“Regulation of content requires separate skill sets of creative and artistic persons than that of technocrats or economists who can factor the impact of content on sensibilities, morals and (the) value system of the society. Hence, content policy and regulation should also continue with the MIB,” read the letter sent by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The ministry also suggested that the carriage policy and regulations for broadcasting should continue with the MIB given that it has handled changes related to legal, policy and regulatory requirements well. Why it matters: It is important to note what the MIB has to say on the issue of the convergence of telecom and broadcasting services as their opinion will carry a lot of weight in future policy considerations. The letter is also notable because it seems to suggest that the ministry may not be on the same page as the telecom regulator. Do not shift licensing functions: “Shifting of licensing functions to another department, say DoT, will not serve any good but will only disturb the established practices,” the letter said. It argued that broadcasting is a “strategic sector” which needs to be regulated due to the impact and sensitivity of the sector. It is why multiple government agencies are involved in the process of company clearances and the MIB has “established systems and processes to effectively coordinate with all these agencies”. What else did the ministry say: “It is strongly felt that…
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