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Meenakshi Gopinath, Pallavi Joshi, Dipa Dixit are BCCC’s new members

They replace Sharmila Tagore, Arundhati Nag and Ira Bhaskar, whose terms at the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council ended

The Board of Directors of Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has appointed Meenakshi Gopinath, Pallavi Joshi and Dipa Dixit as new members of Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), the independent and autonomous self-regulatory body for non-news general entertainment channels in the country.

They replace Sharmila Tagore, Arundhati Nag and Ira Bhaskar, whose terms at the Council have ended.

Tagore has, however, been elevated as a Special Invitee to BCCC, which was set up in 2011 and has, by now, addressed thousands of television content complaints in all Indian languages and English over the 89 meetings it has conducted.

Tara Murali, an expert on Tamil content, is the other Special Invitee to the 13-member Council, chaired by former Supreme Court Judge Justice Vikramajit Sen. Former Secretary to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Uday Kumar Varma, is another member of BCCC, which also has on board representatives from the National Commission for Women (NCW), National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and National Commission for Minorities (NCM), among others.

Gopinath is an academician and former principal of the prestigious Lady Shri Ram College for Women. She is the Director of ‘Women in Security Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP)’ and was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007.

“I look forward to my journey with the Council. It is a great honour and an important responsibility, especially from the social point of view,” Gopinath said after attending the 89th meeting of BCCC on Saturday.

Joshi, a multilingual actor, has appeared in a large number of Hindi and Marathi films, and numerous television serials, over a career spanning four decades. She also acted in Malayalam and Kannada films.

She was the recipient of ‘Special Jury Award’ at the 41st National Film Awards and was nominated as the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ at the Filmfare Awards. She is also a recipient of the ‘Excellence in Cinema Award’ at the 7th Global Film Festival.

“Content is close to my heart. Looking at television at times makes one wonder what happened to the good old days. But an organisation like BCCC, which takes cognisance of all the wrongdoings, is a hope that we are on the right track,” Joshi said.

Dixit was a member of BCCC from 2011 to 2013 in her ex-officio capacity as a Member of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). She was instrumental in the drafting of child-related Advisories that BCCC subsequently issued for the benefit of television channels.

A Masters in Law from Christ College, Cambridge University, Dixit has extensively worked in numerous fields of jurisprudence, including on drafts of the Right to Education Bill, Sexual Offences against Children Bill, amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act, Child Labour Bill and the National Child Policy.

“I am indeed honoured to receive an invitation to join BCCC. I look forward to this important assignment,” she said.

Outgoing BCCC member, Bhaskar said, “I have had a very interesting tenure as a member of BCCC. It has made me aware of the wide-reach of television. The debates we have had about the programmes touched on crucial social issues that we all should be sensitive to. These debates have been very significant and I endorse the effects of our BCCC to engage with and reflect upon the issues of that we see depicted on television.”

At the end of her tenure, Nag said, “Having come on board quite reluctantly, I confess that I am retiring with a sense of fulfilment and loss too. One has learnt a lot on this journey from the wise counsel of the section on the Council. Especially an understanding of what is in the mind of the channels and the general audience at large. Altogether this has been a wonderful learning.”

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