Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023

Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023”. This topic has relevance in the “Polity and Governance” section of the UPSC CSE exam.


For Prelims:

What are the key features of the Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023? 

For Mains:

GS2:  Polity and Governance


Why in the news?

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting recently unveiled the draft version of the Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023. 


Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023. 

  • The draft Bill introduces a unified framework for overseeing broadcasting services in the country, aiming to supersede the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, and prevailing Policy Guidelines governing the sector.
  • It simplifies regulatory procedures, expanding its scope to include Over-the-Top (OTT) content and digital news. 
  • The bill incorporates modern definitions and provisions for emerging technologies. 
  • It also proposes the establishment of Content Evaluation Committees and a Broadcast Advisory Council for self-regulation. 
  • Additionally, it advocates distinct program and advertisement codes for various Broadcasting Network Operators, outlines accessibility measures for persons with disabilities, and introduces statutory penalties.


Key Highlights:

  • Consolidation and Modernization:
    • Addresses the long-standing need to consolidate and update regulatory provisions for various broadcasting services under a single legislative framework.
    • Streamlines the regulatory process, enhancing efficiency and modernising the framework.
    • Extends regulatory purview to include over-the-top (OTT) content, digital news, and current affairs, currently regulated through the IT Act, 2000.
  • Contemporary Definitions and Future-Ready Provisions:
    • Introduces comprehensive definitions for contemporary broadcasting terms to keep pace with evolving technologies and services.
    • Incorporates provisions for emerging broadcasting technologies, ensuring the legislation remains future-ready.
  • Strengthens the Self-Regulation Regime:
    • Enhances self-regulation by introducing ‘Content Evaluation Committees.’
    • Evolves the existing Inter-Departmental Committee into a more participative and broader ‘Broadcast Advisory Council.’
  • Differentiated Programme Code and Advertisement Code:
    • Allows for a differentiated approach to Programme and Advertisement Codes across various services.
    • Requires self-classification by broadcasters and implements robust access control measures for restricted content.
  • Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities:
    • Addresses the specific needs of persons with disabilities by providing enabling provisions for issuing comprehensive accessibility guidelines.
  • Statutory Penalties and Fines:
    • Introduces statutory penalties such as advisory actions, warnings, censures, or monetary penalties for operators and broadcasters.
    • Retains provision for imprisonment and fines but only for grave offences, ensuring a balanced regulatory approach.
  • Equitable Penalties:
    • Links monetary penalties and fines to the financial capacity of the entity, considering investment and turnover to ensure fairness and equity.
  • Infrastructure Sharing, Platform Services, and Right of Way:
    • Includes provisions for infrastructure sharing among broadcasting network operators and the carriage of platform services.
    • Streamlines the Right of Way section to address relocation and alterations more efficiently.
    • Establishes a structured dispute resolution mechanism.


Sources: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Proposes Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023 

Download Yojna daily current affairs eng med 14th November 2023

Q1. With reference to the Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023, consider the following statements: 

  1. It aims to supersede the Information Technology Act of 2000.
  2. The Bill expands its scope to include Over-the-Top (OTT) content, digital news, and traditional broadcasting services. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 

(d) None 

Answer: (b) 


Q2. Explain the key objectives of the Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023 and its significance in the context of the evolving broadcasting landscape in India.

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