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Government enters BARC India; forms committee headed by Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati

The committee has been constituted by the I&B ministry on the recommendations of TRAI

The central government has entered into the functioning of India’s television rating system which was until now solely handled by joint industry body under BARC India. The government has notified a committee to be headed by Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati to access the existing rating system for TV channels.

Also read: Government’s overzealous TRP probe may end up being a death knell for BARC India

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"Based on the operation of the guidelines for a few years, there is need to have a fresh look on the guidelines particularly keeping in view the recent recommendations of TRAI, technological advancements/interventions to address the system and further strengthening of the procedures for a credible and transparent rating system, a committee is hereby constituted to study different aspects of the television rating system in India as they have evolved over a period of time," the government notification said.

The committee shall carry out an appraisal of the existing system, examine TRAI recommendations notified from time to time, overall industry scenario and addressing the needs of the stakeholders and make recommendations for robust transparent and accountable rating system through changes if any, in the existing guidelines.

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Other members of the committee are Dr Shalabh, Professor of Statistics, IIT Kanpur; Dr Rajkumar Upadhyay, Executive Director, C-DOT; and Professor Pulak Ghosh, Decision Sciences Center for Public Policy (CPP).

The KRA of the committee according to the Ministry will be to:

- Study past recommendations made by various forums on the subject of television rating systems in India and matter incidental thereto.
- Study recent recommendations of TRAI on the subject
- Suggest steps for enhancing competition in the sector
- Review of the presently notified guidelines to see if the intended purpose(s) of issuing the guidelines have stood the test of time and has met needs of various stakeholders involved. The lacunae, if any, shall be specially addressed by the committee
- Any issues related or incidental to the subject
- To make recommendations on way forward for robust, transparent and accountable rating system in India, and
- Any other related issues assigned by MIB from time to time

The committee may invite any expert as a special invitee. The committee shall submit its report to the I&B Minister within two months of the date of issue of this order.

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