'Media' is the medium of carrying information, education
and entertainment to the masses. It is an easier and efficient means of
communication which plays a key role in the overall development of an
economy. In an era where knowledge and facts are the tools for economic,
political and cultural exchange, presence of the strong and constructive
media in a country is important for catering to the diverse needs of individuals,
society as a whole, small and large business and production houses, various
research organizations, private sectors as well as the public sectors.
Media is a conscience-keeper of the nation and has many tasks to perform
in our day-to-day lives. It helps the Government to achieve various socioeconomic
and political goals; educate urban and rural masses; instill a sense of
responsibility among the people; as well as provide justice to the needy.
It largely consists of print media like newspapers, magazines, journals
and other publications, etc. as well as electronic media like radio, television,
internet, etc. With the changing scenario of the world, it has acquired
the status of an industry.
In India, the media and entertainment industry is undergoing remarkable change and is one of the fastest growing sectors. The main factors responsible for this are rising per capita/ national income; high economic growth and strong macro-economic fundamentals; and democratic set up, good governance as well as law and order position in the country. Specifically, spectacular growth of the television industry, new formats for film production and distribution, privatisation and growth of radio, gradually liberalising attitude of Government towards the sector, easier access to and for international companies as well as advent of digital communication and its technological innovations are the other attributes of the growth of the sector. The media industry plays an important role in creating people's awareness about national policies and programmes by providing information and education, besides creating healthy business environment in the country. Thus, it helps people to be active partners in the nation-building endeavour.
of Information and Broadcasting
is the nodal authority in India for
formulation and administration of the rules, regulations and laws relating
to media industry. It is involved in catering to the entertainment and
intellectual needs of various age groups and focusing attention of the
masses on issues of national integrity, environmental protection, health
care and family welfare, eradication of illiteracy as well as issues relating
to women, children and weaker sections of the society. It plays a significant
part in helping the people to have access to free flow of information.
It is also responsible for international co-operation in the field of
mass media, films and broadcasting and interacts with its foreign counterparts
on behalf of Government of India. The main functions of the Ministry are
- Provide news services through All India Radio (AIR)
and Doordarshan (DD) to the people
- Develop the broadcasting and television network as well
as promote import and export of films
- Educate and motivate the people for greater participative
involvement in the various developmental activities and programmes of
- Liaise with State Governments and their organisations
in the field of information and publicity
- Organise film festivals and cultural exchanges in the
- Administer the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867
in respect of newspapers
- Disseminate information about India within and outside
the country through publications on matters of national importance
- Use interpersonal communication and traditional folk
art forms for information/ publicity campaigns on public interest issues
- Serve as a constant link between the Government and
the Press, by acting as a clearing house of official information and
authentic data pertaining to the Union Governments plans and programmes.
The Ministry is divided into the following wings, namely:-
- Information Wing - deals with the policy matters, the
print media as well as the press and publicity requirements of the Government.
The media units in this wing are:-
- Press Information Bureau
- Photo Division
- Research, Reference and Training Division
- Publications Division
- Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity
- Directorate of Field Publicity
- Song and Drama Division
- Registrar of Newspapers for India
- Press Council of India
- Indian Institute of Mass Communication
- Broadcasting Wing - handles matters relating to the electronic media. It formulates policies and frames rules and regulations for this sector, which include public service broadcasting, operation of cable television, private television channels, F.M.channel, satellite radio, community radio, DTH services, etc. The organizations under this wing include:-
- Electronic Media Monitoring Centre
- The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India)
- has been set up with the mandate to organise and entertain people
and to ensure balanced development of broadcasting on radio and
television through agencies like:- (i) All India Radio, and (ii)
- Broadcast Engineering Consultants (India) Limited
- Films Wing - handles matters relating to the film
sector. Through its various units, it is involved in the production
and distribution of documentary films required for internal and external
publicity, development and promotional activities relating to film industries
including training, promotion of good cinema, organization of film festivals,
import and export regulations, etc. This wing has the following media
- Films Division
- Central Board of Film Certification
- National Film Archive of India
- National Film Development Corporation
- Film and Television Institute of India
- Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute
- Directorate of Film Festivals
- Childrens Film Society
- Integrated Finance Wing - performs important functions of maintaining and monitoring the Accounts of the Ministry, through its subordinate office of 'Chief Controller of Accounts'.
The media industry has significantly benefited from liberal investment regime in the country. Foreign direct investment (FDI) has been permitted in its various segments. FDI upto 100 per cent has now been allowed for print media covering non-news publications and FDI (with FII) upto 26 per cent has been allowed for print and electronic media covering news and current affairs. However, the news sector has also been opened up for FIIs, NRIs and PIOs. The FDI (including FII) in FM radio broadcasting sector has been allowed at 20 per cent. While, FDI and FII upto 49 per cent have been permitted for cable network; direct to home (DTH) - (within this limit, FDI component not to exceed 20 per cent); setting up hardware facilities such as up-linking, hub (teleports); etc.
At present, there are 110 million TV households in India, out of which 70 million are cable and satellite homes and rest 40 million are served by the public broadcaster, that is, Doordarshan. Similarly, there are 132 million radio sets in the country. Further, over the years, the number of private satellite TV channels have grown very fast from 1 TV channel in 2000 to 273 TV channels till 31.12.2007. The news and current affairs TV channels constitute 58 per cent and non-news and current affairs TV channels constitute 42 per cent of total permitted 273 TV channels. The former channels have grown from 1 in 2000 to 158 till 31.12.2007, while latter rose from 0 to 115.
