Scatmag.com

July 2019

NEW I&B MINISTER


On 31 May 2019, Prakash Javadekar was appointed Minister of Information & Broadcasting in the new NDA government. Javadekar is also part of the union cabinet & minister in the Environment, Forest and Climate Change ministry.

Javadekar was environment minister in the previous NDA government.


5 I&B MINISTERS EARLIER

From 2014-19, there were 5 I&B ministers! This was probably a record for shuffles within a single, i m p o r t a n t ministry.

On 26 May 2014, Javadekar was appointed as the I&B minister when the Modi 1.0 government was sworn in. On 9 November 2014, Arun Jaitley (then Finance minister) was given I&B as additional charge.



Thereafter, M Venkaiah Naidu (July 2016), Smriti Irani (July 2017) and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (May 2018) were appointed I&B ministers.

It is hoped that the I&B ministry will see a more stable head at the helm, providing a consistent long- term vision.



5 I&B Ministers Were Changed 2014-19





RATHORE DROPPED COMPLETELY

In a surprise to industry watchers, Former I&B minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has been completely dropped from the new government. He had also held the sports & youth affairs portfolio in the previous NDA government.


JAVADEKAR'S FOCUS

On taking charge, Prakash Javadekar asserted that press freedom is "sacrosanct." "

In a democracy, freedom of the press is crucial and we recognize that. I trust the press to recognize that every freedom comes with responsibility. They have always worked with a sense of responsibility and will continue to, I believe. Which in turn, will strengthen democracy," Javadekar said.

The earlier NDA government had seen stand-offs with the media and entertainment industry - High GST rates imposed on movie tickets & the ministry's order to curtail fake news by suspending the accreditation of journalists (The order was withdrawn after the PM's intervention.)

Javadekar is known as a consensus builder. He met senior I&B officials and Heads of Media Units under the Ministry & urged all to work as a team.


  • National Broadcast Policy
  • Clarity On Cross Media Restrictions
  • State Govts Not Allowed Broadcasting
  • Amendment Of The Sports Act
  • Autonomous Prasar Bharati
  • Stable Regulations & Policies
  • Equitable OTT Regulations
  • Facilitate CATV & Broadband Entrepreneurs To Spur Employment
  • Clear 2 Year MSO License Backlog
  • New DTH & Uplink Licensing
  • Reduce GST
  • Only GST, No Local Body Entertainment Taxes (LBET)

Table -1: Industry Wishlist For The I&B Minister



ON PRASAR BHARATI

After flagging off 17 state-of-the-art High-Definition (HD) Digital Service News Gathering (DSNG) vans at Doordarshan Bhawan in New Delhi, Javadekar said the new government will retain Prasar Bharati's autonomy.


LOOKING AHEAD

During the past Modi term, the I&B ministry has been accused of in-action on various fronts. Complaints have ranged from micro-regulation and excessive interference by TRAI, disregard of LCO entrepreneurs, no encouragement for employment creation & indirectly favouring large industry houses entering the business.

Javadekar has a difficult terrain ahead.

Table-1 provides a partial industry wish list. n