Centre plans to deregulate uplinking of satellite TV channels; new guidelines within a month: I&B secretary Apurva Chandra

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New Delhi: The government will soon deregulate uplinking of satellite television channels in a bid to make India an uplinking hub.

Addressing the India Space Congress here, Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra said on Friday that of the 898 television channels broadcast in the country, 532 use foreign satellites for uplinking and downlinking of their services.

"We want to deregulate uplinking to satellites under the guidelines so that India can become a hub," Chandra said.

He said the uplinking and downlinking guidelines were last issued in 2011 and the process to revise them was underway.

"The guidelines will be revised soon, may be within a month," Chandra told reporters later.

He said neighbouring countries such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan can also use India as a hub for uplinking their television channels.

Chandra said the government had approved USD 102 million (one million = 10 lakh) in remittances to foreign satellite operators over the past two years for providing uplinking and downlinking services to television channels.

He made a strong pitch for self reliance in the satellite broadcasting sector by manufacturing more satellites in the country.

Currently, several satellite television channels use Singapore as the hub for broadcasting their channels and the deregulation of uplinking could help India emerge as a hub.