A Brief on Media Regulations Laws in India

Article about A Brief on Media Regulations Laws in India

Published by

Stven Martinez activities: ,

Jul 6, 2021

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting regulates the media regulations in India. The Prasar Bharti is the other entity that is responsible for regulation media in India. The legislative laws are the Cable Networks Act 1995 and Prasar Bharti Act 1990. The MIB and the Prasar Bharti frame the guidelines, the rules, and policies, while these two government bodies also carry out the grant of licenses to media houses.


Before 2004, it was primarily the print media and television under the gamut of various Media Regulation Laws in India. The print media has, for ages, been governed by the Press Council Act of 1978, while TV has been under the Prasar Bharti and MIB. In 2004, cable TV and broadcasting services became a part of the telecom services post. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) plays a pivotal role in regulating the industry.


The Licensing Requirements in India


Key points to note:

·         The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is responsible for granting licenses to broadcasting media in the country.

·         The application needs to be submitted in a prescribed format.

·         The license tenure is for ten years to uplink current affairs channels and five years for downlinking.

·         The tenure for DTH and the HITS broadcasting services is for ten years, while it is for one year for cable network operators.

·         As per themedia regulation laws in India, media houses need to get security clearance from the MIB. Service providers need to apply for additional clearances at the Department of Space for using the satellites.

·         Additionally, a license needs to be applied to the WPC (The Wireless Planning and Commission)


The Rise of OTT Platforms And The Media Regulation Laws in India

Key points

-       The OTT platform has seen a spike in vulgar content and content that seem to conflict with the religious sentiments of certain sections of society.

-       So far, the OTT platforms are self-regulated even though they are committed to a code of best practices.

-       The censorship rules that apply to films in India still do not apply to the content featured on such OTT platforms.

-       The owners of such online content need to ensure that the content matches regulations mentioned in the IT Act, 2000. There are specific and marked sections in the IT Act that regulates the broadcast of vulgar content. Penalties have been defined in the law.

To better understand the media regulation laws in India, it is advisable to speak with an expert law firm.