • Repeat telecast: As previously stated, the content can be shared among broadcasters and rebroadcast on one or more TV channels.
  • Common e-platform: Such a platform can also be created as a repository for relevant videos or textual content from various sources, which can then be accessed and used.

Rationale behind

  • Social responsibility: The government has argued that since “airwaves/ frequencies are public property” they “need to be used in the best interest of the society”.
  • Creating awareness: The role of mass media, particularly new channels, is critical in reshaping public opinion.

Ensuring compliance

  • Following the implementation of the guidelines, the Ministry will monitor the channels for the broadcast of this content. In the event that noncompliance is observed, the Ministry will seek an explanation.
  • If a channel continues to be non-compliant, additional steps can be taken based on specific advisories that will be issued on a case-by-case basis.


  • Sports channel: The guidelines specify exceptions in cases where it may not be possible, such as in the case of sports channels, and so on.
  • Wildlife channels and foreign channels may also be exempt, in addition to live telecasts in the case of sports channels.
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