"TV digitization an opportunity for small businesses"

New Delhi, Aug 19 : Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Monday said that the digitization process of Indian television distribution had provided an opportunity to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector to grow and leverage its strengths.

"The Ministry of MSME and Industry must put in place policies and incentive structure to enable Indian manufacturers take advantage of this unique business opportunity. The process ought to have been utilised by Indian manufacturers to script the process as the "India Digitization Story", rather than as a policy initiative supplemented by technological support from other countries," Tewari said while speaking at the Symposium on New Media Education in India, here.

He said: "While 30 million Set Top Boxes had been installed in Phase-I and II, 80 million remained to be installed during Phase-III and IV providing the industry the opportunity to build a vibrant model for the future leading to better subscriber revenues, lower carriage fees and sustainable revenue models for the Broadcasting Sector."

Tewari said the print media needed to introspect and rationalize its tariff structure and subscription rates in view of the global trends which had stressed the revenue models and decline in numbers.

"All these trends could lead to decline in quality and standards within the print industry in the country," he said.

For the broadcasting industry, Tewari expressed concern over the fragmented market conditions, flawed revenue models and measurement methods prevalent and the rush for sensationalism and TRPs.

"This also led to serious issues of 'Manufactured Anger', 'Media Trials' and 'Infringement of Privacy guaranteed under Article 21' emerging in the Broadcasting space," he said.

Regarding the issue of new media, the minister said that while there had been an exponential growth, issues of anonymity, absence of global rules of engagement and serious issues of last mile neutrality remained to be addressed.

Regarding the issue of standards within media education, Tewari said ," In view of the contemporary trends, IIMC had been advised to initiate a course on the Business of Media, preferably a Masters Degree in the Business of the Media."

"This programme could prepare young professionals to address the business imperatives in the media sectors more cohesively. In view of the changing contemporary media landscape, this could act as a value addition to the institute in the long run," he said.

Tewari emphasized that there was an urgent need to standardize quality of media education being imparted in the country and reiterated that 'fly by night' operators are the bane of media education paradigm as they are in similar circumstances in other sectors also.

--IBNS (Posted on 19-08-2013)

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