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I&B Ministry amends rules regulating cable TV networks

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has amended the rules regulating cable TV networks. The Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2021 provide for a three-level grievance redressal mechanism, including self regulation on the part of broadcasters, self regulation by the broadcasters' self regulating bodies, and oversight by an InterDepartmental Committee at the level of the Union government. Broadcasters will have to respond to viewer complaints within 15 days of receiving such complaint. Complaints escalated to the self regulating bodies must be resolved within 60 days. The Inter-Departmental Committee will not only deal with appeals, but also with complaints received directly by the Centre.Recommendations by the Inter-Departmental Committee to the Centre can involve advise, issuance of a warning, censure, admonishment or reprimand, or the requirement of an apology from a broadcaster. Where the Committee is satisfied that such action is warranted, it can also ask the broadcaster to include a warning or a disclaimer, or to delete or modify content, or take the channel or a programme off-air for a specified time period.