Discussion Proposal for Establishment of Independent Television Authority of India or ITAI


28 Jun 2017
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“I T A I”




The Golden Era (1959-2000)

Ever since the introduction of television service in India from 1959, we have come a long way – from a lone public broadcaster to innumerable amount of private satellite channels, television in India has evolved with its share of accolades and brickbats.

Since its inception, television has been the medium of education and information in different areas, especially rural areas. However, with the passage of time, television evolved as a medium of aesthetic entertainment along with values. It has made the journey from black-and-white to colour and now high-definition.

The steady downfall in content generation :

But since the start of the new millennium, the medium slowly began to deviate itself from values. Some of the content, if not all, telecast on television today, is not worthy of being watchable with the family. With the amount of unregulated content filled with violence, vulgarity, bias, sensationalism, and an enormous amount of false information across channels and genres, the status that television services used to enjoy among the Indian families started to take a hit.

In the early days, there were instances of adaptations of literary works on television, instances of which were shows like Byomkesh Bakshi, Shrikant, Amaravathi Kathalu. Also, mythological shows based on the Ramayana and Mahabharata were adored by the Indian viewers.

But in the late 2000s, many established production houses began to create content on television that was beyond any logic, and also, began to have an adverse effect on the minds of the Indian households. Many people started complaining about the degrading quality of content shown on Indian Television. Stories with countless plot twists, unwanted and underrated melodrama became the norm for fiction content in Indian television for the sake of gaining Television Rating Points or TRP. Viewers’ sentiments were taken for granted by production houses just to earn money.

To put an end to this menace, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation or IBF was founded and a Broadcasting Content Complaints Council was set up so that the viewers have the final say over the content that they are forcefully made to watch by the producers. But in spite of this, the producers have went ahead in producing such content on channels, and as such they still continue to do so, paying literally no heed to the interests and concerns of the viewers.

The Digital Boom :

With the advent of technological advancements over the past few years, television viewers have started migrating towards other mediums for good quality content. However, the situation has declined further with the introduction of online platforms and services that provide the same content, but laden with some mild usage of objectionable language and scenery, which is again, unsuitable for family viewing. Moreover, they come with premium subscription plans which for some viewers, is too much to afford.

The Solution:

Although through a current ordinance by the Central Government, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has brought online video streaming platforms under its ambit. But given the amount of vast access to online content and its consumption by the people in select rural and urban areas, regulating such content is too much of a retributive measure than being regulatory.

Moreover, the lone Public Broadcaster of India, Doordarshan, which is owned by the Government, does not have an ample amount of good quality fiction content nowadays, which is also a bit of concern for the broadcaster.

In order to bring back the golden days of Indian Television, producing good content is not enough, the content should be appealing to the people, it should reflect the dreams, aspirations, ambitions, and, in a sense understand the pulse of Indian viewers. To serve this purpose, it is hereby suggested that a second public broadcasting service be introduced in India, which would be free of government control, but at the time be self-regulatory, in terms of content production.

The service will be adhering to all the regulatory laws from the respective governing bodies associated with the Broadcasting system in India. But at the same time, it will be an autonomous and independent service, which will be in terrestrial as well as satellite mode so that it could reach every Indian.

For the proper implementation, maintenance, and regulation of the second Public Broadcasting Service, it is hereby proposed that an autonomous, quasi-government organization be established under the name of the INDEPENDENT TELEVISION AUTHORITY OF INDIA, or ITAI.
What is this lambi choudi bhasan

(What's this long speech)


The proposal is based on the Broadcasting system of the United Kingdom where there are two public broadcasters :

British Broadcasting Service - wholly-owned government broadcaster similar to doordarshan.

Independent Television Network or ITV - A semi government public broadcaster
So another Public Broadcaster to be launched in India :huh:
The proposal is entirely my idea and I wanted to have a discussion on whether it is feasible to be implemented or not.

Countries like UK, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan has two public broadcasters. Of which the former is under government control and the latter is partially controlled by the government.

UK has two public broadcasters : BBC (Government owned) and ITV PLC. (SEMI GOVERNMENT, COMMERCIAL BROADCASTERS)

Sri Lanka : ITN (Government owned) and SLRC aka Jathika Rupavahini (Semi Government)

My proposal is based on UK's ITV PLC. Model of broadcasting.
Appreciate the time and effort you took to write this 👏 But how the new free from government control, self-regulatory body would be different from existing self-regulatory bodies such as NBA, NBF which we know that their actions taken once in a while are not satisfactory. Self regulation is a lenient approach, government is not satisfied with self regulation of OTTs also and looking for alternatives.
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