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I&B ministry seeks legal opinion on proposed TV channel by Delhi govt

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) is taking a legal opinion on the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government’s proposal to launch a television channel on the lines of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV.

MIB has sought Law Ministry’s opinion on Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel’s proposal for the channel.

“This would mean the launch of a channel by a state Assembly. The MIB is seeking the Law Ministry’s opinion,” a source said.

As had been reported earlier by TelevisionPost.com, the Delhi government is planning to launch a television channel to cover the proceedings of the Delhi Assembly live. The proposed channel will also air a variety of programmes to discuss issues including the Constitution, the idea of democracy and government policies.

However, the Delhi government’s plan might run into regulatory crosshairs as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had earlier recommended to the MIB against allowing government or government-owned entities to enter into the business of broadcasting or distribution of television channels. This had got the tacit support of the successive Union governments.

In the past, state governments wanted to have TV channels but permission was not granted by the MIB. The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had rejected requests from the state governments of West Bengal and Punjab to enter into broadcasting activities.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Assembly has invited applications for the position of consultant (TV project) on contractual basis from professionals for an initial period of three months extendable to a maximum period of six months subject to requirements.

The consultant is expected to submit a detailed project report (financial and technical) for setting up of the TV channel and also the mechanism for giving out official feed of the House proceedings until the channel becomes fully operational.

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