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Rules for Political Parties to Use State-Funded Media during Polls

Why is it in the news?  

  • The ECI recently allocated broadcast and telecast time to national and state parties for the 2024 elections based on prescribed formulas.
·        Prasar Bharati, the parent organization of Doordarshan and AIR, is India’s state-run public broadcaster.

Allocation of Time on State Media

  • Recognized political parties have been allowed to freely use state-owned television and radio since the 1998 Lok Sabha elections.
  • The ECI determines the amount of time allotted to each recognized national and state party before the start of the election campaign.
  • National parties receive a minimum of 10 hours of telecasting time on Doordarshan’s national channel and at least 15 hours on its regional channels. They also receive 10 hours of broadcasting time on the national AIR hook-up and 15 hours on regional AIR stations.
  • State parties receive a minimum of 30 hours of telecasting time on the appropriate regional Doordarshan channel and AIR radio station.

Guidelines on Speeches’ Contents

  • Parties and speakers must submit transcripts of their speeches to the concerned authorities in AIR and Doordarshan stations three to four days before recording.
  • The ECI’s guidelines prohibit criticism of other countries, attacks on religions or communities, obscenity or defamation, incitement of violence, contempt of court, aspersions against the integrity of the President and judiciary, anything affecting national unity, sovereignty, and integrity, and any criticism by name of any individual.

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