President Droupadi Murmu’s Address on National Children’s Day
- Promoting Empathy: President Murmu emphasized the imperative of instilling compassion in children, fostering love and respect for others and the environment from an early age.
- Children’s Day Background: Celebrated annually on November 14, referred to as ‘Bal Diwas’ in India, it commemorates the birthday of India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
- Evolution of Celebrations: Originally designated as ‘Universal Children’s Day’ on November 20, aligning with the UN, the observance later shifted to Nehru’s birth anniversary after his demise in 1964.
- Nehru’s Enduring Legacy: Affectionately known as ‘Chacha Nehru,’ Nehru advocated for comprehensive education, founding pivotal institutions like AIIMS, IITs, IIMs, and NITs.
- Significance of the Day: National Children’s Day underscores the rights and voices of children, as underscored by The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021.
- Educational Emphasis: The day raises awareness about the pivotal role of education in shaping responsible future citizens for the nation.
- Nehru’s Exemplary Model: Nehru’s fondness for children and his belief in their role as future assets contribute to his legacy as a role model for succeeding generations.
- Presidential Call to Action: President Murmu’s plea to inspire children aligns seamlessly with Nehru’s vision, underscoring the enduring importance of nurturing the younger generation for the nation’s sustained prosperity.
India’s Broadcasting Landscape: The Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023:
The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act of 1995, which has governed linear broadcasting for three decades, encounters challenges in the wake of technological advancements and the rise of platforms like DTH, IPTV, and OTT. Acknowledging the need for a comprehensive law in the digitized broadcasting sector, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India has proposed the Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023.
Features of the Draft Broadcasting Regulation Bill, 2023:
|Consolidation and Modernisation
|Addresses the imperative to consolidate and update regulatory provisions under a unified framework. Extends regulatory oversight to include OTT content and digital news, presently regulated under the IT Act, 2000.
|Contemporary Definitions and Future-Ready Provisions
|Introduces comprehensive definitions for evolving broadcasting terms. Incorporates provisions for emerging broadcasting technologies.
|Enhances self-regulation with the introduction of ‘Content Evaluation Committees.’ Evolves the existing Inter-Departmental Committee into a more participative ‘Broadcast Advisory Council.’
|Differentiated Codes and Accessibility
|Allows a differentiated approach to Programme and Advertisement Codes. Addresses the specific needs of individuals with disabilities through enabling provisions.
|Statutory Penalties and Fines
|Introduces statutory penalties, including advisory, warning, censure, or monetary penalties. Links fines to the financial capacity of the entity for fairness and equity.
|Infrastructure Sharing and Right of Way
|Incorporates provisions facilitating infrastructure sharing among broadcasting network operators to enhance efficiency and cooperation within the industry. Streamlines the Right of Way section for efficient relocation and alterations, establishing a structured dispute resolution mechanism.
Comparison of Arguments Table:
|Arguments in Favor
|1. Updated Legal Framework
|1. Apprehensions of Control and Regulation
|Marks a shift from the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act of 1995, described as a pivotal legislation for modernizing the regulatory framework.
|Raises concerns about increased government control over digital infrastructure and questions whether the focus is genuinely on public service or on enhancing government regulation.
|2. Empowering Broadcasters
|2. Ambiguous Provisions
|Introduces provisions empowering broadcasters with self-regulation mechanisms, aiming to strike a balance between regulatory oversight and industry autonomy.
|Points out specific provisions with broad and ambiguous language, raising questions about the influence of authorized officers working under government direction.
|3. Fairness Measures
|3. Potential Impact on Minority Communities
|Allows a differentiated approach to Codes, providing flexibility, and links monetary penalties to the financial standing of the entity for fairness.
|Expresses concerns that the bill might lead to the erasure or selective representation of Indian minority communities, highlighting the vague language that could be exploited to promote a universal majority identity.
|4. Stakeholder Involvement
|4. Issues with Cable Regulation
|Indicates the involvement of stakeholders through public consultation, and the industry welcomes the government’s initiative for a unified law.
|Identifies historical issues with the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act,1995, noting that the new bill fails to address the loopholes and issues in the implementation of the existing Act, including conflicts of interest.
|5. Oligopolistic Media Ownership Tendencies
|5. Government’s Trust Deficit
|Raises concerns about the nexus of government officials and media houses promoting oligopolistic media ownership.
|Examines the recent history of the ruling government with media regulation, drawing parallels with the controversial IT Rules, 2021, introduced for national welfare.
The Broadcasting Regulation transcends mere compliance, aiming to foster an environment conducive to growth, innovation, and ensuring equitable access to communication services. Striking the right balance between regulatory oversight and industry autonomy is crucial for India to strategically position itself in the rapidly evolving telecommunications sector.
- Innovation Incentives: Implement regulations that encourage innovation within the broadcasting sector, fostering the development of new technologies and services.
- Create conditions : for healthy competition among broadcasters and service providers to enhance services, increase consumer choices, and improve market efficiency.
- Consumer Protection: Prioritise regulations that safeguard consumer rights, ensuring transparent pricing, quality of service, and fair business practices for a consumer-friendly broadcasting landscape.
- Adaptation to Technology: Regularly update regulations to keep pace with technological advancements, facilitating responsiveness to emerging trends and the integration of new platforms.
- Stakeholder Collaboration: Engage in constructive dialogues with industry stakeholders, content creators, and advocacy groups to gain insights for refining the regulatory framework and promoting a dynamic media landscape.
Source: The Indian Express