Industry body says ‘self-regulation’ is not sufficient. After the RTI Act has been used to improve transparency and functioning of government entities, attention turns towards the media for amendment to bring these TV channels under the ambit of the Act
Media and Entertainment Council of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has proposed that ‘aggressive’ news channels must be brought under a public body and made accountable under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
A press release says, “It is desirable to introduce appropriate checks and balances so that freedom and democracy are given real meanings and not misused. The way forward is co-regulation—rather than self-regulation—backed by a well-defined law.” Secretary general DS Rawat said, “Self-regulation is the norm that has high values and noble objectives. But in the context of modern-day broadcasting where we witness coming up of many regional and national channels, self-regulation may not be sufficient.”
Terming the provisions in programming and advertising codes under the Cable Act and News Broadcasters Association’s code of ethics as ‘insufficient and incomprehensive’, Mr Rawat has urged for “more clarity through elaborate stakeholder consultations.” ASSOCHAM also says that the proposed legislative framework does not recognise the existing reality of social media as means of broadcasting; which must be taken in consideration.
“The need of the hour requires an independent regulatory authority providing guidelines so that a broadcaster is restrained from actions leading to any disaster. The Content Code and Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill does not cover legal interests of consumers. Privacy rights and protection of relevant stakeholders have also not been given appropriate attention,” said Mr Rawat.
The Content Code and Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, 2006, has been widely criticised as a draconian measure, and for excluding public consultation on the process. Many attempts have been made to attempt to amend it and increase regulations on media content, but they have been met with severe public backlash.
Reportedly, Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Ambika Soni is under consistent and heavy pressure to conciliate or control 'disobedient' television news channels; which according to the UPA government, is responsible for the ongoing national crisis.
Currently the Indian television industry has over 600 channels (about 150 of them news-based) and is estimated to clock revenues of Rs32,000 crore by the year-end with 14% growth over 2010.
Apex exporters body Federation of Indian Export Organisation said the country’s shipments to new markets in Africa, Latin America and Asia are on the rise, which has helped India maintain the export growth momentum
New Delhi: India’s exports grew by 36.3% on an annual basis to $24.8 billion in September 2011, demonstrating impressive year-on-year expansion despite a slowdown in the US and Europe, reports PTI.
In September 2010, the country’s outbound shipments were valued at $18.2 billion.
India’s imports also registered growth in September, rising by 17.2% in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year to $34.5 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $9.7 billion, the commerce ministry today said.
Though down from the 44.2% growth rate recorded in August, the rise in exports in September can be considered robust, given the economic woes in the US and the debt crisis in Europe. The US and Europe are the two biggest markets for Indian merchandise, accounting for about 30% of total shipments.
Commerce secretary Rahul Khullar has said that total exports in the current fiscal may reach $290-$300 billion.
During the April-September period, India’s exports grew by 52% to $160 billion from $105.2 billion in the same period last year.
During the first half of this fiscal, the sectors that registered healthy growth include engineering (103%), petroleum and oil lubricants (PoL) (53%), gems and jewellery (23%), ready-made garments (32%), marine products (48%) and drugs (33%).
Apex exporters body Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) said the country’s shipments to new markets in Africa, Latin America and Asia are on the rise, which has helped India maintain the export growth momentum.
“We are getting good orders from the new markets,” Kush Suri, a leading dry fruit exporter said.
During April-September 2011, India’s imports expanded by 32.4% to $233.5 billion. The trade gap stood at $73.4 billion for the half-year.
Oil imports grew by 14.62% to $9.2 billion in September, while non-oil imports rose by 18.17% to $25.3 billion during the month.
During the first half of this fiscal, oil imports grew by 42.39% to $70.34 billion from $49.4 billion in the year-ago period.
Non-oil imports were valued at $163.1 billion, an increase of 28.52% from $126.95 billion in April-September 2010-11.
The Winter Session of Parliament begins on 22nd November and ends on 23rd December. The government has been repeatedly asserting that it plans to introduce the significant Lokpal Bill during that session while Team Anna has been insisting the government pass the bill in this session itself
Mumbai: Social activist Anna Hazare today threatened to resume his fast on the last day of Parliament’s Winter Session if the government fails to get a strong Jan Lokpal Bill passed by then, reports PTI.
In a letter to prime minister Manmohan Singh, the 74-year-old activist said he did not find it right that responsible people in the government and the Congress were making remarks that creates doubts about the passage of the bill.
Mr Hazare, who called off his 12-day hunger strike at the Ramlila Maidan in August after eliciting a promise that his concerns will be addressed, said his team will also travel to various states to educate people about the need for a strong Jan Lokpal Bill when he resumes his fast.
The Winter Session of Parliament will begin on 22nd November and ends on 23rd December. The government has been repeatedly asserting that it plans to introduce the significant Lokpal Bill during that session while Team Anna has been insisting the government pass the bill in this session itself.
“I will begin my hunger strike agitation on the last day of the session, if the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed in the House and the team will tour various states to educate people about the issue,” Mr Hazare said in the letter.
Mr Hazare, who is observing vow of silence in Ralegan Siddhi since 16th October, reminded Mr Singh that he called off his hunger strike, which he began on 16th August at Ramlila Maidan, following a written assurance from the prime minister, which was conveyed to him by Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.
“If an effective Jan Lokpal Bill is in place, it would help the country to get rid of corruption and also help utilise more funds towards development work,” he said in the letter.
Mr Hazare said it has become difficult for the common man to carry on with their life due to corruption.
“Due to corruption and price rise, it has become difficult for people to run their families. Out of one rupee spent for development activities, only 10 paise is actually spent on development,” he said.
Mr Hazare said if a strong Jan Lokpal is there, then it can put a break on 60% of corruption which can provide relief for people.
The activist had yesterday indicated that he might discontinue the ‘maun vrat’ over the next couple of days as he wants to hold ‘open discussions’ with his supporters.