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Ensure timely registration of MSO applications, MIB Consultative Committee tells Jaitley

MUMBAI: Just a day after taking charge of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB), Arun Jaitley, who is also the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, has got down to business without wasting any time.

Jaitley chaired the first meeting of the Consultative Committee of the MIB to discuss the issue of digitisation of cable TV network in Phases III and IV. Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, MoS for I&B, was also present at the meeting.

Members of the Committee emphasised that the ministry needs to take proactive steps to ensure timely registration of multi-system operator (MSO) applications so as to ensure the large presence of MSOs to implement the digitisation programme.

It was also emphasised that MSOs should operationalise grievance redressal mechanisms to address the concerns of their subscribers. The committee emphasised that the quality of domestically manufactured set-top boxes (STBs) must be ensured.

Emphasis was also laid on the efforts being made by the ministry to integrate the domestic STB manufacturers with the ‘Make in India’ programme.

Specific reference was made to the initiative of the MIB in resolving the long-pending issue of the C-Form to create a level playing field for domestic STB manufacturers.

Members were also informed that interactions were being held with the STB fraternity to ensure that they utilised their capacity to fulfil the demand for STBs during the two remaining phases of digitisation.

The issue of the digitisation plan of Doordarshan’s terrestrial network and the steps being taken to implement the process were also discussed.

In his opening remarks, Jaitley put stress on the importance of the digitisation programme in providing better quality of service, wider choice of content and its important role in bringing about transparency within the subscriber base.

As a process it had also brought about a change in the broadcasting landscape and enabled broadband penetration within the country, he said.

A presentation was made on behalf of the ministry to give an overview of the digitisation process. The presentation highlighted the steps taken during Phases I and II and the proposed road map for Phases III and IV.

In the presentation, specific reference was made to the initiatives undertaken by the ministry including discussions with stakeholders and the campaign to sensitise the masses.

The Members of Parliament who attended the meeting included Dr Jayakumar Jayavardhan, Tapas Paul, V Sathyabama, MP Achuthan, P Rajeeve, Pawan Kumar Varma and Vivek Gupta.