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We need greater transparency in PRT measurements, says a government panel in a report to the I&B ministry | India News

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NEW DELHI: A four-member committee appointed by the government to review the ‘Guidelines on Television Rating Agencies in India’ in November last year has called for greater transparency in the measurement of the PRT and the strengthening of the rating system.
In its report presented to the Union’s minister of information and broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar, on Tuesday, the committee said that the existing basis of the PRT’s rating system should be expanded considerably to avoid possibilities of manipulation.
Currently, data from just 44,000 households in India is extrapolated to determine TRP ratings for TV channels. This was also called “flawed” by a parliamentary panel in October last year.
Sources said that the committee, in its report, also emphasized the need to seek technological solutions that universalize displays and capture the diversity and scale of television viewing in India, taking into account ‘TV on mobile’, the new platform through which a large number of viewers are accessing the content.
Javadekar said the ministry will study the committee’s recommendations in detail and is likely to send some guidelines and instructions to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) on the rating system.
The expert panel, led by Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati, was created in the context of the ‘TRP Scam’ discovered by Mumbai police in October last year, which targeted “fraudulent” manipulation. of TRPs on three channels: Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema.
While the TV rating agency BARC imposed a three-month hiatus in rating individual news channels and said it would use the time to increase current data reporting and measurement standards, there were calls for a comprehensive analysis of the system.
In this context, the Vempati-led committee comprised of Shalabh, professor of statistics at IIT Kanpur, Pulok Ghosh, who teaches decision science at the Center for Public Policy, and Raj Kumar Upadhyay, executive director of the Center for Development of the Telematics (C-DOT), was mandated to study the past recommendations of various expert groups on television rating systems in India and review the existing I&B ministry guidelines on the subject and update them with the latest technologies, make the process is more robust, credible and transparent.
The current guidelines on television rating agencies in India were notified by the I&B ministry in 2014, after extensive deliberation, but they are considered outdated in light of rapid technological advancements over the years.

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