Companies & Sectors
Bring out media policy, relook broadcast licensing: Council

The Sectoral Innovation Council recommended that the government should expedite a consensus on developing an alternative to TAM so that an appropriate mechanism is developed with industry participation to study audience viewing

 
New Delhi: Bringing out a national media policy, developing an alternative to TAM ratings, relook into broadcast licensing procedures and regulation of media education are among 64 key recommendations made by Sectoral Innovation Council of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B), reports PTI.
 
Formed under the chairpersonship of former Secretary Asha Swarup in July 2011, the Council submitted its report to I&B minister Ambika Soni, becoming the first amongst various such panels to submit its report.
 
Speaking on the occasion, I&B minister Ambika Soni said that the issues deliberated upon by the Council would be looked into and the recommendations would act as a roadmap for the future.
 
One of the important recommendations of the council is to bring out a national media policy that addresses the new media landscape.
 
The council has sought a comprehensive media policy that integrates all existing media segments and addresses the emergent issues, officials said.
 
The Innovation Council in its report has also asked the government to look into the existing licensing procedures and requirements to ensure further liberalisation and reforms in the broadcasting sector.
 
The council in its report has held that content innovation is required in the radio segment which would be possible only if the government comes up with a separate licensing model for niche channels.
 
The report has also suggested arrangements under which Community Radio stations would be able to provide content to All India Radio(AIR), which could provide training in content creation, management and operation of stations to the staff of these channels.
 
The Council has also held that digitalisation in Doordarshan and AIR was likely to release airwaves which after utilisation in-house could be used to create a public service broadcasting fund exclusively for this sector.
 
The Council has also recommended a National Film Policy that will address the role of the Government vis-a-vis the private sector. Film Institutes in the country may be upgraded to Centres of Excellence, it said.
 
The council has also said that the government must have a national policy for animation, gaming and visual effects. The Government has been asked to go for co-production treaties in animation sector to ensure inflow of international projects.
 
Ministry could also consider rope in the Children's Film Society and Doordarshan to produce animated content and create Indian Intellectual Property, the report says.
 
The Council has also pitched for a reliable single source data on all mediums of advertising, which should be made available by the Government so that advertisers are able to take decisions on reliable data.
 
The Council recommended that the government should expedite a consensus on developing an alternative to TAM so that an appropriate mechanism is developed with industry participation to study audience viewing and listening behaviour and bring out reports on weekly basis.
 
Government has also been asked to regulate media education to ensure orderly growth of higher education.
 
The Council has said that like medical and technical education, Media Education be regulated by a new organisation known as Media Education Council, which should be a part of I&B ministry. 
 
The Media Education Council should be assigned the task of setting up curriculum for all levels so that standardised curriculum with national accreditation becomes a possibility, the council has said.
 
The council has also pointed the need to make Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Film and Television Institute of India and Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute into real centres of excellence.
 
The government should reformat the course curriculum, improve faculty of the institutes, the report said and added that these institutions could either be separate universities or become a part of one central university.
 
National Awards for Innovation in different segments of M&E Sector be instituted by the ministry and new media should be utilized for campaigns by the Government, the council has recommended.
 
The Sectoral Innovation Council has also held that e-mode transactions should be a priority for the functions of DAVP, RNI, CBFC and licensing activities of the government for ensuring transparency.
 

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Amarnath Yatra: 16 pilgrims killed in road accident in J-K

This was second major accident involving Amarnath yatris in Jammu region this month  

 
Jammu: Sixteen pilgrims on route to Amarnath were killed and 16 others injured when a truck carrying them plunged into a deep gorge in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir late night on Thursday, reports PTI.
 
The truck carrying 34 pilgrims, who were engaged in setting a community kitchen at Amarnath, was returning back when it skidded off the road and rolled down deep into the gorge near Zamoorha Morh in Mansar belt of Samba district, about 50 kilometres from Jammu city at 2330 hours last night, police said.
 
After getting information, Police, Army and BSF rushed to the spot. All 16 injured pilgrims were rushed to the Government Medical College in Jammu.
 
Police said 9 pilgrims died on the spot and seven others succumbed to their injuries on the way to the hospital.
 
Two other pilgrims on the vehicle who sustained minor injuries were discharged after first-aid.
 
This was second major accident involving Amarnath yatris in Jammu region this month. Fifteen pilgrims were killed when a SRTC bus bringing them back from the yatra had rolled down into a gorge near Ramban on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on the night of 14th July.
 

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Google Talk service partly restored

Google Talk has been partially restored after going offline on Thursday in India and other parts of the world for hours together

New Delhi: Popular instant messaging service Google Talk has been partially restored after going offline in India and other parts of the world for hours together, reports PTI.

 

"Google Talk service has already been restored for some users...We expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change," Google said in an update at 2020 hours.

 

It is estimated that there are thousands of Google Talk users in India.

 

However, half an hour later, Google said the problem with Google Talk should be resolved.

 

"We apologise for the inconvenience... If you are still experiencing an issue, please contact us via the Google Help Centre," it said.

 

Social media was abuzz with messages about Google Talk issues on Thursday.

 

After widespread reports of outage, Google at 1610 hours informed users that it was "investigating reports of an issue with Google Talk. We will provide more information shortly".

 

Minutes later, the company acknowledged that the outage had affected majority of its users.

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