Shri Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting today chaired the First meeting of the Consultative Committee of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to discuss the issue of Digitisation of Cable TV Network, Phase III and IV. Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, MoS for Information & Broadcasting was also present in the meeting.
Welcoming the members, Shri Jaitley in his opening remarks emphasised 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 as well as enabled broadband penetration within the country.
A presentation was made on behalf of the Ministry giving an overview of the digitization process. The presentation highlighted the steps taken during Phase I & II and the proposed road map for Phase III & IV. In the presentation specific reference was made to the initiatives undertaken by the Ministry including the discussions with stakeholders and the campaign to sensitise masses.
Members of the Committee while appreciating the measures taken by the Ministry for this important initiative, also gave suggestions to ensure that the concerns of all stakeholders were addressed. It was also emphasised that MSOs should operationalise grievance redressal mechanisms to address the concerns of cable subscribers. They emphasised that quality of domestically manufactured Set Top Boxes (STBs) must be ensured. The issue of digitization plan of Doordarshan terrestrial network and the steps being taken to implement the process was also deliberated upon. It was also mentioned that the Ministry needed to take proactive steps to ensure timely registration of MSO applications so as to ensure the large presence of MSOs to implement the digitization programme during Phase III and Phase IV.
During the discussions emphasis was 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 Ministry in resolving the long pending issue of ‘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 utilized their capacity to fulfil the demand for STBs during Phase III and Phase IV.
The Members of Parliament who attended the meeting included Dr. Jayakumar Jayavardhan, Shri Tapas Paul, Smt. V. Sathyabama, Shri M. P. Achuthan, Shri P. Rajeeve, Shri Pawan Kumar Varma and Shri Vivek Gupta.