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Home >News >India >Committee set up for reviewing TRP rules submits report to I&B ministry

A committee, set up to review the guidelines on television rating agencies in India and headed by Prasar Bharati chief executive Shashi Shekhar Vempati, has submitted its recommendations to the information and broadcasting ministry. While details of the report were not made public, the government said it will study and evaluate it.

“The ministry will review it and then decide on the future course of action. The fundamental issue is that there should be greater transparency in TRPs and the base of people meters be widened so that there is no scope for manipulation," Union minister of information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar told reporters on Tuesday.

After the government has studied the report, it will give directions for better formation of rules to TV monitoring agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), Javadekar said. “The government reserves the right to give guidelines and directions. Those shall be given in time but the report having come today is a big step. It has been prepared after a lot of study and I’m sure all concerned agencies will welcome it," Javadekar added.

While announcing the committee in November, the ministry said that there is a need to take a fresh look at the rating guidelines, particularly keeping in view the recent recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (which also regulates broadcasters), technological advancements or interventions to address the system and for further strengthening of the procedures for a credible and transparent rating system.

“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 a robust, transparent and accountable rating system through changes, if any, in the existing guidelines," it had said in a statement.

The current guidelines issued by the government on television rating agencies in India were notified after deliberations by the Parliamentary panel, the Committee on Television Rating Points (TRP) and recommendations by Trai.

However, the past few months have brought the TRP system in India under the scanner. Three news channels, Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema were named in an alleged TRP tampering scam after which television monitoring agency BARC decided to temporarily suspend publishing of weekly data for news channels. Mumbai police have made several arrests in the matter, including Partho Dasgupta, a former chief executive officer of BARC India; Romil Ramgarhia, a former chief operating officer of the agency; and chief executive of Republic TV Vikas Khanchandani.

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