The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has floated a consultation paper to seek comments from the stakeholders on the proposed National Broadcasting Policy, which will be released by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry.

The consultation paper has sought views on strategies that should be adopted to increase the broadcasting sector’s contribution to the economy and make India a “Global Content Hub” among other aspects.

The telecom and broadcast regulator had last year issued a pre-consultation paper. It said this consultation paper has been released after examining the issues emanating from the written submissions, meetings, public documents, international practices and initiatives taken by the government for the sector.

‘Sunrise sector’

Stating that the broadcasting sector is a “sunrise sector”, the regulator added that it has huge potential to contribute towards the growth of the Indian economy. “The inputs for formulation of policy aim at stipulating the vision, mission, objectives and strategies for the planned development and growth of the broadcasting sector in the country in the era of new and emerging technologies. The consultation paper highlights pertinent issues prevalent in the broadcasting sector with an objective of making India a ‘Global Content Hub’,” it added in a statement.

The paper also raises questions on the policy and regulatory measures and the strategies that need to be adopted to increase the broadcasting sector’s contribution to the economy through “universal reach, fostering innovation with focus on R&D, facilitating job creation, skill development and start-up promotion.” It has also asked for views on measures needed to strengthen the public service broadcasting, terrestrial broadcasting, combating piracy and ensuring content security besides a robust audience measurement system.

The regulator has sought views on measures that should be taken to provide “affordable TV services to “ TV Dark Homes”. As per industry estimates, there are more than 100 million “TV Dark” homes in the country. Currently, about 182 million households have access to television sets (including linear and non-linear TV services).

It has also asked for suggestions on reducing reliance on imported broadcasting equipment and promoting its indigenous manufacturing. It has also sought views on the regulatory policy and regulatory approach that needs to be adopted for online gaming, which is a rising sector and holds potential to contribute to the economy. It also sought views on the safeguards that are needed to protect underage players from negative and psychological effects.

The consultation paper has asked suggestions for strategies that should be adopted for the growth of various segments of the industry including the VFX sector, regional content and FM Radio among others.