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Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990

12.Functions and powers of Corporation

1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the primary duty of the Corporation to organize and conduct public broadcasting services to inform, educate and entertain the public and to ensure a balanced development of broadcasting on radio and television. Explanation: For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the provisions of this section shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, the provisions of the Indian Telegraphic Act, 1885 (13 or 1885)

2) The Corporation shall, in the discharge of its functions, be guided by the following objectives, namely -

a) upholding the unity and integrity of the country and the values enshrined in the Constitution;

b) safeguarding the citizen's right to be informed freely, truthfully and objectively on all matters of public interest, national or international, and presenting a fair and balanced flow of information including contrasting views without advocating any opinion or ideology of its own.

c) paying special attention to the fields of education and spread of literacy, agriculture, rural development, environment, health and family welfare and science and technology;

d) providing adequate coverage to the diverse cultures and languages of the various regions of the country by broadcasting appropriate programmes;

e) providing appropriate coverage to sports and games so as to encourage healthy competition and the spirit of sportsmanship;

f) providing appropriate programmes keeping in view the special needs of the youth;

g) informing and stimulating the national consciousness in regard to the status and problems of women and paying special attention to the upliftment of women;

h) promoting social justice and combating exploitation, inequality and such evils as untouchability and advancing the welfare of the weaker sections of the society;

i) safeguarding the rights of the working classes and advancing their welfare;

j) serving the rural and weaker sections of the people and those residing in border regions, backward or remote areas;

k) providing suitable programmes keeping in view the special needs of the minorities and tribal communities;

l) taking special steps to protect the interests of the children, the blind, the age, the handicapped and other vulnerable Sections of the people;

m) promoting national integration by broadcasting in a manner that facilitates communication in the languages in India; and facilitating the distribution of regional broadcasting services in every State in the languages of that State;

n) providing comprehensive broadcast coverage through the choice of appropriate technology and the best utilization of the broadcast frequencies available and ensuring high quality reception;

o) promoting research and development activities in order to ensure that radio and television broadcast technology are constantly updated; and

p) expanding broadcasting facilities by establishing additional channels of transmission at various levels.

3) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions, the Corporation may take such steps as it thinks fit -

a) to ensure that broadcasting is conducted as a public service to provide and produce programmes;

b) to establish a system for the gathering of news for radio and television;

c) to negotiate for the purchase of, or otherwise acquire, programmes and rights or privileges in respect of sports and other events, films, serials, occasions, meetings, functions or incidents of public interest, for broadcasting and to establish procedures for the allocation of such programmes, rights or privileges to the services;

d) to establish and maintain a library or libraries of radio, television and other materials;

e) to conduct or commission, from time to time, programmes, audience research, market or technical service, which may be released to such persons and in such manner and subject to such terms and conditions as the Corporation may think fit;

f) to provide such other services as may be specified by regulations.

4) Nothing in sub-sections (2) and (3) shall prevent the Corporation from managing on behalf of the Central Government and in accordance with such terms and conditions as may be specified by that Government the broadcasting of External Services and monitoring of broadcasts made by organizations outside India on the basis of arrangements made for reimbursement of expenses by the Central Government.

5) For the purposes of ensuring that adequate time is made available for the promotion of the objectives set out in this Section, the Central Government shall have the power to determine the maximum limit of broadcast time in respect to the advertisement.

6) The Corporation shall be subject to no civil liability on the ground merely that it failed to comply any of the provisions of this Section.

7) The Corporation shall have power to determine and levy fees and other service charges for or in respect of the advertisements and such programmes as may be specified by regulations: Provided that the fees and other service charges levied and collected under this sub-section shall not exceed such limits as may be determined by the Central Government, from time to time.

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