I&B ministry asks channels to adhere to news and non-news categories

A day before the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha polls, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Wednesday issued an advisory to all private satellite TV channels, asking them to strictly comply with their respective undertakings of carrying news or non-news content.

In accordance with the 2011 policy guidelines for uplinking of television channels from India, the ministry gives permission for uplinking under two categories -- non-news and current affairs, and news and current affairs.

The 'non-news and current affairs' channel means a channel which does not have any element of news and current affairs in its programme content.

A 'news and current affairs TV channel' means a channel which has elements of news and current affairs in its programme content.

News channels are mandated to carry news and current affairs content, while non-news and current affairs channels are not mandated to carry any news and current affairs content.

At the time of applying for a non-news TV channel, the applicant company gives an undertaking that the proposed channel is purely an entertainment channel and does not have any news or current affairs based programme.

"All TV channels may strictly ensure that there is no violation of the conditions of the guidelines," the I&B ministry order said.

The counting of votes for the just-concluded seven-phased Lok Sabha polls will be taken up on Thursday.