The ministry has issued just one TV channel licence between May and June even as hundreds of TV channel licences have piled up.
Surya Processed Food has got an uplinking licence to operate a non-news channel under the name Surya Bhakti. In March 2017, the company was granted three uplinking licences under the name Surya Samachar, Surya Sagar Entertainment, and Surya Cinema.
In January, the MIB had granted two TV channel licences to Discovery Communications India for Discovery Jeet HD and DSport HD. Both were non-news downlinking licences.
With seven months already over, the ministry has just granted three TV channel licences. The ministry did not issue any new licences in February, March, and April, and May.
The ministry had issued 45 TV channel licences in 2017 which compares poorly with the 75 licences it had issued in 2016. It has issued 215 TV channel licences from June 2014 to December 2017.
In the two months, the ministry had also cancelled the licences of Alliance Broadcasting’s News7 Tamil and Mavis Satcom’s Jaya TV HD, Jaya Plus, Jaya Max, and J Movie due to denial of security clearance by the ministry of home affairs (MHA).
However, the licence cancellation orders were overturned by the Delhi High Court.
Recently, minister of state (MoS) in the ministry of information & broadcasting (MIB) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had informed that Rajya Sabha that the ministry has cancelled 147 TV channel licences in the last three and a half year including 14 channels in 2018 till 30 June.
The ministry had cancelled 40 licences in 2015 followed by 28 licences in 2016, and 65 licences in 2017. Among those whose licences have been cancelled include 106 non-news channels and 41 news and current affairs channels.
As on 30 June, the MIB has granted permission 1103 channels of which 236 licences have been cancelled. Thus, the permitted TV channels having valid permission in India stands at 867 which includes 384 news and 483 non-news channels.