Ambika Soni, Minister for Information & Broadcasting has said that the recent policy initiatives in the Broadcasting Sector, had been taken by the Ministry after due consultations with key stakeholders. While taking such decisions, the interest of the viewer was always kept in the forefront. The decisions relating to Digitalization, FM Phase-III and Community Radio aimed at institutionalizing the process of inclusive growth in the Media & Entertainment Sector whereby the consumer and other stakeholders benefited. The resultant growth would not only provide competitive advantages but would also facilitate solutions for effective information dissemination. Smt. Soni stated this while delivering her address at FOCUS 2012 organized by ASSOCHAM here today.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said, digitalization would provide a bonanza for the consumers in terms of picture quality, availability of wide range of channels and freedom of choice for selection of channels as against poor picture quality, limited channels selection, etc. The Digitalization process would also provide authentic data regarding viewing of channels by the consumer based on correct subscription base. This would ensure greater transparency in the system for all stakeholders.
On the issue of self-regulation, the Minister stated that as a process, self-regulation should be given an opportunity to institutionalize itself through the identified mechanisms. Acknowledging that the process was slow, Smt. Soni said, it was natural that such mechanisms would take time to mainstream themselves.
Referring to the 59th NFA, Smt. Soni said, in order to ensure that people of this country got an opportunity to view such acclaimed films, it had been decided that Doordarshan, the public broadcaster would telecast these films regularly. Over the years, the NFA awards had encouraged young film makers to believe in the “Essence of Good and Meaningful Cinema”. The National Film Awards were an acknowledgement of good cinema irrespective of language barriers and budgetary constraints. The recognition given to offbeat film reflected the depth of national awards on the one hand and at the same time encouraged film makers in many other regional languages to make quality films.
During the course of her address, the Minister also spoke regarding the initiative undertaken jointly by the Ministry with HRD for regulating the mushrooming of schools across the country imparting education and training in media related disciplines. The Minister stated that the Ministry of HRD had set up a task force to examine and identify issues related to the problem and suitably suggest remedial measures including setting up of an Accreditation Mechanism.
Regarding the initiative of the Ministry in providing training to young professionals in different media platforms, the Minister stated that the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting decided to establish four Regional Centres of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in the States of Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Maharashtra and Mizoram. Out of the four, two Centres at Amravati (Maharashtra) and Aizawl (Mizoram) have already become operational during 2011 with PG Diploma course being offered in English Journalism. The remaining two Centres at Jammu (Jammu & Kashmir) and Kottayam (Kerala) are expected to become operational from the next academic session 2012-13. The regional centres would not only ensure a balanced growth in availability of journalism schools across the country, they would facilitate the Government’s commitment towards inclusive growth.