The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) Prakash Javadekar last week in Lok Sabha said that the government was analyzing and evaluating the present TRP guidelines vis-a-vis shortcomings. The Minister said that BARC had responded to the recent news reports with active perusal for action againt those involved in tampering the samples and 11 FIRs filed through its vendors across States apart from the Disciplinary Council’s action to maintain panel sanctity.
“BARC stated that in its commitment to produce robust and credible data of TV viewership in India its system was able to detect anomalous viewership behaviour and the cases filed are also due to the strong data security and vigilance system that BARC has set up. The data base on complaints is not centrally maintained. However, the issues pertaining to BARC are normally forwarded to BARC for appropriate action. In addition to the filing of FIRs, with a view to prevent instances of panel tempering and manipulation of audience measurement system, BARC regularly undertakes structural, regulatory and procedural changes as necessary to ensure that the viewership data so captured by BARC and its consequent reporting is as accurate and transparent as possible. Besides, a dedicated complaint redressal mechanism of the rating agency is also provided for in the “Guidelines for Television Rating Agencies in India” notified by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on 16th January, 2014,” said Prakash Javadekar.
MIB had earlier constituted a committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Executive Officer, Prasar Bharati with independent members from IIT, C-DOT and IIM. The committee was tasked to study any issues related to the subject and make recommendations on way forward for a robust, transparent, and accountable rating system in India.
“The Committee has made recommendations on measurement methodology, the structural changes in the composition of the rating agencies and audits, etc. The recommendations of the Committee address various issues referred to them including TRAI recommendations,” added Prakash Javadekar.