The Ministry has been making several policy announcements
as well as framing guidelines in order to create conducive environment
for healthy development of various mass media in the country. Some of
- The formulation of 'Policy Guidelines for Downlinking
of Television Channels' which implies downlinking all satellite television
channels downlinked / received / transmitted and re-transmitted in India
for public viewing. Under it, no person/entity shall downlink a channel
which has not been registered by the Ministry. Henceforth, all persons/
entities providing Television Satellite Broadcasting Services (TV Channels)
uplinked from other countries to viewers in India as well as any entity
desirous of providing such a Television Satellite Broadcasting Service
(TV Channel), receivable in India for public viewership, shall be required
to obtain permission from Ministry, in accordance with the terms and conditions
prescribed. The policy guidelines enumerates certain eligibility criteria's
for applicant company, which are as follows:-
Similarly, the notification of 'Guidelines for Uplinking
from India', wherein the applicant, seeking permission to set up an uplinking hub/ teleport or uplink a TV Channel or uplink facility by a News Agency, should be a company registered in India under the Companies Act, 1956. The company shall uplink only those TV channels which are specifically approved or permitted by the Ministry. For setting up of uplinking hub/ teleports in applicant company, the foreign equity holding including NRI/OCB/PIO should not exceed 49%. The networth requirement varies from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 3 crores for channel capacity one to ten. The applicant company, irrespective of its ownership, equity structure or management control, would be eligible to seek permission for uplinking a non-News and current affairs TV channel. Networth required for single TV channel is Rs. 1.5 crore and Rs. 1 crore for each additional channel. While, for uplinking a news and current affairs TV channel, networth required for single TV channel is Rs. 3 crores and Rs. 2 crores for each additional TV channel.
- The entity (applicant company) applying for permission
of downlinking a channel, uplinked from abroad, must be a company registered
in India under the Companies Act, 1956, irrespective of its equity structure,
foreign ownership or management control;
- The applicant company must have a commercial presence
in India with its principal place of business in India;.
- It must either own the channel it wants to downlink
for public viewing, or must enjoy, for the territory of India, exclusive
marketing/ distribution rights for the same, inclusive of the rights
to the advertising and subscription revenues for the channel and must
submit adequate proof at the time of application;
- In case the applicant company has exclusive marketing
/ distribution rights, it should also have the authority to conclude
contracts on behalf of the channel for advertisements, subscription
and programme content;
- The applicant company should have a minimum net worth as prescribed, that is, networth of Rs. 1.5 crore for downlinking of one channel and Rs. 1 crore for each additional channel;
- It must provide names and details of all the Directors of the company as well as key executives such as CEO, CFO and Head of Marketing, etc to get their national security clearance;
- It shall furnish technical details such as nomenclature, make, model, name and address of the manufacturers of the equipments/instruments to be used for downlinking and distribution, the Block schematic diagram of the downlinking and distribution system as well as also demonstrate the facilities for monitoring and storing record for 90 days.
The Ministry has issued 'Guidelines for Obtaining License
for Providing Direct-To-Home (DTH) Broadcasting Service in India', wherein
DTH service refers to the distribution of multi-channel TV programmes
in Ku Band by using a satellite system for providing TV signals direct
to subscribers premises, without passing through an intermediary such
as cable operator. The eligibility criteria's in the guidelines include:-
A 'Policy on expansion of FM Radio Broadcasting Services
through Private Agencies (Phase-II)' has also been announced to expand FM radio network through private agencies to supplement and complement the efforts of All India Radio. This is to be done by operationalising radio stations that provide programmes with local content and relevance, improving the quality of fidelity in reception and generation, encouraging participation by local talent and generating employment. There are 21 channels already in operation under Phase-I. Out of 337 channels offered for bid in Phase II, Letter of Indent (LOI) has been issued to 245 channels, of which all channels have signed the agreements. In all, 178 private FM channels are in operation till date in India including the 21 channels of Phase I.
- Applicant Company to be an Indian Company registered under Indian Companies Act, 1956.
- Total foreign equity holding including FDI/NRI/OCB/FII in the applicant company not to exceed 49%. Within the foreign equity, the FDI component not to exceed 20%.
- The applicant company must have Indian Management Control with majority representatives on the board as well as the Chief Executive of the company being a resident Indian; etc.
There is also a 'Policy for Import of Cinematograph Films
and Other Films', wherein import of cinematograph feature films and other
films (including film on video tape, compact video disc, laser video disc
or digital video disc) has been allowed without a licence. The importer
of the film shall comply with the provisions of all applicable Indian
laws governing the distribution and exhibition of films, including the
requirement of obtaining a certificate of public exhibition prescribed
under the Cinematograph Act 1952. Under it, import of any unauthorized/pirated
films shall be prohibited. Import of foreign reprints of Indian films
shall not be permitted without the prior permission in writing from the
'Draft Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, 2007' has been announced to promote, facilitate and develop in an orderly manner the carriage and content of broadcasting. For the purpose, it aims to provide for the establishment of an independent authority to be known as the Broadcast Regulatory Authority of India as well as encourage broadcasting services to be responsive for the educational, developmental, social, cultural and other needs and aspirations of people and include in their programming public service messaging and content; etc.
As a result of all such incentives, the media industry in India has shown considerable growth over the years, with almost double-digit growth. It is projected to grow from an estimated size of Rs. 437 billion to Rs. 1 trillion by 2011. It provides ample opportunities for investors the world over, brings in more capital inflow into the country and presents significant avenues for both direct and indirect employment. It helps in shaping people's views and outlooks about various national and international issues and thus helps in formulation of schemes, policies and programmes. It is a powerful medium for providing entertainment, disseminating information, nurturing and cultivating diverse opinions, educating and empowering the people of India to be informed citizens so as to effectively participate in the democratic process; as well as preserving, promoting and projecting the diversity of Indian culture and talent of the country.