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Prakash Javadekar informs House about progress of its 4-member TV ratings committee

With TV ratings under intense scrutiny in the recent months following the ratings manipulation scam that has come to the fore, the Government is looking at the recommendations made by the four-member committee constituted by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in November 2020.

Minister for Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar informed the Lok Sabha the committee’s recommendations involve the TV ratings measurement methodology as well as structural changes in the composition of the rating agencies and audits.

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MIB steps into TV ratings ecosystem; sets up committee led by Prasar Bharti CEO

As reported earlier, this committee, led by Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi S Vempati, is reviewing the guidelines on television rating agencies in India that the Ministry had notified in 2014. The present guidelines issued by MIB on TV rating agencies in India were notified after detailed deliberations by the Parliamentary Committee, Committee on Television Rating Points (TRP) constituted by the MIB and recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), etc. Other member of this committee include – Dr Shalabh, Professor of Statistics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, IIT Kanpur; Dr Rajkumar Upadhyay, Executive Director, C-DOT; and Professor Pulak Ghosh, Decision Sciences, Centre for Public Policy (CPP).

Replying to questions raised in the Lok Sabha, Minister for Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar informed the House that the Ministry was analysing the current guidelines on television rating agencies in India and evaluating if there are any shortcomings. He further said that the modifications, if any, might involve a thorough and elaborate review of the paradigm.

Several Lok Sabha MPs raised questions regarding the TV ratings controversy and wanted to know what the Government as well as the TV ratings body Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) were doing to address the concerns.

Javadekar informed the House that BARC was able to detect anomalies in the viewership behaviour and had taken various steps to stop the ratings manipulation, including filing FIRs as well as undertaking structural, regulatory and procedural changes at regular intervals to maintain accuracy and transparency in television ratings.

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