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Security clearance to TV channels valid for 10 years as MHA accepts I&B ministry request

NEW DELHI:  In a major relief to television channels, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MFA) has accepted the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s request of providing security clearance to broadcasters for the entire duration of their licence period, which is 10 years.

However, while the security clearance has been made ‘co-terminus’ with the licence, the existing companies will still need the MHA approval for a new channel or for a new director they are adding to the board.

In October last year, the issue came up when the I&B ministry asked the MHA on the expiry date of the security clearance given to broadcasting companies. The MHA had replied that the validity was only for three years.

The broadcasters raised concerned and the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) made representation to the I&B ministry urging it to reconsider the decision. The NBA said that the limiting of validity of security clearance will be detrimental to the business of broadcasters.

The I&B ministry then wrote to the MHA suggesting that the security clearance should be made valid for the entire duration of the licence, which is 10 years.

Conveying to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the Home Ministry said Wednesday the security clearances given to broadcasting companies which seek to operate TV channels will be considered valid for the entire duration of the licence granted. However, the decision would be relooked once a Committee of Secretaries (CoS), which is looking into similar issues across sectors, comes up with its final recommendations, a PTI report said.

Also Read:

I&B ministry urges MHA to provide security clearance to broadcasters for 10 years
News channels urge government to reconsider security clearance term